I have been under attack the past 2 days; in my mind, in my heart, physically, emotionally, spiritually. And I know why. It’s because I am being obedient. I am making a few sacrifices in the next few weeks and my body is not happy about it. The old me wants to complain and rip a new one into anyone who gets in my way. The new me wants to see the blessings that are just around the corner. Satan is trying to stop me from doing what I am doing any way he can so that I don’t get closer to God, and in turn I won’t receive my blessings, and in the aftermath, that I don’t bless people around me. I need to remember that God is IN CHARGE all the time and He knows what I am going through, what I will continue to go through, and how I will come out on the other side. I am going to be still through this and remind myself that I don’t have anything to complain about. I was reading recently about Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. That story took me to an ENTIRELY different level. There are so many different ways of looking at obedience. Sometimes obedience feels like sacrifice, and it is to a degree. But for me obedience may be painful at the moment, but it ALWAYS brings joy, peace, happiness, a feeling of succeeding at something, satisfaction, and rewards!
God called out to Abraham and told him to take his only son, Isaac (the son Abraham had been waiting for more than 25 years) up a mountain to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. AND HE DID! I can actually picture this. My children are no longer with me (they live in another state). I can feel the range of emotions the man must be feeling; the desire for them to be near, the hurt and the pain of not seeing them or talking to them, the thoughts of “WHY ME” when I am doing everything right. I empathize with Abraham as he carries his son up a mountain. I can feel his pain. He is even comforting his son as they travel to their destination. And THEN….an angel of the Lord comes in to save the day at the very last minute!
Genesis 22:12-18 – “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide “Jehovah-Jireh”. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 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.”
I want to be someone who goes beyond the expected. If I give to God what He asks, then He will return to me far more than I could dream! It doesn’t matter what we give Him; for you, it could be caffeine for a few weeks, certain foods, relationships, habits, other fleshy desires, attitudes, or full control of the circumstances surrounding your family; He just wants us to be obedient!! The biggest part of my Christian walk is going to be in the waiting. But I am willing to wait.
Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I can put up a fight, or I can trust the Lord. I can offer up a little, or I can offer up a lot. He knows my heart, and He understands my motives. So I will keep pressing on. I will continue to be obedient regardless of the fight around me, and I will praise Him in the storm!! I will not give up 5 minutes before the miracle. Peace will then reign.
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.