People Who Say Such Things: Walk in Unwavering Faith

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February 8, 2020

Genesis 22:1-5 (NIV)

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.”

CONSIDER THIS

Unwavering.

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.”

Unwavering. 

That’s the word. With these words of Abraham God reveals to us a rarified quality of unwavering faith that is nothing short of breathtaking. 

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.”

Did God really just tell Abraham to sacrifice his son? Where is Abraham’s incredulity now? Where did Abraham’s audacious attitude go? Why isn’t he questioning and pushing back. Instead, He unflinchingly obeys. Of all times for a time-out, this would be it. 

Everything is set. Wood is chopped. Fire in hand. Knife at the ready. Then we get this:

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.”

Abraham knew. It was as though God quietly messaged Abraham somewhere along the way on this three day walk, “I need you to know that I know. I know that you know Isaac was never in the slightest danger. This was never about Isaac. It was never about me. It was about you, Abraham. These loyalties are not conflicting unless they are competing. Abraham, your loyalty to and love for Isaac, the gift, is grounded in and flows from your loyalty to and love for me, but it can never be the other way around. The minute the gift gets separated from the giver is the moment you become the god, and from there it’s only a matter of time until everything goes off the rails.”

Abraham’s lineage, his security, and his legacy was not in his son but in his God. God knew this, but Abraham needed to know it. Would Abraham trust God in a way that could cost him everything? Would he place the gift back in the hands of the giver—and in so doing would he offer himself? Sometimes it takes the prospect of a burnt offering to get to the place of a living sacrifice. 

The writer of Hebrews put it this way. “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” Hebrews 11:19. 

Here’s an example. God blesses a person with wealth. They know it has come from God, and they share it freely and generously. There is a fluid flow of blessing, of giving and receiving, of generosity and gratitude. Over time, though, little by little they start to hold back, to play it safe—you know—conserve. As wealth grows larger faith has a way of shrinking smaller. Loyalty to God slowly slips as love of money seductively surges. Somewhere along the way the focus slowly and almost imperceptibly shifts from devotion to God to dealing with the money. We want to think trust will grow and giving will become easier as blessing increases. It does not. It gets harder—because we think we have more to lose—which is why we must grow deeper in love with God. Our heart level bond with God must become gut level. 

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.”

This is the cross—where our loyalties become level-set, our loves become prioritized and our lives become most truly alive. When we lay our lives down as an offering we can receive them back from the dead as a living sacrifice. This is the place where our worship ceases to be something we do and rises up in to who we are becoming. We become transcendent beacons of Gods glory— and our stories in time become ensconced in eternity. 

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.”

People who say such things become so confident in the love of God they grow to be unflinching in their faith. Their faith is no longer anchored in their commitment or even in their beliefs. It has become anchored in God himself, and through people like these he delights to surprise the world with the New Wine of his Kingdom. 

THE PRAYER

Father, I want to have unwavering faith and yet if that is my focus I will miss the mark. In order to have unwavering faith, I must have you. I must know you more. Bring me to understand your unwavering love, affection and loyalty to me. By your Spirit, increase the bond between us. I pray in Jesus name, Amen. 

THE QUESTION

Where in your life have the gifts of God gotten separated from God the giver and created competing loyalties? Could it be your career? Your family? Your wealth?  

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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