January 15, 2020
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” and he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” (Genesis 22:1-2)
It would seem that the propensity of God to test His children is unloving. But, in reality, it is one of the greatest demonstrations of his love for us.
God is not out to always give us the most comfortable life. If He was, we would grow soft, unusable, and inherently self-absorbed. God made us in His image and He is bound by His nature and purpose to return us there—to conform us (back) to the image of His Son.
There is much to be done in this work. He calls us, blesses us, loves us, saves us, comforts us. But He also stretches us to try His glory out. The greatest attribute that must be developed in us is faith. It is the way in which we relate to God and the solitary way to be used to do the impossible.
In ever-increasing ways, God asks of us one thing after another. It often involves the surrender of things we hold most dear; things we depend upon for life; things we feel we cannot live without. Comfort, reputation, relationships, health, possessions—nothing is off limits for any of these things can become gods to us. God knows that these things can become substitutes for Him and the ultimate objects of our faith.
And, He knows the exact timing of these tests of faith. He understands precisely what we can bear and will never test us beyond our ability.
We resist these tests as intrusions when we should welcome them as friends. Like a wise but strong coach, He is pushing us to greater heights of dependency and belief.
Along with the call to faith, He is also the Great Provider. He knew all along that He would not let Abraham carry this through. A lamb was in the thicket waiting. At the exact moment when all of the good of this test was accomplished, God stayed Abraham’s hand, telling him that this was merely a test and then turned the old warrior’s eyes to the provision that was already there—a provision that was a foreshadowing of the coming Lamb of God, our ultimate provision.
Here we are, thousands of years later, and Abraham’s faith is still teaching us. He has been used to train millions of believers.
And here we are, stunned at the faithfulness of Jehovah Jireh, The-Lord-Who-Provides.
Father, thank You for being a testing God. Thank You for your love that will not let me go. That will not let me settle for an independent, useless life. That constantly pushes me more and more into Your likeness and challenges me to greater and greater faith. Help me, Lord, to embrace this sovereign process. Help me to see Your test not as a punishment, but as an act of incredible love and essential training. And, Lord, give me grace today, to pass the test and see Your provision.
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February 26, 2020
February 24, 2020
We have our golden calves. Power, pleasure, materialism are three big ones. We bow before them, doing anything to get them. They become idols that we worship. Stone gods that we bow before. And God has the same reaction.
When will we learn? There is ONE GOD! There is only one who can deliver us. Only one from whom every good and perfect gift originates. One Creator of all that is, including the very cells of our bodies. One God we should look to and one God we should worship and serve.
February 22, 2020
Does God have a task for you to do? Most assuredly He does. Then He will put the calling, empowering, and skill necessary to accomplish His work in and through you. This sufficiency is true for the smallest, daily tasks and the greatest endeavors. You need not fear. Look to Him and all the sufficiency you need will be provided. You will be able to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
In this way, God’s miraculous work gets done and all the glory goes entirely to the One who equipped you for the task.