I don’t think we could ever overdo the conversation of obedience. Obedience is love. It’s such a big deal that God compares disobedience to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). So, since we’re talking about obedience, let’s talk about Abraham.
Most people know the story of Abraham and Isaac. And the test he went through to prove his love and obedience to God. This test ended with Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son, as was the original command from God.
What I believe, is that Abraham’s obedience saved Isaac’s life. Let’s think about it.
Abraham didn’t know which mountain he was supposed to go to. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). God told him to take his son, go to Moriah and then he would show him the mountain. And of course, as the story goes, once Abraham was there a ram was stuck in the bushes which in turn became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. But, what if?
What if Abraham wasn’t obedient? What if Abraham didn’t go to Moriah? Even simpler, what if he didn’t go to the mountain God showed him? He would have only partially obeyed God’s command and partial obedience is still disobedience.
You see, I understand the foreshadowing details of this story. I understand the parallels. I understand the test. But what I’ve recently learned is that it was complete obedience to God that kept Isaac alive. Not the ram, not perfect timing, and certainly not coincidence. Obedience.
In essence, what I believe is that God will always provide a ram in the bush, it’s just that we keep on going to the wrong mountain.
Teach us to make the most of our time that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12 (NLT)
It takes time. Don’t we hate hearing that? We don’t want to hear about how long it takes. Nobody wants to take the time, we just want it to be done. We want to hear that the journey was tough, but short. We don’t want to hear that it was 10 years before you found your dream job.
Who likes hearing, it takes time to process the check? Or it takes time to heal? What about, it takes time to work your way up? We don’t want to hear that, much less believe it.
Nobody wants to hear that Abraham was 100 before he had his promised son (Genesis 21:5). Nobody wants to hear that the Israelites wandered for 40 years (Joshua 5:6). Who thinks about the fact that Jesus was on the earth three decades before we have any documentation of His preaching ministry (Luke 3:23)?
Ain’t nobody got time to hear that, right? There’s just not enough time for our microwave society. But, if you don’t make time for, you’re certainly not going to have time to undo what you’ve already mistakenly done.
It is my belief that God is so at work that we just can’t contain all that He is doing in our time frame. God is doing something life changing in His way and we want it momentarily to happen in our way. I believe that when God does what He has planned, we won’t mind the time that He took to nurture and prepare us for it.
See, I still believe that the process is the glory. And when I rush the process, I effect the product. Now, whose got time for an unfinished, untested product?
Work Hard, Honor God
It was the first week of school and Brandon was excited about his new school year. They already had their first test scheduled for Friday. While his friends decided to talk during their free time in class, Brandon decided he would spend his working on practice problems for the test. His friends didn’t understand why he was working so hard, but Brandon had a bigger goal in mind.
Test day came and Brandon made an A on his test. When he got home that day, he looked at the scripture he had memorized over the summer. It was Ephesians 6:7, “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
You may not have a job, but right now school is your work. It may not seem important to work hard at it, but it is. God’s word commands us as His children to work hard in order to bring Him glory. It’s a new school year. For some of you, that might mean new friends, new classes, and even better, new opportunities to honor God. Work hard, not just for your teachers, not just for yourself, but for God. This year, honor God and have fun. After all, honoring God is fun.