Today’s theme (rather, the theme of our life): The Lord Will Provide.
Today’s reading: Genesis, chapters 22-24
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to 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. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 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.
The Lord DID provide for that burnt offering. The Lord DOES provide all we truly need now. And, the Lord will CONTINUE to provide for us in the future. By testing us, God is able to prove again and again that He will forever provide for our needs. After we pass these tests, large and small, God blesses us with greater responsibility.
I love the quote from Mother Teresa, “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
God blessed Abraham for his faith, and He blesses you and I, as well.
The Lord rewarded Abraham for passing the ultimate test:
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (22:17-18, NIV)
God blesses us all the more because you have obeyed me.
I want to pose an open-ended question. Don’t panic, it won’t be too deep…it’s more a Sunday school question, but hopefully over time we can add some depth to our answers.
The question is two-fold:
1) How do we, in our daily lives, obey God? How do we, REALLY, obey Him daily? Not, what should we doing, but what do we do?
2) What proof have we experienced in the past that when we obey God, we truly are blessed in cause and effect kind of responsiveness?
My answers, #1) In my daily life, I have to have my “God time.” And most of the time that need to have quiet time alone with Him is because I feel so lonely without it. Whether I spend the time on this chronological journey, reading and writing, or it’s time spent in prayer or some other form of time with Him, I know I must have it in order to remain full and focused.
Through this year’s reading journey, I am purposely avoiding commentaries and teachings that pertain to the passages we are reading together. This is not to suggest that I don’t love to hear my pastor preach, or get so deeply involved with my latest ladies Bible study, but I have not gone out of my way to research the daily scripture reading passages more in-depth. If it’s not in the Book, itself, it can wait. This year for me is about knowing what the Bible actually says, without spin or outside interpretation. There are so many great thinkers and students of the Bible that have incredible insight, but I first want to strengthen my own biblical foundation in the Word so that I can make out right from wrong, skewed from biblical, in the teachings and readings I come across in the future. In fact, I am already thinking about next year’s self-assignment (I know, I know…we’re not even out of the teens and I’m already planning for the next 365 day stretch), and I think it will involve commentary. Right now, I am just enjoying the living, breathing, Word of God. Aren’t you?
My answers, #2) Even as I posed the second question my mind went blank. Isn’t it frustrating when you know there’s so much to say, so many exciting stories, and you just lose it? I would say that 90% of my prayers also include pleas to God to make the pathways He wants me to follow as obvious as possible; I’m always afraid I may miss a turn and completely miss the awesome life God has in store for me. That being said, I have had countless wonderful experiences with God, when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was being greatly blessed because I was faithful and trusting in Him. Cause & effect.
The summer of 2009 was a difficult one in my family. Anyone who is or ever has been married knows there are hills and there are valleys. Let’s just say, the summer of 2009 was a rocky valley; it was a test that my husband and I barely made it through. It was a summer that I knew would make me stronger if I persevered or weaken me to a shell of the person I once was if I didn’t hold strong. I say with unwavering certainty that that rocky valley, that test of strength, was the best thing that could have ever happened in my family.
Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom, to completely lose sight of the light, so that we can crave it so much that we finally seek after it. And, friends, when we regain our sight, it is a beautiful thing! I don’t ever want to return to that dark hole. I don’t want my feet to ever touch that rocky place again. Steve and I are blessed today because we passed a very difficult test. We are closer to one another; we are happier parents; and, best of all, we are closer to God and feel more secure in our relationship with Him, than we ever were before the rocky valley. Glory to God!
I look forward to hearing each of your insights into the cause and effects of God’s blessings. I want to live out His daily Word through my life in this world. It’s a tricky balancing act, as you all know, but together and with His Word and His Spirit, we will pull through the tests and our foundation of sand will be strengthened into the Rock!
Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis, chapters 25-26
Make it a great day,