As we continue our Spartan Faith series, we're continuing to learn from the story of Abraham in Hebrews 11 and Genesis 22. Last week, we learned that God called Abraham to leave everything and follow the promise God put on his heart. Twenty-five years after God made a promise to Abraham, he gave him a beloved son, named Isaac. Today, we're continuing in the footsteps of Abraham's journey as we learn how God tested Abraham's faith in a final exam!
STUDYING FOR THE FINAL
Just like when you take a test in school or face a trial at work, when God gives you a trial or test to overcome, He is often preparing to promote you. He's getting you ready for your next season of influence! So, instead of fearing the test, you can learn to embrace the lesson by asking God what He wants you to learn from it. But, how can you tell a spiritual quiz from a final exam?
When it seems like God is asking you to sacrifice something dear to you, he may be calling you to a final exam! In Genesis 22, God tested Abraham by telling him to go and sacrifice his beloved son, whom he loved. However, this is a hard story to read, even as a person of faith, because it seems like a complete contradiction to what Abraham knows about God. Nonetheless, Abraham chose to believe God anyway. He remembered how God miraculously gave Isaac to him after 25 years of waiting, and he trusted that God could perform a miracle in this test, too.
REMEMBER WHAT GOD DID
Like Abraham, the challenges that you and I have tomorrow will probably be bigger than the challenges we faced yesterday. Abraham trusted that if God said to sacrifice Isaac, God had the power to raise him from the dead. He trusted, beyond his reason or present understanding, that God would provide a sacrifice, which allowed him to follow God obediently.
What is the one thing God is calling you to trust Him in that feels like too big of a sacrifice? In the end, God saved Isaac by providing a sacrifice... He just wanted to see if Abraham would be OBEDIENT in the face of his final exam. See, whatever your Isaac may be, you can trust that God will provide in bigger and better ways than you can imagine. Why? Because today's obedience releases tomorrow's blessing!
The story of Abraham shows us that God's plan from the beginning was to redeem humanity. Isaac is called Abraham's son, whom he loves.... and this echos the story of Jesus in the Gospels and his great love for us! It's a picture of the story of God sending his only son into our world to die for our sins.
When faced with the tests of this life, will you put your faith in the one who gave his life for you? Jesus' death on the Cross resulted in eternal life for us, so we can have future hope and experience his power through the tests and trials we face in this world!