Getting Ahead of God

April 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Art Fulks –

A commonly known example in the Bible of someone getting ahead of God is found in Genesis 16. Here, Abram and Sarai have been waiting for God to give them a son who will be their family heir and the one through whom the Messiah will come. After waiting for ten years, they agree to use a surragate mother named Hagar, a servant. As a result, they experienced personal strife that still exists in national stuggles today.

Why did they get ahead of God? For many of the same reasons we do today. First, they sensed that God’s timing or lack of action was a sign of His abandonment. Sarai even blamed God. In God’s seeming silence, Abram listened to Sarai’s alternate plan and they both agreed that God needed their help. It does not take much for me to see instances from my own life that directly correlates to their experience.

When we get ahead of God, our relationships with Him and others are strained by our sin. Often, we even blame others for our circumstances. But God pursues and responds by showing up personally and exhibiting grace. Yet His call is for us to repent and return from our detours to trust His plan and timing again.

On my journey, I see three basic steps that generally lead to unpleasant detours. First, I begin to struggle with His timing and get impatient. Then I begin to allow culture to impact me into walking by sight and not be faith. Third, I begin to second-guess God and believe that He needs my help. My experience agrees with the old preacher, Vance Havner, who said, “The detour is always worse than the main road.”

The invention of the GPS has given us new options in a traffic jam. You can always hit the ‘Alternate Route’ button. But I often find that the barrier to free flowing traffic is not as far ahead as I thought. The detour keeps me moving, but with more energy and struggles than if I had stayed on track.

Three questions have helped me discover if I am walking by faith or not. (1) Am I willing to wait for God’s timing? (2) Am I most concerned about God’s glory or my happiness? (3) Am I obeying God’s Word in the process with inner joy and peace?

One of Satan’s greatest tools is the detour…trying to get us to move ahead of God. And one of his greatest lies is telling us that our ‘disobedience detours’ must become the permanent road for the rest of our lives. But God is waiting to help us get back on track.

“And He said, ‘Where have you come from and where are you going?’” (Genesis 16:8a NASB).

About Art Fulks

Art Fulks is a church planter / pastor near Greenville, South Carolina. Married for 23 years and father of four, Art is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a passionate Bible teacher, speaker, musician, worship leader, and life coach.
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One Response to “Getting Ahead of God”
  1. Hally Franz says:

    How many of us have struggled with this problem! As I have gotten older, I have become wiser, more patient and willing to stay on track, and wait for His plan to become clear. However, there have been plently of times that I haven’t. Thanks, Art, for instruction we can all benefit from.

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