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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Transparent Sacrifice

"He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together." Gen 22:5-8

Abraham was the Father of faith. Even in the New Testament, his faith is counted righteous. But I am human, and so much like humans do today, I read Hebrews 11 and wonder, "How is he so righteous?" He lied about his wife more than once, he laughed at God's promise for him because of his circumstances, even after God's promise, he and Sarah took matters into their own hands, virtually causing Hagar to be the first recorded single mom. How could he be so righteous? How could God forget this other stuff? But, He does. Not only does He forget, but He keeps His promise to bless Abraham with "descendents as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore." Gen 22:17a. But still I wondered, "How could this be?" Well, today after reading this chapter again, I understand.

I am a toddler in my faith. I surrendered June 29, 2008 in my bathroom, on my way to church to sing on the praise team. Before that day, before that minute, I was lost. There were things I thought I understood in the Word of God, things I could even relate to. My Bible looked the part of a saint's Bible. It was well used, well highlighted and well marked. It looked like a sword that had been in and won many a battle. But it had not, I had not. I was a wandering sheep and up until the year before, I hadn’t even known I was lost! I had my own daycare, car, independence... everything that I needed, or so I thought. In 2007, things spiraled out of control fast when unexpected circumstances took one of my own out of my hands and I was left helpless. It was the worst feeling in the world to me. That year, I closed my daycare without blinking my eye and this started my journey, unbeknownst to me, to Damascus.

This year has been a struggle for me. I have made decisions no one in THEIR right mind would make because it would take control out of their hands. This summer, alone, God has prepared me for what He has in store for me, His promises to me. I am in the middle of training even as I write this blog! I have almost no money, almost no food, no car and nowhere to turn but to God. My bills almost landed my family homeless, we could still have utilities shut off and my children have needs I cannot supply right now. BUT GOD has made me a promise, the same promise He made to each one of you reading this now. He promises to NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. He promised to be our Strength, our Shelter, our Help in the time of need and our Portion/ Provider, among others. I cannot make a move right now without Him. I can’t afford to! You cannot afford to! Yet we do it every day.

Abraham has taught me today that trust in Him, He will supply my needs! If I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I can tell these mountains to move out of my way! But he has also taught me that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength! Abraham heard the Lord call his name. He ANSWERED the call and without question, obeyed. Not because he had to obey, not because he didn't know what else to do, but because he had faith and God's promise to see him through this tough journey he had to make with his only son. In that, he was counted righteous! His past failures were thrown "as far as the east is from the west." They were forgotten, only to be remembered by humans who knew him "back then" or read his story.

God is doing great things in this evil time today! He is calling us to worship, to trust, to endure, to have faith. Oh if only we could do that to the extent of Abraham, who had nothing but God's promise of "descendents more numerous than the sand" to hold on to. Dear heart, hold on.

Father God, even as I am writing this blog, You see my mixed tears. Tears of pain and struggle and frustration yet tears of rejoicing for the revelation I got even from the last paragraph. God, You hold to key to my heart. You are the reason I endure, the reason I breathe daily. I ask forgiveness and repent of mistrust, mishandling and misrepresentation of You, Your Word and Your provision. Forgive me even for praying "safe" prayers instead of bold ones. Lord, for every person You direct to read this blog, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would move in them as He just moved in me. Move them to trust and have faith in You. Move them to endure the rough times knowing that You are with them and in their weakness is when You are strong. Allow them peace and joy through those times and shield them from those who would scoff and ridicule their choice to remain in You and not in the world. I speak blessings of wisdom, discernment, peace, joy, patience, love and favor over each of them. Remember them Lord as You remember Your people. Remember me Lord, as You remember Your people. Thank You that You called me. Thank You that You provided for me and thank You that You are moving me to my destiny through this hard path. I ask for endurance, patience and joy as I walk it and for You to carry me when I can't. I praise You Lord because You are Holy and worthy to be praised. In Jesus name, Amen.