Jul. 17, 2016

I Had An Isaac: Thursday, July 14, 2016

Second work team arrives today! Mark and Serena went to pick them up at the airport while Len, Betsy, and I stayed at the house.

 

 

 

During my prayer and devotion time this morning I read Genesis 22. It’s about Abraham and Isaac. Or better put, Abraham and God. When reading the chapter it’s easy to see how God asked Abraham to give up his only son. But it was much more than that.

In the very first verse God tells Abraham what to do. He tells him to take his only beloved son and to sacrifice him to God. His only son. The son that Abraham had prayed for and asked God for. I can’t imagine what was going through Abraham’s mind at this point. I mean he could have been afraid, been angry, I don’t know. But I do know that whatever was going on in Abraham’s mind didn’t matter, because his heart was trusting and faithful to his Father.

In the very next verse it says that Abraham obeyed his Father. Not three months later, but immediately. Abraham’s faith was so strong that he was going to obey his Father no matter what. I don’t even know what Abraham went through as his Father, who had given him Isaac, was now taking him away. But still yet, Abraham had the faith that God would always provide and would take care of his faithful servants.

But as Abraham was about to slay Isaac, after he had already laid him down on the altar for God, Abraham was stopped. You see all along it wasn’t Isaac that God wanted. It was Abraham. And when Abraham laid down Isaac for God, his Father sure was proud. Abraham had made a choice. His choice was between him and Isaac, or him and God. And Abraham chose God.

I had an Isaac too. My Isaac wasn’t a son that I had asked God for, but a relationship. I had prayed for a relationship where Christ was the center. But that’s not what it turned out to be. Instead I put that relationship and my own selfish desires above God. I wasn’t choosing God. And I know that my Father’s heart was broken by it. So God told me to lay my Isaac down. My Father was telling me, “Choose me.” But I was stubborn and selfish. I wanted both. So I ignored God’s instructions for three months. I didn’t have the immediate obedience like Abraham. And let me tell you those three months were hard. I was miserable because I was blatantly disobeying God.

Unlike Abraham, it took a lot for me to obey God on this one. But eventually I did. I ended the relationship. I laid my Isaac down. I chose God. It wasn’t easy. In fact it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, if not the most difficult. And my heart was breaking, but God was right there to hold me together. My Father was proud because I had chosen Him. I surrendered myself more fully to God that day and was overwhelmed with God’s peace.

God never promised that anything would be easy. But after Abraham had chosen to put God first, God promised to bless him abundantly. And He did. God rewarded the faithfulness of His child.

I was so resistant to lay my Isaac down because I thought it was the best I could have. And up to that point it was. But I was holding on to the wrong things all along. I should have been holding on to my Father because He always has the absolute best for me.

Just like Abraham, when I laid my Isaac down God began to bless me more abundantly than ever before. Once I chose God, He really allowed the blessings to flow. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t chosen God and put my Isaac on the altar. As a result of that decision:

  1. I have become closer to God than ever before. Our relationship is strong because He is first in my heart.
  2. My individual relationship with my family members have become closer and stronger.
  3. I found strength and support in my friends that I never knew was there before.
  4. God blessed me with an entire church (Tick Ridge Free will Baptist) of love, support, family, fellowship, and so much more. The friends that God gave me in that church have been essential in my growth as a child of God. They have given me a support system like no other. Most importantly they accepted me with outstretched arms and immediately shared the love of Christ with me, without hesitation.
  5. I now have a relationship where God is actually the center. I have learned what it’s like to grow closer to someone because you are both seeking God, and He is your first priority.

This list could go on and on because God has done a tremendous work in my heart since I chose Him. But these are just a few of the ways that God has blessed me. He is faithful to His children. And I know that it won’t always be easy, because it hasn’t so far. But a life lived in service to God, choosing Him daily, keeping Him as my number one priority, fully surrendering to His will, is the only life worth living. So I am His.