Sometimes in life, it comes down to a choice between two options.
In the Garden of Eden there were two trees. Abraham had two sons who were symbolic of two covenants. There is good and evil, spirit and flesh, leavened and unleavened bread. There are two symbolic cities – Babylon and Jerusalem. Dare I mention, Heaven and Hell, the narrow gate and wide gate?
You think it would be simple but the majority get it wrong. Consistently wrong. And then they defend their foolishness with a line of thought that says, “It can’t be wrong. See how many people do it this way. That’s how it’s done!” If the choice is simple, why do so many get it wrong? Because the simple choice is also costly.
Paul explains it this way… “For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic…
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’” (Galatians 4:22-30)
Abraham’s first son, Ishmael, through Hagar, was a teenager by the time Isaac was born. Abraham thought this thing with Hagar was God’s way, God’s promise fulfilled. After all, Ishmael was his natural son, from his own loins. And you better believe he loved that son, but God told him to send Ishmael away for good. He was not to be heir with Isaac. Genesis records this was “very distressing” to Abraham.
Of course it was
All those years thinking he had done it God’s way only to find out he was trying to do God’s will in his own strength. He loved his first-born son, but Ishmael was not the son of promise. He was not the son of faith. He was the son of his own strength. He was the son of the flesh and he had to go.
In life, choosing the path of promise means casting out the ways of the flesh, the ways of Egypt. It can be costly. And because we have so much invested in the ways of the flesh, we balk at the idea. Besides, we don’t know any other way now. Most choose to continue on doing what they’ve always done. It’s easier that way.
As a result, many choose to either cohabit with the bondwoman (Egypt) trying to blend Biblical truth with fleshly wisdom or they simply move to Egypt and adapt her ways. Both are mistakes. Isaiah 31:1 warns, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help… but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or seek help from the Lord.” There is a better way.
Cast out the bondwoman…
It’s the way of bondage, the way of the flesh, the schooling of Pharaoh, so to speak. Do not partake of her pleasures anymore. Embrace the freewoman, the way of Promise and walk by faith with patience. In so doing, you will experience miraculous provision (Isaac) and inherit the promises. But not without persecution. You will be resisted, even mocked for walking away from Egypt.
But you say, “How do I walk in God’s ways?”
Ahhh, my friend. It is not given you to know the end from the beginning. You must throw off the old mindset and pursue the new. You will get it little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept. Are you up for that? Or did the devil tell you, that you could have it all now – without cost or sacrifice? Without pressing into the things and the ways and the person of God?
Now let me bring this down to the marketplace, where most of us live. Are you trying to apprehend the promises of God in your own strength and by your own wisdom or are you choosing His ways? Do you really even know His ways? Are you being schooled by Egypt or the Promised Land? Are you living by the rules and ways of Babylon or the Heavenly Jerusalem?
My friend, it’s time to quit putting sugar on dung and calling it candy!
If you are in the business arena and you want to learn the ways of God for business and life, you may find that the MPI Christian Business Institute is the very thing you’ve been looking for your entire life. There is both cost and sacrifice associated with it, but the gains thereof are without measure. You might want to check it out.
Until tomorrow, be fruitful and multiply!