|When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.- Genesis 22:9|
During my experience with Ignite, the Lord opened my eyes to how big the Church really is, all the people and the work that’s going on for His Kingdom and all that’s being accomplished as well as all the souls that still needed to be shown His love and compassion. I found myself falling in love with unfamiliar people and places and being very confused as to what to do with my new found desires.
At first I was kind of frustrated “ God, I had my life planned out already I was going to go to school for this many years get my diploma in this, serve you in this way, get married eventually and who knows I might even thrown in a few kids somewhere down the line, why are you changing the plans on me know? why are all of these new desires suddenly popping up, they don’t even logically match up with anything that is naturally me!” ( which looking back now, isn’t that how God usually works? Gotta Love Him for it)
But the new desires where there none the less, the Lord grew my perspective of who He was and just what He was capable of and just how sovereign He was in my life and in everyone’s life as well, God has a plan and nothing can really stand in the way of HIs will getting accomplished.
Half way through my time on the field, while I was translating the story of Abraham and Isaac for the Kids program curriculum down in Antigua, the Lord had me experience my own Isaac sacrificing moment. Was I really willing to offer up my Isaac to the Lord, my life, the plans I had made, all of the promises I believed the Lord had given me or the desires that I believed where God given, was I willing to give that all up if He asked me to? Or did I value the gifts more than the Giver?
The Lord brought me through a season of doubt, events where lining up in a way that made is seem like those newfound desires in my heart were never going to happen, and it looked as if I was going to be left hopeless and shattered, and that feeling of hopelessness and panic at the thought of not having what the Lord had ( I believed) promised me left me broken.
Broken not at the fact that I wasn’t going to receive my desires or that I had misheard God, but Broken at the fact that I had placed my eyes on the promises and not the Promiser. My hope was not on Him who redeemed and saved me ( not to mention Loved me unconditionally) it was on His promises. The Lord used that moment to instill in me the importance of placing my hope in Him, not on the things that He can give me. Yes the Lord provides for us, but the motivation behind my relationship with God has to be Love and gratitude not what I can get out of it.
I ( in my own way) tied my promises to the altar and ran a knife through it. The most interesting thing about this passage to me is that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but stopped him before he could run the blade through. God is not a liar, and yeah we’ve all heard it before “God was just testing Abraham to see if he would do it”, but how did God know Abraham would really plunge the knife in? How did He know Abraham wouldn’t turn the knife at the very last second? For me the answer lies in the fact that the Lord looks at the heart, and the Lord knew Abraham would sacrifice Isaac physically because he had already done it in his heart. True sacrifice happens within the confines of the heart.
My challenge for the duration of my time in Guatemala as well as now that I am home is making sure that when I wake up each morning I put my eyes and hope in Christ, not on anything else, because when my joy is dependent on the God who never changes ( or fails) there’s no person or circumstance that can take it away.