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God Tests Abraham's Faith

(Genesis 22:1-14)

Lesson 7 -- third quarter 1999
July 18, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications


And I said, "Behold, here I am."

Sounds like pretty terrific stuff, doesn't it! But what if we consider the implications of such an exchange? When I respond to God with the presentation of myself, I am putting myself fully at His disposal. Fully! Nothing held back, as Abraham discovered and demonstrated. No further understanding is required, only faith and obedience. In the final analysis, nothing really matters any more but the execution of the expressed will of God.

The problem is, often there are other elements that resist this kind of all-out obedience to the Lord. This need not be a bad sign or a source of discouragement. Rather, it can be a time of reaffirming our commitment to God above all else, even above our commitment to ourselves.

Consider some items that frequently conflict with my acceptance of God's will in my life.

My Plans. After I invest so much time, effort and energy into the development of a plan, I very strongly resist shelving or ditching that plan. My plan may be of the noblest sort, but if God's will bypasses that plan...then so must I. Whether the plan is significant (career, education, travel, for examples) or mundane (a purchase, a diversion or whatever), I must turn away from it if I would follow after God. Can I do that? And do it with a ready heart and a cheerful mind?

My Hopes. Oh, how I have hoped for some things! Perhaps it was a mission assignment or a teaching job or a certain friendship. Maybe I had my eye on a specific church office or special summer activity. Whatever it was, this hope occupied a lot of my thinking, dreaming time. To have that hope dashed seemed too big a hurdle to even be likely. And just as I came to the point of seeing that hope become reality...God called to something else. What a choice!

My Self. In a way, herein lies the crux of the whole matter, right? I suspect that if I were always objective enough, I would see that all my choices involving the will of God boil down to this essence: God or me? "Well, if that's objectivity, I want none of it!" Yes, I understand all too well. We would rather think that is an over-simplification. But let's face this squarely--nothing else in my life is big or bold enough to challenge God except my self! Can I so surrender to God and His will that even self bends before Him? Yes. But will I? Will you?

More points of resistance could be mentioned, but have we faith enough to exclude The Cost? As we consider the cost of doing God's will, let us never, ever, overlook the cost of not doing God's will! And in our considering, God forbid we lose sight of the privilege and the blessing of living life according to His will.

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