Tuesday, June 01, 2010

LOSING the PROMISE

THE PROMISE DID NOT START WITH ME, and the Promise does not STOP with me. This is a thought that ran through my little noggin while at a youth leadership meeting this past Sunday. I really was paying attention, but my mind kept drifting back to my sermon of the morning on Genesis 21:1-21 and the birth of the child of promise, Issac, ("Reasons to Laugh") and then my mind raced forward to this coming week's passage, Genesis 22:1-19, where Abraham does the unfathomable and offers his promised son upon the altar of sacrifice.

Sure, we can read ahead and see that it all turns out OK, but seriously, what must have been going through Abraham's head, not to mention the mind of Isaac as his dad was binding him and raising the knife over him! As a dad myself, picture is more than terrifying.

Let's be honest, there is enough sermon material in Genesis 22 for a month of Sundays and a plethora of The Pastor's Study blog entries, so I will not even attempt to get too deep here, though truth be known, I have had great personal time already in this passage...suffice it to say, here's what has grabbed me thus far:

First, this passage has strong personal application for me right now as we will be commissioning my daughter Trinity for missionary service in Rome. You can check out her own musings about this coming adventure at All Roads Lead to Rome. So, in some ways I am offering up my first-born on the altar of missionary service, and like Abraham I am going to have to trust God.

This leads to the second thing that has latched onto my heart and that is it is not about the promise that God made to Abraham, or the promise that God has made to us, but it is about trusting the God who made the promise. Again it is taking God at His word, trusting that He knows what He is doing. It's an issue of fearless trust, not in the promise, but in the God who made the promise.

I believe that is where the rubber meets the road for me right now, am I trusting in the "what" or in the "Whom?" I am seeing right now that I must make sure that the promises that God has made to me, to us, does not replace the One who made the promise. It's a subtle distinction to be sure, but one I believe I must now make. Some may say that we cannot separate God from His promises, that they are one in the same. That may be true, but I personally want to be sure that my heart's focus is right, lest when God asks me to give up the promise, as He did of Abraham on Mount Moriah, I falter, and turn from trusting Him fully, completely. Lest I turn from that life of complete surrender, which sadly I too often do.

LORD, have mercy on me, as I seek to live the life of surrender to Thee and Thee alone.
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