Very often we find it too difficult to understand why God permits certain things in our lives. And when the things that God expects us to do are beyond our common sense, we begin to question Him. We struggle with obeying God especially when what He tells us to do, is not in line with what we are planning for ourselves. We also try to convince ourselves that we know what is better for us and our life. But we fail to realize that when God tells us to do something He has His own divine purpose in our lives as well as our own good. The thought for our reflection this morning is, “Our God Gives Us Opportunities to Demonstrate Our Wholehearted Commitment To Him”
“Then God said, Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac”
Any normal human being would find it difficult to digest and understand the above command of God to a father to sacrifice his own son as a burnt offering. Though it would have been confusing to Abraham too, it is surprising to see him believing that God always knew what he was doing. Theoretical knowledge about “obedience” and “faith” are inferior to practical obedience and faith that have been testedthrough the experiences of life. This particular command is definitely another test of Abraham’s obedience and faith in His God. Abraham demonstrated his wholehearted commitment to God in two ways:
1. By being obedient to God
The phrase, “Early the next morning” clearly reveals that Abraham’s obedience was implicit. Further, Abraham’s three day journey to the mountain would have given him enough time to consider all the consequences of what God had asked him to do. But, as one who had gradually learnt to obey God, Abraham did not find it difficult to obey God again by going to sacrifice his son Isaac. Are there commandments of God that we have disobeyed or deliberately delayed in obeying?
2. By being ready to renounce his personal rights
The test in Genesis 22, demanded Abraham to renounce any personal right over his only son. Isaac who was a God given gift to Abraham, in reality belonged to God. Thus when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as an offering, Abraham realized that the divine will of God concerning Isaac should be given priority over his own right over his son. Thus, accepting that his own future and that of his son Isaac, were in the safe hands of God, Abraham was willing to renounce his own right over his son and sacrifice him. Do we give the divine will of God priority over our own rights and desires in our lives?
Abraham’s implicit obedience and his renouncement of his own right over his son, speaks volumes of his wholehearted commitment to God. Missionary to Africa Andrew Murray said,
“Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives".
Shall we surrender our lives totally to God to obey Him at any cost? Shall we determine to give God’s will priority over our own rights?