One of the things we see God do throughout the Scriptures and throughout our lives is bring us to places where we must decide: Will I trust God in this moment?
Will I trust God even when all logic seems to aim in another direction?
Will I trust God even when I don’t feel like it? even when it’s not convenient? even when obeying seems counter-intuitive?
In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to take his son — “yes your only son, whom you love so much” — and go and sacrifice him…
Up to this point Abraham had faced many challenges. Following God and His voice meant tough decisions. But none of the challenges he faced even came close to this challenge, the challenge of sacrificing his only son.
What is amazing is that Abraham makes the journey and follows through in obedience. But then, right before sacrificing the son whom he loves, an angel of God says to Abraham,
Don’t lay a hand on the boy! Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son (Genesis 22:12 NLT).
It was a very real possibility that Abraham’s love for Isaac (a good thing) could have come between Abraham and God (which would have been bad).
God had to know: would Abraham choose his only son Isaac? or would Abraham choose Him?
Likewise, God is regularly exposing where our true allegiances lie, and He’s regularly exposing all the things we allow to into our lives that crowd Him out. It’s often these things that cause so much of our worry and anxiety. Whatever it is that we allow to come between God and us is the very thing that attempts to control outcomes!
I love how author Paul Tripp puts it:
Here is what happens: important things (like family, work, housing, money, etc.) become all too important to us because they become the places we look to for rest. When they do, they not only do not give us rest, they become the reason for the endless cycles of worry, anxiety, and fear… Worry and rest always reveal the true treasures of your heart. You will rest the most when what you treasure the most is secure, and you will worry the most when what you treasure the most is at risk. What does your world of worry reveal about the true treasures of your heart?
You will rest the most when what you treasure the most is secure!
The Psalmist tells us this:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act (Psalm 37:4-7).
The Psalmist is giving us a road map to a confident joy that frees us moment-by-moment from living in paralyzing fear and anxiety: delight in God. Make Him the central focus of ALL of your life, and in return your joy is guaranteed – He will give you the desires of your heart. Which is more of God!
What’s that thing you’re clinging to that is crowding out God from your life?
What’s your next move to surrendering that to God and allowing freedom to come through a simple (not easy) moment of obedience?
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (Hebrews 10:23).