I was recently reading about Isaac and Rebecca in the book of Genesis and came across a passage that jumped off the page at me. The passage stood out because Isaac’s approach to a challenging situation was so different than the way many Christians would have approached the same situation. The passage that stood out was Genesis 25:21:
21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
To give some context, God promised Isaac’s father, Abraham, that the entire world would be blessed through the lineage of Isaac. God then handpicked Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife. Isaac was in the perfect will of God to that point in his life and yet there was a hindrance to him receiving the promise of children that God had made to him. This is because God’s will is not automatic in our lives!
Before we talk about what Isaac did in order to receive the promise, I want to make application to you and me. The Bible is full of promises that God has made to each of us, but they aren’t automatic. There are hindrances such as the devil, other people’s wills, and the effects of living in a fallen world. Just because we are obeying Jesus, it doesn’t mean God’s will automatically happens in our lives. Sometimes we have to do what Isaac did and cry out to God in prayer.
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he said to pray this way:
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
If God’s will was automatic, this would be an unnecessary prayer. Think about it, there is no reason to ask God to perform His will if He is going to perform His will no matter what. The truth is we have to pray and declare God’s word in order for Him to perform His will in our lives. I’ll admit a lot of religious teaching says that God is in control and everything that happens is part of His sovereign plan, but it is pretty clear from looking at scripture that God’s will isn’t automatic. People have a part to play in receiving His promises (God’s will), by acting in faith.
If Isaac didn’t pray to God, Jacob and Esau wouldn’t have born. Rebecca would have remained barren and God’s will would not have come to pass. We need to learn a lesson from the story of Isaac and Rebecca and pray God’s word. I believe many people reading this right now are experiencing challenges in their lives and they don’t understand what God is doing. The truth is God doesn’t understand what we are doing because we aren’t speaking His promises. He wants to get involved and bring change in our lives, however, He can only do that when we pray!
Speak the word of God today. According to Isaiah 55:11, it does not return to Him void. It accomplishes what is sent forth to accomplish! And if you’d like more information on this topic, check out this audio teaching I did on “Spiritual Authority” last year.