The Test Of Settling

Zechariah Newman —  July 1, 2014 — 14 Comments

God has given me almost all of the dreams of my heart. Yet it seems like some of the dreams may never happen. It reminds me that I am no different than one of my favorite dream chasers from the Bible, Abraham. The great faith that this man had amazes me. He was not perfect, yet he showed time and time again that he would trust God. Unfortunately, I think he is most remembered for one of his mistakes; a time in his life when he and his wife lacked faith to see the full promise of God.

God had promised Abraham that he would be the start of a great nation. That his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. I can only imagine his excitement because Abraham and Sarah had no children. This is something that they both longed for.


photo by: KCNewman Photography

Years went by and God had given them land and great wealth but no children. That is when the major doubt started to come in. So much that Sarah decided it was a good idea to have her children come through her maidservant, Hagar. She presented the idea to Abraham and he agreed. He took Hagar to be his other wife.

Hagar went on to give birth to Ishmael. God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation was still there. He was to make Abraham and Sarah the start. She would have a son named, Isaac. Honestly, all they did by taking the dream of having numerous descendants into their own hands complicated their relationship and their lives.

It is amazing to me what we are all capable of when we want something so bad. When we elevate our dream to an improper height, it can easily distort and change to find a way that seems logical at the time but has major consequences.

On the path to your dream you will face the Ishmael test. It looks different for all of us, however, there will be a point in time that you will be tempted to settle and plan for what you know is second best. For what you are fully aware is not what God intends. You will have a point where your hope is weak. This is when great faith will be required of you.

When Abraham and Sarah had the Hagar idea Abraham was eighty-six. He had lived in the land God promised him for over ten years. This is the time where you will be tempted to settle. When the window of time appears to be closing. When the journey has been long. Don’t stop. Just keep walking out the path that God has laid before you.

What God promises he will fulfill in His timing and in His way. Do not rationalize and justify, but do your part. Keep taking focused steps and trusting God with the rest. Be blessed on your journey.

Have you been tempted to settle for less than God’s best?

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  • A million yes’s to your question! I constantly settle and am then miserable. My misery affects my relationship with my wife and my parents. Finally, my wife and I said enough is enough. No more settling. God planted big dreams inside of me that I can’t ignore. We prayed, and prayed, and prayed some on what to do. God answered with glaringly obvious signs. Friday was my last day working for someone else. I am now pursuing my writing full-time. It was a difficult decision to leave a six figure job behind and a comfortable lifestyle. But steak dinners don’t buy happiness.

    We know the road won’t be easy, but with faith, it will be exciting! Like James chapter 1 discusses, we must be steadfast. Great post!

  • For 12 years I settled but always wanted more. I learned this lesson the hard way Zech!

    • I hear you Kimanzi. Its easy to do, change is scary…but you know it’s worth it;)

  • The greatest detractor from achieving God’s dream for you is complacency, I think Zech. Also, the dreams that we want to pursue may not be aligned with God’s idea of His dream in our lives as well. Here’s my latest post that talks about this. Hope you find it helpful!

    • I actually struggle with the opposite of complacency. Thanks for reading Paul.

  • Thats an understatement Zechariah. I have settled for so long its ridiculous, and the reason was because I cared too much about what others thought about me. I saw that settling gets you nowhere, so I decided to move.

    • Totally with you. I shared non of my writing because I was fearful of man. Silly now but I was shaking like a leaf.

  • Hi Zechariah, I am not receiving your email updates even though I subscribed. My e-mail is, can you please check for me what’s going on? Thanks man.

    It’s true we should not settle. But before making a journey we should always ensure that God is the one initiating it. Not our own flesh stirred by what it saw into someone else life. Or we might run the risk of ‘travelling’ without God’s support and turn our journey into an heart break. He only supports what He initiates.

    • Hey Maurice it says you are subscribed. Gmail has three tabs primary, social, and promotional. My guess is yours are going to promotional. Simply hover over en email from me and right click to tell gmail you want it in your primary. Let me know if that helps:)

    • So true we must submit our will to Gods. If He is the author we do not settle:) Great wisdom Maurice!

  • Fantastic post Zech! I think one way to avoid settling is to always be growing as a person/leader and to be intentional about getting outside our comfort zone. I know my personal growth causes me to keep moving forward and not to settle on what I currently have.

    • great Dan! So true, growth is a sign of life! Love that you brought up being outside your comfort zone, because that is so key to growth. Keep leading and serving Dan!