Release your Ishmael


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Cast out this bondwoman and her son.

Genesis 21:10

God promised Abraham that he would have a vast number of descendants like the stars in the sky or the sand by the seashore. Yet, Abraham and Sarah were getting older and older without a child. They decided to help God out by having Abraham sleep with their maid, Hagar. She became pregnant and had a son name Ishmael.

Later, in God’s perfect timing, Sarah miraculously gave birth to the promised son, Isaac. During the celebration of Isaac’s weaning, Ishmael mocked him. Sarah saw it and demanded that both Hagar and Ishmael leave their home. Abraham didn’t want them to leave; however, God promised to take care of Ishmael. It had to be a difficult decision for Abraham to follow through with sending his firstborn son to the wilderness. Yet it had to be done.

As believers, we also may have people in our lives that we need to let go. These are those who God didn’t ordain to be a part of our lives. Perhaps we did like Abraham and Sarah by comprising our faith in order to get what we wanted. This person or people in our lives don’t help us grow in the faith. In fact, usually they are pulling us away from God more than we are pulling them towards Him.

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After a time, God will quicken in our hearts that we need to let them go out of our lives. Just like Abraham, we may struggle with this decision especially if we allowed ourselves to be emotionally bonded to them. Yet, if we allow them to stay in our lives, we will find more complexities and pain that we never thought possible.

However, if we take the courageous choice of releasing our Ishmael, we will find renewed peace, joy, and contentment with our lives. We will find true freedom in discovering our destiny in God’s perfect plan. The promises of God will be fulfilled in our lives and we will never look back. For all we know, letting go of them, may be best for them as well in God’s plan.


Dear Lord, I want to let go of anyone who’s keeping me from following after You with all of my heart. I pray for the strength and courage to let go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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