In Genesis 17, God came to Abraham in a vision and told him that he would become the father of many nations. God promised him that he would give birth to a son and through this son all the nations of the earth would be blessed. While God was talking about a yet to be born Isaac, Abraham was thinking about Ishmael. They were having different conversations.
You see, God could never use Ishmael to effect His purposes because Ishmael was a product of Abraham’s ingenuity to help himself and help God fulfil His promise of giving him a son. So Ishmael was disqualified. He was not a part of God’s plan for Abraham.
But Abraham cried out to God to use Ishmael, to carry out His purposes through Ishmael.
And [he] said to God, Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!
An Ishmael looks successful but it will stagnate you. You cannot grow beyond the level of an Ishmael. Yes it is successful. Yes, you are doing well, but an Ishmael will get to a certain point beyond which it cannot grow. Your success will plateau and will remain at that point for as long as you want to continue to resist the Isaac God wants to bring into your life.
An Ishmael is the enemy of your destiny. An Ishmael may look good but it is a satanic weapon designed by the enemy to limit you, cripple your progress and stop you from rising to the next level in God’s plan. An Ishmael may bring you money, success, fame and popularity but it is a weapon in the hands of the enemy against you.
An Ishmael is a ceiling beyond which you cannot rise, it is a containment beyond which you cannot go. An Ishmael creates a satanic containment around your life that keeps you from expanding, multiplying, increasing. The containment may be financial, geographical or spiritual. As long as you hold on to an Ishmael you cannot break out of the limitations you presently experience. Until you release an Ishmael you will be severely limited. Continue reading
And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before you!
Ishmael was the son of Abraham given birth to by Hagar. It took Abraham many years of waiting before he got this child. He was already ninety nine years old and the chances of having another child were next to impossible. The fact that he could father a child with Hagar was a miracle in itself. As far as Abraham was concerned Ishmael was ‘the one.’ He was done waiting for another child. Anything God wanted to do he could do through Ishmael. But God was telling him that his wife Sarai will conceive and give birth to a child when she was past menopause. This was too much for Abraham to receive.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
God told Abraham that he was going to become great, become a father of many nations. As he listened to God speak all he heard was that through ISHMAEL he would become a father of many nations. His mind was clouded by Ishmael and he could not go beyond him to understand what The Lord was telling him. Ishmael totally dominated his thinking and limited his capacity to connect with the mind of God and comprehend the purpose of God for his life. Continue reading
Shade and Deacon Soleye struggled with the limp body of Uche up the stairs, entered a room and laid her on the floor. Soleye wiped some sweat off his face as he regarded the woman lying on the floor.
‘You did good,’ he said. ‘You followed my instructions to the letter.’
Shade nodded looking at Uche Okpara on the floor.
Soleye looked at his watch. ‘Now we must hurry,’ he said.
He went around the room making incantations, preparing his deity to receive the sacrifice he had brought for her. After a while he stopped and turned to her.
‘Shade, go and wait for me downstairs.’
Shade didn’t move from where she stood.
‘I said you should go downstairs and wait for me in the sitting room.’
Shade regarded her friend lying on the floor. She pointed at the limp figure of the intercessor. ‘What…what do you want to do to her?’ she asked.
Soleye gave her an angry stare. ‘That is none of your business. You are in no position to ask me questions.’
Shade was silent.
‘Do you remember what happened to you two nights ago?’ he asked.
‘If you don’t obey me, your boyfriend will not recognise you when he sees you.’
She covered her mouth in fear. ‘Please don’t hurt me.’ Fear shrouded her face.
Soleye pointed at the door. ‘Go now,’ he ordered.
Shade hurried out of the room.
Soleye regarded Uche’s helpless form on the floor like an abandoned baby left at the doorstep of an orphanage.
‘With all your boasting look at where your faith has brought you,’ he hissed in contempt. ‘Where is your God with whom you boast? Where is he?’ he asked. He stepped towards her and caressed her face, stroked her hair and ran his fingers down her neck. He grinned. ‘In a moment you will become my slave for the rest of your life. Nothing can stop me now,’ he said.
His demonic laughter bellowed through the house.
Shade shivered with fear as she heard the insane laughter of Soleye bounce around the walls of the house. She sat down not knowing what to do. In her mind she had flashes of the prayer Uche had taught her to use against satanic bondage. She recalled a few lines but her lips could not pronounce the words that floated in her mind. She struggled and finally uttered some incoherent words.
What had come over her to help Soleye ensnare Uche with the necklace? Why had she listened to Soleye’s instructions? She felt disoriented and lost. As far as she could tell, Uche Okpara wasn’t the only prisoner in Soleye’s lair. She was also a prisoner. Continue reading