Genesis 22:15-19 NKJV
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
I read the verses preceding today’s text as it showed how Abraham obeyed God even when the instruction was absurd. I want to imagine the
agony he must have gone through to obey the instruction. He did not tell his wife Sarah; neither did Isaac know what he was up to. I wonder what they would have done if they knew. He carried the burden of that instruction all by himself for all the time it took to get to Mount Moriah.
Then I asked the Lord, ‘Why did you put him through that test. Why give him the son and then turn around to ask for his life?’ He told me, ‘I wanted to test his heart’. ‘How does that work Lord, how do you test people’s hearts?’ ‘I deprive them of something close to their hearts; I make a demand of something precious to them’. ‘If their hearts are committed to Me, they will let go of whatever it is, no matter how precious, even if they don’t understand what I am doing’.
What is even more amazing is how God responds to Abraham’s act of faith. In modern parlance, He was ‘tripped’. The Message Bible says, ‘I will bless you, oh how I’ll bless you’. Is there a stronger way to express how pleased He was? He promised him descendants uncountable and that the mankind would be blessed because of his act of obedience. What more could Abraham have asked for? He got his sin back and so much more.
God is still the same, even if sometimes it does not look like it. He is excited when we respond to Him in faith. He is delighted when we go through times of testing and still hold Him dear in our hearts. He is thrilled when we can still praise Him despite our circumstances or challenges.
Someone reading this could say, ‘It’s easier said than done’. I totally agree. I am an encourager and exhorter, so I am always asking people
to rise above their circumstances. I have the words at the tip of my fingers. That is what I do. But life hit me with one of those things that can happen and suddenly I had to encourage myself with the same words I spoke to other people. I had to tell myself, ‘I believe what I teach. I live by what I teach. I have to live by what I say to others’. It was not easy but my heart is after God. I truly want what He wants, even when they are not the best of scenarios. I would rather have Jesus and His approval than anything else. I know He finds pleasure in my heart, because He constantly tells me so. Every time I obey Him, He is elated. I feel the joy of His Spirit rise up in my heart. It is an amazing experience.
Are you in the middle of such a test? It is all about the condition of your heart. Is He the Lord indeed of your heart? Are there things that take front burner while God is put away at the back? Would you be willing to let go of that thing which is precious to you for God? Your answers to these questions matter to God. He will be impressed if He has the rightful place in your heart. Your respond is what He is looking at. At the end of the test, He will put you back on track, just like He gave Isaac back to Abraham. But the future will be blessed just because you obeyed. Give Him your heart completely withoutreservations and see His plans unfold in your life. He is indeed impressed by your faith. Ck