Have you ever been in a situation or season in life where you are completely unsure about what God is doing? Where you look at the circumstances and cannot make any sense out of them? I was reading about Abraham and Issac in the Old Testament and it really brought so much light into my life and where I am in my walk with Christ. So, I hope today the Holy Spirit brings you clarity in the midst of our confusing and complicated world.
To give a little background before reading this passage, I wanted to explain truly how incredible this really is. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, had been trying to have children for years, decades. During this time, people lived to be very old (Abraham lived to be 175 in total) and he was 100 years old, yet still had no children. Him and his wife began to feel hopeless, because they still had no children after becoming so old, but God promised Abraham that He would bless them with a son. After a short while of waiting, Abraham and Sarah did indeed received what God had promised, their only son Issac. Now, keeping that in mind, let’s to dive into Genesis 22: the story of when Abraham was tested.
Genesis 22: 1-18 ~ “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.2 Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.’ 6 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.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. 12 ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’ 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.’”
I know that was a lengthy passage, but there is so much incredible knowledge to be found in it. Maybe this is just me, but I seem to be in a “transition season” right now. I seem to be through the season of heartache, and God helped me conquer the mountain that was before me. God has brought me out of bondage, He has removed things and people and situations from my life and I can see Him transforming me from the inside out. But I am sitting here still confused with where I am to go next. I know He has changed things in my life for a reason, but I cannot quite see what it is He is doing. I believe that is why this story resonates with me on such a deep level. Seeing Abraham’s complete and unwavering trust in the Lord is something that I desperately crave and desire to have with my Lord and Savior.
Abraham, no doubt, was so completely confused, even heartbroken that God would ask him to give up his only son, the one that God promised he would have. I am sure that it hurt him to look at his son and think that God would want him to sacrifice the miracle God gave him years before. But rather than allowing his fear and confusion to keep him from acting, he trusted that God knew what He was doing, and that nothing in this world could compare to the glory that awaits those who love God and are obedient to Him. I think it is the same thing with Issac. Now the bible doesn’t record much about Issac in this passage, but I could imagine him being very confused when he looked around and didn’t see any sacrifice. Issac willingly laid down on that alter, ready to give his life to the Lord, but imagine the immense confusion that surrounded these two men. Despite the confusing and pain, they both remained obedient and faithful to the Lord command.
We ought to crave and seek a trust in the Lord that is like Abraham’s. We must be willing to give it all, lay it all down at His feet in order to obey and glorify Him. What about you? Are you willing to give up everything in your life for the Lord? If God asked you to surrender, your house, your job, your relationships, your dreams, your desires; would you? These questions have been running through my thoughts all week and it made me realize that I can’t say that my trust in the Lord is anywhere near as strong as it should be. There are still some things in my life that I still want to hold onto. It can be very hard, feeling near impossible to submit everything completely to Him, but please know you are not alone in feeling that way.
Philippians 3:8 says “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” I believe when we come to the realization that this verse is 100% true, it will make things so much easier to submit. Those things we cling to so desperately truly have no value comparing to what Christ has in store for those who love Him. Believe me, I am currently struggling with this and will probably continue to struggle with this. I don’t want to sound like I understand this completely, because in reality, I don’t totally understand how to give it all up to Him. But something I have learned through my walk with Christ is that anything is possible through Him.
God knows our hearts, and I think that is one of the most intimate and beautiful things about the story mentioned about Abraham and Issac. God called Abraham to sacrifice his son, and when both Abraham and Issac were obediently serving the Lord, He saw that they feared and loved God. (Do you see the fingerprint of Jesus here?? Abraham sacrificing his only son. Issac completely trusting his father as he was willingly being sacrificed.) Something that I have realized is that, just like Abraham and Sarah waited for Issac, we are often called to wait on the blessings that God has in store for us. It could be a short wait, it could be years and years of waiting, but when God has a plan for you, He will endure and you will receive what He has promised. Please also know that sometimes God will remove things at times that we think are good for us, so that way it will allow for glorious joy to come from it. “‘In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the Lord. ‘If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,’ says your God.” Isaiah 66:9.
So when He calls us to surrender our plans, or our job, or the country we live in or a relationship we truly want, what we should be doing is praying and then surrendering. There is nothing wrong with telling God how you feel. If you are confused, if you are hurt or upset, disappointed maybe, it is okay to feel those things. But we cannot dwell in them to the point of allowing distrust and doubt to settle in. Pray and seek Gods guidance, knowing that He is faithful to those who humble themselves before Him. Trust me, you are not alone in feeling lost or confused about what God is doing in your life. Please know that I am praying for you; praying that God will reveal His will in our lives and allow for a complete transformation to take place in our lives for the glory of God. Stay strong, my brothers and sisters! I pray this was encouraging for you. God bless!