“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid and one by the free woman. 23 But whereas the child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh and had an ordinary birth, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise. 24 Now all this is an allegory; these [two women] represent two covenants. one covenant originated from Mount Sinai [where the Law was given] and bears [children destined] for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is (stands for) Mount Sinai inArabia and she corresponds to and belongs in the same category with the present Jerusalem, for she is in bondage together with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above ( the Messianic kingdom of Christ) is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written in the Scriptures, Rejoice, O barren woman, who has not given birth to children; break forth into a joyful shout, you who are not feeling birth pangs, for the desolate woman has many more children than she who has a husband. 28 But we, brethren, are children [not by physical descent, as was Ishmael, but] like Isaac, born in virtue of promise. 29 Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son, for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. 31 So, brethren, we [who are born again] are not children of a slave woman [the natural], but of the free [the supernatural]. Galatians 4:22-31 AMP
Both Ishmael and Isaac were sons of Abraham, but one was the son of a slave woman, Hagar (representing the flesh), and the other was the son of the free woman, Sarah, (representing the Spirit). Ishmael birth came about because of the will and decision of man, but Isaac’s birth was as a result the will, the plan and the promise of God. Ishmael brought his father trouble, but Isaac brought his father joy. The Lord uses natural things to explain supernatural things to us and so Ishmael and Isaac came to represent two different covenants – the Old and the New. They represent to us the flesh and the Spirit; the natural and the supernatural.
You have to understand that on this earth, you are serving either the Lord or you are serving the devil. There is no such thing as serving yourself, because serving yourself is the same as serving the devil. No, we are not calling you a devil, but we are saying that the Word says that if you are not walking in the light then you are walking in darkness. Until you meet Jesus, the devil is your boss. Yes, you still have a free will – he cannot completely control you unless you give him place in your life – but you have no authority over him either, because you are not authorized to use the Name of Jesus. Also, you have absolutely no way to escape his clutches once you die. You will go straight to hell with no recourse. The only way to change your destiny is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and begin to serve Him.
Before you served Jesus, you were a slave to sin. Now that you are born again, you are no longer a slave to sin, but you are free to serve God with a willing heart. A slave does what he doesn’t want to do for no reward – he doesn’t get paid. A free man chooses which boss he will work for and what job he will do and he gets paid for it. There may be aspects of the job he likes and some he doesn’t, but it is still his choice to work for that boss for that amount of pay! He is free to make choices that affect his life and change the course of his life. However, when you are a slave, your course is set by another. You may think that doing your own thing – whatever feels good to you – is freedom and that serving God sounds like bondage, but it is the other way around. The more you sin, the more you become a slave to sin and the worse you feel, the more bound you become and the more trapped you feel. Sin will work you into a corner and give the devil more and more authority in your life.
A sinner’s life is set on a course to eternal damnation, but a believer’s life is on a course to eternal life. A sinner is bound by the natural realm, but a believer is unrestrained by the natural. Even if a believer’s body dies, they continue to live – in the presence of God. Unless someone, who is free, intervenes and buys the son of the slave woman, he is destined to become a slave himself. The son of the slave woman will never be an heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman, the son of the house. The slave eats from his master’s table and wears the clothes his master gives him, but it is only the master’s son who will inherit his title (his name) and his possessions. The slave will never inherit the things that he works for, but the son will inherit everything he works for. Jesus has already intervened for us and made us to be sons in the kingdom of God. Why should you live your life as slave, with no inheritance when you can be a son in God’s house? Start serving Jesus with all your heart today!