Tag Archives: goodness

Not Your Son… Mine

“Why don’t you come sit with me first?” A gentle reminder from the Lord is felt in my heart almost daily. There is no force or guilt involved, just a gentle expression of love from a father to his daughter. It feels silly to think I have ever turned him away. But I have.

Not today.

In the many times I have come willingly, putting him first before my day starts, I am reminded why it is so good to spend time with my father. It’s not that he’s trying to make me abide by his rules. No, he wants to bless me. Whether it’s through a revelation or a hint of his presence, I am undone by his love.

So today I was led by my devotion to read the old story of Abraham’s testing. Will he sacrifice his son for God? I have read this story a few times already and learned it in church; I know this story well. I find that when God leads us to read a story we know so well, he often wants to reveal a new reason for writing that story.

I started on verse 1 of Genesis 22 but it wasn’t until verse 12 that God showed me something. “He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was r41894a9a582f7b6c9c18d9ef97923974am, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Your ONLY son…hmmm, where have I heard this before? “For God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY son…” (John 3:16) There’s a connection here.

At the very moment I read those verses I was blown away. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son for him knowing that one day HE would be sacrificing his son for Abraham. This foreshadow is mind-blowing. It’s like God was wondering, is it possible for man to love me as much as I love man? God knew that Abraham’s sacrifice couldn’t save the world for eternity. Abraham’s sacrifice couldn’t wipe away the religious task of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of our sins. It simply showed God the amount of love man could possibly hold in his heart. As destructive as sin naturally makes us, Abraham proved, for all mankind, that we are still made in God’s image and thus can selflessly love just as much as God can.

I mean, just a short while back, God had basically given up on man. He was done. To think if Noah and his family weren’t God-fearing, where would that leave us? Non-existent? Possibly. I don’t know, but I do know how the story really went. And many, many years after Abraham laid the wood and willingly put his son on the altar in submission to God, God willingly put his son on the altar made of  a wooden cross. God eternally banished the religious practice of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of our sins with the life of his own son. Not only did Abraham prove the great love man is capable of having in his heart, he also felt God’s pain before God did. A part of me thinks, God wasn’t just testing how much Abraham feared God, God also wanted to see if his creation was worth sacrificing his own son for. Abraham’s one act of faith showed him that we are.

As I realized all this, I am more wooed by my father once again. I am so blessed. It is clear that his desire to spend time with me is not just for him, but so very much for me.

 

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Death On Purpose

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“God, you are good! God, you are GOOD! I don’t know why you’re allowing this, but I know you’re a good God in it all, and I trust you.” Cleaning the kitchen in order to distract myself from the depressing feelings, slight anxiety, and slight health struggles, I pray this over and over till I feel it. The biggest worry I’ve had in my life has been my health. Through bigger trials though, I have become much stronger in trusting God and worrying less. Lately, I’ve seem to hit a little speed bump, like as if satan has sent his annoying demons to pester me. Just enough to steal some joy and get me worrying.

I am in awe of God in these times. Every time I go through a season that has me feeling weaker, God’s voice seems to be louder and he seems to speak more often. Last week he spoke to me 3 times during my church service and twice the night before! I really needed it that night, and he knew.

Currently I’m reading through the book of Acts, having just finished the book of Luke, it seemed the obvious choice (they have the same author, and he wrote Acts write after he wrote Luke). As I was reading chapter 3 this morning, I saw Peter essentially yelling at the people after he and John, through the power of the Holy Spirit, healed the lame man. “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of Life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Can I just say, it sounds a little like Peter had some bitter feelings, and rightly so. But in his righteous anger I see a different point being made.

As I read this it dawned on me. If God could plan, from the beginning, that His OWN son would have to die the worst death in order for a very good thing to take place, then isn’t it possible that the horrible things that happen in my life could be set in place in order for a very good thing to take place?

I mean, my goodness! How is it that I always feel like the bad things happening in my life are somehow not in God’s plans? During my trials I always, initially, feel bleak about it, like, “No good could possible come from this.” But I have learned to pray the prayer at the beginning of this post because it reminds me that God is good and allows all things in his goodness. Even death…

So I am reminded today that my crap couldn’t possibly make me feel as bleak and hopeless as the disciples and followers of Jesus felt in the 3 long days after Jesus died. To them, death had defeated the one they thought had come to deliver them, the Messiah! I can imagine trust and doubt had a showdown, and for some of them doubt was probably winning. I mean, the worst-case scenario happened. The thing Jesus was supposed to defeat, had defeated him. Or so they thought. And I imagine God was looking at them the way he looks at us when we doubt him in our trials, “Oh ye of little faith, hang on a little longer and you’ll understand.” And when they saw Jesus face-to-face, alive and well, 3 days after his death, it ALL made sense.

So I am reminded today, that this little trial I am going through was in the plans since God knew me. Though satan thinks he’s winning when he sees me struggling, God knows, and I know, that God has already won this battle and I will be even stronger when it’s done. And God will get more glory as I see his workings in it all.