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Summary: A look at the consequences of trying to manufacture an answer rather than waiting on God to come through for us.

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OUR SITUATION: We have a real problem and God seems to be late.

- Genesis 16:1, 3.

- Verse 3 notes that they’d been living in Canaan for 10 years at this point. Ten years is a long time to wait, especially for something as meaningful as a child.

- We don’t want to minimize the struggle that Abram and Sarai were going through. This was a real struggle. It was lasting a long time. It had to be incredibly frustrating.

- Often this is a lingering problem that’s been around for a while.

- We’re getting tired. We’re losing patience. We’re losing hope.

- Real life examples from today:

a. A single woman wants to get married, but isn’t finding a solid long-term relationship.

b. A woman wants her husband to become a Christian.

c. A man wants a better job.

d. A church wants to see harvest.

THE WRONG ROAD:

1. Blame God for the problem.

- Genesis 16:2.

- We start coming up with reasons that God is failing us:

a. “I don’t think He’s ever going to come through for me?”

b. “When is He going to answer?”

c. “He’s all-powerful – why can’t He get this done?”

- The consistent pattern of Scripture is generally this: the longer the wait for the answer, the greater the answer.

- But we lay aside the idea that God could be up to something great. Instead we think that He’s being negligent.

- This helps to open the door to the next step: when we take matters into our own hands.

2. Manufacture a way to make something happen.

- Genesis 16:2.

- Also make the “perhaps” point.

- We’ll say things like, “Maybe this will work.”

- “Let’s see what happens.”

- “I don’t know but. . .”

- “Why don’t we try. . .”

- “Maybe we should. . .”

- It is very American to “make something happen.”

- Real life examples from today:

a. A single woman wants to get married, but isn’t finding a solid long-term relationship.

- It would not be the woman joining Christian Mingle, but deciding sleeping with guys is the only way to hook one.

b. A woman wants her husband to become a Christian.

- So she nags and pushes.

c. A man wants a better job.

- So he takes one even though it requires him to work on Sundays.

d. A church wants to see harvest.

- So they try to get more people by being entertaining.

3. Find assurance when others buy into it.

- Genesis 16:2 (“Abram agreed to what Sarai said”).

- You might just have one friend that agrees with you and that gives you the confidence you need.

- A whole church can buy into it.

- Many people either get caught up in the peer pressure or genuinely think it’s a great idea.

THE RESULTS:

1. Something happens.

- Genesis 16:4.

- It “worked,” in the sense that something happened.

- Our made-up plans produce something but that something is usually a mess.

- There is often a single fleeting moment of joy when something happens: progress!

- “At least there’s some action,” we think.


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