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Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. Genesis 16:3

Read: Genesis 16:1-3

Listen: Genesis 16


Abram and Sarai are still waiting for a child. It’s been ten years, and they’re still waiting for God to fulfill his promises. But Sarai remains childless. Impatient, they decide to take a shortcut. Their plan may sound insane to us, but it was common, legal and culturally acceptable in the ancient Near East. Even though God makes it very clear he would deliver on his promises, Abram and Sarai decide they’ve waited long enough.

But this isn’t what God wanted for them. He didn’t want them to do anything except trust.

We need to beware of “trust shortcuts” that are often a choice against trusting God. These “shortcuts” might include accumulating credit card debt when we want things we can’t afford. Or “padding” our resume to move us to the top of the applicant list. Or entering a romantic relationship, including moving in together, because we think God wants us happy and fulfilled.

The challenge with “trust shortcuts” is that most people don’t have a problem with them. They’re common, culturally acceptable and often legal. There can be significant pressure to give in. But these shortcuts derail our trust in God and usually lead to disastrous consequences.


Determine where you are most tempted to take (or have taken) a “trust shortcut.” Confess this sin and lack of trust to God with a prayer like this one, “Father, I am sorry I’ve taken this shortcut. I confess my lack of trust and my desire for something you’ve said (at least for now) is ‘no.’ I need your help to keep trusting, especially with great pressure to do it myself.”

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.