May 17, 2010

Radical Obedience Radical Faith

All firstborns belonged to God. When we read Genesis 22's account of God requesting Abraham sacrifice Isaac we are shocked and slightly horrified at His request.

"After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2

What we should be more surprised about is the fact that Abraham doesn't bat an eyelash and acquiesces immediately. He didn't even hesitate...not even for a minute. Abraham doesn't hem or haw, doesn't ask why, doesn't freak out. Nothing. He just does what he is told by God. Is he crazy? No, he is being perfectly obedient or as obedient as a human can be in such a radical situation. It wasn't that God wanted perfect obedience from Abraham (us) it is that we intend to obey. God is concerned with the condition of our hearts. If it is in our hearts it will manifest itself in our actions anyway.

"Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about." ~Genesis 22:3

This is a love for God. How so you say?

"And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:6

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." ~John 14:21

"...but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." ~1 John 2:5-6

So you think you have it hard when God requests things of you? Giving out of abundance is easy, giving from the things you need is a different level of faith altogether. Walking the same known path isn't faith, its ritual. Faith is boldly taking steps into the unknown because you trust the Lord to look out for your better interests and well-being...and keep in mind it's your eternal well-being that He is predominately interested in not earthly. That means that you may end up suffering down here to gain glory there with the Lord. God never promised a pleasant journey. He promised a pleasant destination for those that had faith, forsake the world and carried their cross.

What level of faith do you have? Could you practice the radical obedience and faith in God that Abraham did during his trial/test with Isaac? Could you? Would you? In the end our lives belong to God not just the firstborn. He that gives life has the right to take it away.

"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." ~Luke 9:23-24

"...if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself." ~2 Timothy 2:12-13

"And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." ~
Matthew 10:38-39

"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." ~John 12:26

Wow. All these verses all over the Bible that support the same idea. You would think somebody planned this.

Radical faith requires radical obedience. Radical obedience requires radical faith. The more faith the more you will trust. The more you trust the more secure in Christ you become. We have been assured of our salvation. How much more security do you need?

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