CLARIFIED ALLEGIANCE // JULY 1, 2022
By faith, Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
When Isaac was born, God told Abraham he was the fulfillment of his promise to make him into a great nation. Yet, God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Isaac. Why would God ask him to do that? God knew what Abraham would do, but perhaps it was time for Abraham to know where he put his faith: is his trust in the promise or in the promise giver? Was his love more for the promise or the promise giver? Did he love God more, or was his faith, commitment and primary attachment to his son, the fulfillment of the promise?
The same questions can easily be applied to our lives. Is our identity caught up and attached to what we do? The people we hang with? The things we own? Perhaps these things are gifts from God or fulfillments of promises he's given to us. But God may take a step back and ask us to let go of them, and give them back to him. What do you mean, Lord? This doesn't make sense! Give it back? But this is how the promise is fulfilled! We don't understand it. But Abraham obeyed God: as he raised the knife to sacrifice Isaac, God called to him, saying, "No, no, no! Now I know [or now you know] that you love me, and you trust me beyond all things."
How about you? Are you willing to give back God's gift? Maybe he'll do like he did for Abraham and say, "No, no, no!" But what if he wants you to fully let it go and walk on? It's different for each of us. But it comes down to an "even though" faith that clarifies our allegiance: I'd rather let go of the fulfillment of the promise and still go with the promise giver. You can show that your commitment isn't to the blessing but to the blessor: Lord, even though I trust you, I'll keep my faith, and follow you."