“Because you have done this thing…I will bless you.”
Ge 22:16-17 NKJV
WELCOME THE TEST
The Bible says: “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.’ So Abraham went to the place of which God had told him” (vv. 1-3 NKJV). You say, “Why would God test me?” First, to prove Himself faithful to you. Second, to give you an opportunity to prove yourself faithful to Him. Your tests are God’s proving grounds. They’re the way you graduate to the next level in His kingdom. That day Abraham proved there was nothing he loved more than God. And that was the day when God introduced Himself to Abraham as “Jehovah Jireh,” the Lord who provides. It’s when you exercise your faith that you discover God’s faithfulness. That’s why God will test your faith. The tests get progressively harder as the stakes get higher. And the tests will undoubtedly revolve around what’s most important to you. What do you find your identity in? What do you find your security in? That’s your “Isaac.” God will test you to make sure your identity and your security are found in Him alone. Indeed, He will go after anything you trust in more than you trust Him until you put it on the altar. Don’t worry; you don’t have to live in fear that God is going to take away what is most important to you. But if the gift ever becomes more important to you than the Giver, then the very thing God gave you to serve His purposes is undermining His plan for your life. And that’s why God will deal with it. Abraham considered Isaac to be a special gift from God. But God-given gifts are wonderful things—and dangerous things. Why do we say that? Because as you cultivate the gifts God has given you, you can begin to rely on them more than you rely on God. And at that point your greatest strength becomes your greatest weakness. It was God who gave Lucifer a beautiful form and a beautiful voice. Those gifts were originally used to glorify God. Then Lucifer started looking in the mirror, started reflecting on his own beauty. He glorified the gift he had been given instead of glorifying God. The lesson in Lucifer’s fall is this: Whatever you don’t turn into praise turns into pride. And that’s a problem, because “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6 NKJV). Instead of deflecting praise to God, Lucifer let it feed his ego. It was his sinful desire to be lifted up that led to Lucifer’s downfall. What are your greatest God-given gifts? What are your most significant God-ordained opportunities? What God-sized dreams has the Holy Spirit conceived in your spirit? That’s your “Isaac.” And you should love your Isaac and celebrate him, but he must never be permitted to take the place of God in your life. Sometimes God-ordained dreams aren’t just born, they have to be reborn. If they become more important to you than God, you have to sacrifice them for the sake of your soul. You have to put them on the altar and raise the knife. Sometimes your dream must die before it can be resurrected for God’s glory. God said to Abraham, “Because you have not withheld your only son, I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven” (vv. 16-17 NKJV). Isaac was the lifelong dream of a barren woman named Sarah and an impotent man named Abraham. But the more God blesses you, the harder it is to keep that blessing from becoming an idol in your life. Money may be the best example. The more money you make, the harder it is to trust Almighty God and the easier it is to trust the almighty dollar. Isn’t it ironic that “In God we trust” is printed on the dollar—the thing we often find most difficult to trust God with? If you’re financially blessed, it is a gift from God (See Dt 8:18). But God doesn’t financially bless us so that we can use it selfishly. He blesses us more, so that we can be more of a blessing to others (See Ge 12:2). The truth is, what you’re willing to walk away from determines what God is willing to entrust to you. He wants you to come to the place where you find your identity in Whose you are, rather than in who you are. You can base your identify on a thousand things—the degrees you’ve earned, the positions you hold, the salary you make, etc. But if you base your identity on anything temporal, your identity is a house of cards. There’s only one solid foundation: Jesus Christ. So, what’s getting between you and God? What feeds your ego? Where do you find your security outside of Christ? That’s what you need to put on the altar today.
Devotional//Word For You Today// Have a blessed day 🙂