Inspire On The Go with Andrea Lennon

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Trusting God leads to experiencing Grace in the moment - Andrea Lennon

Friends, we have made it to episode 9 in the Trusting God Series! Can you believe it? I am emotional as I think about wrapping up our study on the life of Abraham. I am sure we will revisit this material and the life of Abraham time and time again. It is rich with the truth!

 

Today we are at a passage of Scripture that is always associated with Abraham. In Genesis 22, Abraham is asked to sacrifice Isaac. I am emotional as we approach this text for so many reasons. Here are a few of the reasons:

  • We have walked the journey with Abraham and Sarah over the last eight weeks. We have felt the ups and downs. We have seen the highs and lows. As we approach this text, my heart wants to reach out to Abraham and Sarah and say, “Hang on!” God is going to provide!
  • As I read this passage, I can’t help but think about the faithfulness of God, the struggle of Abraham, and how the faith journey is not easy. Demonstrated faith is not “feel good” faith that is Instagram-worthy. Often the journey is long and hard.
  • I think about Issac and how he was a young man when this story took place. He was able to process what was happening, yet, he obeyed his father. There is no doubt. Isaac was loved and cared for by his parents.

 

Genesis 22:1-14

  1. Refined Faith is Obedient Faith (Genesis 22:1). God showed up and called Abraham by name. Never forget that God initiates encounters, and we have the opportunity to respond in obedience and faith. The purpose of this encounter was to test Abraham. It is SO important for us to understand the word “tested” in this passage. Let’s dig into the original Hebrew to better understand what “tested” meant in its original context. The Hebrew word is Nasah and means "to test, try, prove.” Generally, this word carries the idea of refining the quality of someone or something through stressful circumstances. God refines those He loves to see if they will remain loyal to Him and live in obedience to Him. The heart of God was not to hurt Abraham, Sarah, or Issac. God was not trying to trip Abraham up or nullify the Promise. Rather, God was continually refining Abraham, providing for the Promise, and showing Abraham how his faith had grown. We need to know that the outcome of Genesis 22 was never in question for God. God is sovereign, providential, and purposeful in all of His ways. When we can’t see the hand of God in the middle of our testing seasons, we must trust His heart! We must know that He is good and that His desire is to deepen our faith. This is why it is so important for us to run TO God during hard times with a trusting heart instead of AWAY from God because of a doubting heart.
  2. Always Worship in the Moment. (Genesis 22:2-5) The test was clear: “Take your son, your only son, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (22:2). Can you imagine this moment in Abraham’s life? Abraham loved Issac, and the path to having Isaac was long and hard. Yet, when Abraham was called by God to go with the intent of sacrificing Issac, Abraham left early the next morning. Abraham took Isaac and his servants and traveled to Moriah. Once there, Abraham told the servants to stay put so he and Isaac could go and worship the Lord together. The Hebrew word for worship is Hawah meaning to prostrate oneself. This word denotes an act of respect before one superior in position and essentially signifies submission. The term is used especially in the sense of worshiping a deity and signifies to honor God with prayers. Worship provides the right perspective as we see God as God. Abraham knew that no matter what happened to Moriah, he and Issac were coming back down the mountain. (Hebrews 11:17-19) In the hard moments, the foggy moments, the unsure moments… always worship!
  3. Hard is Hard Even When it is Right. (Genesis 22:6-12) Even though Abraham had faith, it had to be hard to place the wood on Issac’s back while carrying the knife and fire with him. The conversation between Abraham and Issac had to happen around a huge lump in Abraham’s throat. Often we think of Isaac as a little boy when this happened. He was a young man. He knew what was happening. The faith of Abraham needs to be noted. Abraham believed God. Abraham displayed faith. Abraham pushed through the hard in order to do what was right. The hard paved the way for God to show up and provide. Yet, the provision did not come until Isaac was bound and placed on the altar. Abraham, with a knife in hand, was ready to slay his son. Hard is defined as something that requires a great deal of effort. Everything about Genesis 22 was hard. What is your hard ? What is the right thing to do in the midst of your hard? Friend, it is OK to push through your hard with a lump in your throat and tears rolling down your cheeks! Hard is still hard even when it is right.
  4. God Provided the Lamb. (Genesis 22:13-14) As Abraham raised his knife, the Lord called his name. “Do not lay a hand on the boy.” What relief must have flooded Abraham’s heart? We should not be surprised by verse 13. “Abraham looked up, and there in a thicket, he saw a ram caught by its horns. The ram was always the plan. Isaac was never in danger. “So Abraham called that place “The Lord Will Provide.” The word “provide” carries the idea of “to see.” God saw Abraham and provided exactly what he needed. Ultimately what God was doing way back in Genesis 22 was paving the way for Jesus, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.

 

 

Transforming Truth: Trusting God Leads to Grace in the Moment.

When my boys were little, I rocked them and thought about this story. “How did Abraham do it?” was my question. I secretly hoped God would never ask me to lay my Issac down. I was young, emotional, and didn’t understand the purpose of the story. I came at it from my perspective and sifted the story through the perspective of “what could have happened” instead of “what actually did happen.” As a result, I found myself trying to protect myself and the people I love from God. (How crazy is that to admit!) There were several truths that I did not understand as I rocked my little boys. Mainly that they belong to God and that I have no clue what is best for them in my limited perspective. But more than that, I had no idea about the concept of grace in the moment. I had no idea that God faithfully prepares and provides. This does not make the hard any less hard, but it does give assurance that God is God and that He is good.

 

Thankfully, God prepared Abraham and gave him grace in the moment. What Abraham would not have imagined as possible, he was able to do because God was with him every step of the way. What is grace? It is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. The years of God promising and providing culminated in a refining moment that proved Abraham trusted God. All of it pointed to Christ and made a way for us to experience grace in the midst of our hard. As we conclude, can I ask you a personal question? Do you trust God? If so, in the midst of your refining moment, are you willing to lay down your Isaac knowing that God has already made a way, He is completely in control, and that He is without a doubt good? As you do, you will experience grace in the moment, and you worship God in the midst of the hard. I love you so much, and I am so thankful we can walk this journey together… all for God’s glory!  

 

*Stay tuned for new content coming January 2022!!