The devil tempts us to do evil, to cause us to stumble. God tests us to do good, to cause us to stand, to make our faith strong and pure, so that you understand whether or not you have the real thing. (See 1 Peter 1:6-7.)
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said.…‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you’” (Genesis 22:1-2).
Can you imagine what Abraham felt? But Abraham built an altar. He bound Isaac and picked up the knife, to kill him.
“But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham… Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me’” (Genesis 22:11-12).
Are you able to give your blessings back to God? See if your faith can pass the test.
- Can you trust God with the possessions He has given you?
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17). Why the test? Could it have been that Abraham was coming to love Isaac more than God?
God does not want “a place.” God deserves and demands preeminence in your life. (See Isaiah 42:8, Malachi 2:2.) It was not wrong for Abraham to love Isaac. God wanted to know, “Abraham, do you love Me more than you love Isaac?”
Do you have any love that is greater than your love for Jesus Christ? If so, God’s message to you is, “Put it on the altar and sacrifice it.”
- Can you trust God with His purpose for you?
Faith is obeying God in spite of the consequences. Obedience is the proof of our faith.
- Obedience must be informed. Be in tune with God. God has not promised to bless any endeavor which He has not commanded.
- Obedience must be intentional. You might say, “Well, I’m not informed.” Are you listening? Obedience is actively seeking the will of God for your life. Ignorance of God’s will is not an excuse if you do not have intentional obedience.
- Obedience must be immediate. Genesis 22:3 says, “So Abraham rose early in the morning…” That is, he began without hesitation to do what God told him to do. Procrastination is disobedience.
- Obedience must be impassioned. Not reluctant. Not pouting. Not dragging. Serve Christ with a burning, blazing, emotional love. Obey Him—not moderately, and not carelessly.
- Can you trust Him with the promises He has made?
God’s promise to Abraham said, “By Isaac, you will be blessed.” (See Genesis 21:12, Hebrews 11:18).
How did Abraham obey, then? By “concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham had already learned that God is the God of the impossible. He did not know how God would do it, he simply knew that God would. And God did.
The heart of this message is: if you love it, let it go. If it is yours, you will get it back. If not, you will be saved from a fate worse than death, holding onto something that impairs your spiritual life. (See Mark 8:35.)