Our church just finished a season of prayer on breakthrough, asking that God’s kingdom would break through into our lives in real and powerful ways. I was privileged to be a part of putting some of the devotions together and have used some of them in expanded form for the blog. I pray that they will be a blessing to you and your life with God.
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. – Genesis 22:6-8
I have to ask myself from time to time, “What are you afraid to let go of?” It can be a scary question, the possibility of giving up something you really value or love, but that fear has to be overcome or it is a prison. God can only take us as far as we are willing to go. The world becomes a bigger, better place when we learn to not only trust God for our daily bread, but understand that our daily bread is enough.
When we face those moments of decision that test our trust and faith in God, we need to remember the life of Abraham. He became a symbol of faithfulness to all generations through his obedience. He experienced innumerable blessings from his heavenly Father through unswerving trust in His providence. And in one of the greatest tests of his life, Abraham weighed all that he knew about God against the request to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, and he chose to have faith in what he knew about God.
The problem with our fallen nature is that we get things backwards more often than not. Instead of our need for what God provides defining our actions and faith, we allow our wants for just about anything else to define our actions and our faith in God. If we don’t get what we want, we wonder if God really loves us or if prayer really works. If we want a better life, whether that is through more money or a better relationship, we pray for what we think will make us happy. But we need to trust that God loves us and wants what is best for us; we need to believe that true happiness can only be found in God and follow where He leads.
Granted, none of this is easy. When we trust in God, we are overcoming our culture, our brokenness and our world. The level that we need something determines the level of influence it has on our lives, so the life of Christ is a rejection of worldly needs and an acceptance of what God wants for us. In Abraham’s case, he needed to be right with God and therefore believed that God would provide all that was necessary to fulfill His promises.
I want to be like Abraham. I want to need God more than I want anything else. I want my faith to be defined by God’s provision and not my situation or circumstances. I want to trust Him enough to head up the mountain with nothing more or less than He has asked, knowing He will provide all that is necessary. And so I pray, Lord, help me be like Abraham, a man of great faith. Amen.