God-sized dreams are so big that we can’t accomplish them on our own. So if we can’t achieve it by ourselves, why in the world would any of us be so presumptuous to think that God needs our help to bring it to pass? Most of us want to work with God, but only in an advisory capacity. God’s not looking for advisors, but for people who will exercise faith when reality says it’s impossible. The major problem with faith is you have to trust God and God alone, or it’s really not faith.
Abram and Sarai were not getting any younger. They were both preoccupied with 1/3 of God’s promise—the part about descendants. To have descendants like the sand of the seashore or the stars of the sky, you must first have a son. That one small detail consumed them both. They had been in Canaan for ten years and their biological clocks were slowing running down—the echoes of the tick tocks fading like the setting sun as it quickly drops below the horizon of the western sky. And…desperation makes intelligent people do stupid things.
It must have seemed plausible to them that God might need their help to bring the dream to fruition. The details of how God said the dream would be fulfilled sort of lost its meaning as menopause came and went, and the motherhood clock screeched to a silent halt. That event made it humanly impossible for Sarai to conceive or carry a child, much less give birth. Their assessment of the situation as impossible convinced them that God needed their help. Like most of us, they had forgotten that nothing (no thing) is impossible with God. God loves the realm of the impossible because he alone is at home there.
Sarai may not have been physically able to conceive a child, but she let her imagination run wild and conceived a plan on how to get a baby. The idea seemed simple and the laws of their culture certainly allowed it. Sarai would give her maid Hagar to Abram. Abram would then take Hagar into his tent, sleep with her, and she would get pregnant. When it came time for the baby to be born, Hagar would give birth on Sarai’s lap and the baby would be hers because Hagar was her slave. She put the plan in motion, but her heart got in the way and envy and jealousy consumed her. The couple refused to wait on God’s timing, took a shortcut and their plan backfired.
That brings us to the third principle of God-sizing our dreams: God-sized dreams take time to fulfill and fleshly shortcuts are hazardous to your health. The result was Ishmael—the son who would go on to become the father of the Arab nations. Abram and Sarai’s fleshly shortcut to God divine promise resulted in an enmity of hatred and warfare that has lasted for almost five thousand years. Today Israel is surrounded by the progeny of Ishmael, whose chief desire is to totally destroy them. And this is all because one man and one woman chose their own way rather than follow God’s plan.
Let me put this as plain as I can: God does not need your help. Taking a shortcut on a God-sized dream always results in a disaster—most of them with long lasting consequences that adversely affect countless generations. Take a long hard look at Abram’s shortcut and its consequences. Be patient and wait on God. What he will give you is far better than anything you can get on your own.