Sacraficing Your Isaac
There are a lot of things I love. I love the Lord. I love my family. I love the opportunity to write and speak. I love being healthy. I love my country.
It’s easy to give lip-service to loving God most and putting Him first; the difficult part is putting feet to those words. Every trial tests my devotion to Him, and puts me in a position to exercise my faith (click to tweet). James MacDonald, author of Lord, Change My Attitude defines faith as follows
Faith is believing the Word of God and acting on it no matter how I feel because God has promised a good result. – James MacDonald
Several years ago, a minor accident left me with major problems. Although I thought a back injury was my biggest concern, anxiety and depression left me wishing the physical damage was my only issue. Lack of sleep only magnified my troubles.
Every day I had to make a decision to function by feelings or faith. Feelings won many of the early battles. I was selfish. I wanted things to return to ‘normal,’ without having to do the hard work necessary to get a hold of my thoughts. I wanted God’s instant healing. I wasn’t seeking His will; my health was center stage.
Lessons to learn
Irrational fears flooded my mind and I was caught up in negative thinking. Over the course of nine months, I was able to overcome the lies I believed with the truth of God’s Word. A combination of Christ-centered counseling, a good support system, and medication helped me beat the anxious thoughts and depression.
It was a long journey filled with lessons. I learned loving the Lord meant submitting to His plan for me even when my health was less than perfect. The relationship I had with Him was most important.
The Bible gives us glimpses of men and women of faith who were severely tried. Remember Abraham? Imagine being in his shoes when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Take a look at God’s request:
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Genesis 22:2
Wow! Clearly God knew that Abraham loved Isaac. The question was whether Abraham loved God more than Isaac.
We see Abraham’s response:
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Genesis 22:3
Immediate obedience. Abraham didn’t try to bargain with God to get his own way. He simply followed through with God’s request. I’m sure a thousand questions went through his mind, but he trusted that God had a plan.
The same God who had given Abraham a son in his old age, could also raise his son from the dead if need be. With everything in place for the sacrifice, Abraham lifted the knife above his head to kill Isaac.
Abraham’s faith was rewarded. The angel of the Lord called to him, telling him not to harm Isaac. The reason for the trial was revealed:
…for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:12b
Abraham passed the test. He was willing to sacrifice what he loved because he loved God more.
What do you love? Are you willing to release your grip on the things that are important to you? What step will you take to keep God first in your life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for blessing me with family, friends, health, food, a home, etc. Please forgive me when I put anything ahead of my relationship with You. Thank You for the trials You allow in my life. I know they’re designed to strengthen my faith in You. Help me put You first. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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