My Mess, His Message

OK God, You Win

Delayed obedience is disobedience.

Have you ever been told to do something that you just don’t want to do?  Or figured that if you didn’t do it, someone else would?  After all, someone usually does…  Well, not in this case.

As I sat on my couch one lazy night watching TV (i.e. doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING), I was feeling really frustrated and disgusted with myself.  I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way and then it hit me:

Journal Entry from 10/24/13:

Have you ever had a restless night?  Because you didn’t do what God told you to do?  Hmm… I have.

This has been a work in progress for the past couple of years and God made it pretty clear to me a little over a year ago that He had a purpose for my life – a mission, if you will.  “OK, cool,” I thought.  Little did I know that was the beginning of a very intense and wonderful journey that has brought me here to this blog.

One weekend as I was preparing to teach our church youth about Abraham’s response to God’s command to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God hit me with the proverbial 2×4 (pun intended!).

We all know the story (Genesis 21 & 22):  God promised Abraham a son who would be made into a great nation – he would have descendants as numerous as the stars.  The problem was that his wife (Sarai) was barren, not to mention getting up there in years (she had turned 29 like 60 times!!).  So after Abraham and Sarai take matters into their own hands and Abraham has a son (Ishmael) with Sarah’s maidservant (Hagar), God is faithful and delivers on His promise.  Abraham and Sarah have a son (Isaac) at 100 (Abe) and 91 (Sarah) years old.  Hallelujah!  But wait!  Now God tests Abraham and tells him to take his only son, Isaac (Ishmael had left the family with his mother years earlier), up to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him.  What!?  So Abraham gets up early the next morning and takes Isaac on a journey up to the Mount, builds an altar, binds his son and just as he is about to bring down the knife, an angel of the Lord appears and stops him.  A ram is provided to take Isaac’s place; they worship, sacrifice and then head home.  Whoa!

Abraham responded to God’s call with sacrificial obedience.  He did not hesitate.  He did not negotiate.  He did not refuse.  He got up EARLY the next morning and took his only son to sacrifice him to the Lord.  Abraham showed his faith through his sacrificial spirit.  After all, how would he be made a great nation if his only son was dead?  He did not stop to ponder this or question God because he believed that God would continue to be faithful and keep his promise to Abraham.  Not only did God keep his promise, but He added to the blessing he would give to Abraham by blessing all of the nations of the earth through Abraham’s descendants (i.e. Jesus, Savior to the world).

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.  And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”  Genesis 22:15-18 (ESV)

I have wrestled with God on the idea of writing a blog for many reasons:

  • I am not a writer!
  • What do I have to say that is worth reading?
  • Who would read it?
  • There are so many blogs already out there!

What I’ve learned:

  • This is not about me
  • God will use it as He wishes – He owns the content
  • Even if one person gets something out of it, it is worth it
  • Sacrificial obedience

Refining Time:

  • How do you respond when God calls you to do something?  Why?  What is your heart condition?
  • What was the last thing God asked you to do?  How did you respond?
  • What are some reasons that you withhold yourself from God?  What is the outcome when you do withhold?
  • How do you know God is testing you?  Do you need to know?
  • Has God ever showed up and delivered on a promise to you?
  • How do you recognize God’s voice?
  • How different would our world be if everyone answered God with sacrificial obedience?
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