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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"You want me to do WHAT?"

“You want me to do what?” He could hardly believe what was being asked of him. Yet, he knew he had to obey.

Slowly, they began the climb up the mountain. The man looked over at his son, his only son, and tears began to well in his eyes. Only yesterday, it seemed, he was holding his child in his arms and bouncing him on his knee. What a fine young man he had grown to be. And now the man was being called to do the unthinkable. All he wanted to do was yell out, “Why God why?”, but he knew he had to trust. Still, he had to will himself to put one foot in front of the other to continue this journey up the mountain to the place he was called.

“Father!” the boy cried out.

“Yes, my son, I am here.” The man said.

“We have the wood and the fire father, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Pulling his son tight to him, he searched his heart for the words to say, but his heart hurt more than words could express at the moment. He finally let go and met the boys gaze. “My son,” the man said softly, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering.” Somehow, it seemed, the boy understood.

They reached the clearing and the man called for his son. “Come here my boy, this is where we will offer our sacrifice.”

Quietly he began to build the alter. Ever so gently he placed his son on the wood and bound his hands and feet. No longer could he hide the pain. Tears flowed down his cheeks, unashamedly as he wept out loud.

Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Of course, we all know the end of that story. God stopped Abraham just in time and instead provided a perfect lamb, without blemish, for him to use instead of his son, Isaac.

But Abraham didn’t get the advantage of knowing the ending.

Abraham was willing to give up his one and only son, simply because HE asked.

SACRIFICE.

To surrender, give up, or renounce something that is prized or desirable for the sake of something or someone else.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking… we don’t have to worry about the “big” sacrifices like Abraham did. God would never call us to actually put a knife through one of our children on an alter. No. You are right. He wouldn’t. He already did that for us - only with nails through the hands and feet of His one and only son – the perfect lamb.

He does, however, call us often to surrender our desires, our wants for the sake of His glory. That, my beloved, is what it is all about…

His Glory.

It doesn’t matter if the sacrifice is big or small, as long as His Glory is shining through.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-18

Abraham had his eyes fixed on the unseen. He had to. If he had looked too carefully at what was in front of him – it would have broken him. He was, after all, only human, just like you and me. He chose by faith, however, to allow the Glory of the Lord to shine through him.

We have that choice too - even in the small sacrifices. Do we fix our eyes on what we can see right in front of us, or we do we choose to fix our eyes on the unseen and allow ourselves to be used for His eternal glory?

Oh Father, sometimes even the little sacrifices you call me to make are so hard. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for Abraham and Isaac up on that mountaintop. My hearts desire, Lord, is to be used by you, no matter what the cost, or sacrifice. Help me Lord to keep my eyes focused on you so that I can be an instrument for your Glory to shine through.

Big or small, what has God called you to give up for His eternal glory?


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17 Comments:

Blogger Jo Princess Warrior said...

wow! Very timely. God has been asking me to give up my selfish desires to home school my 3 boys. Thank you for this devotion. Very encouraging for me. xoxo

August 6, 2008 at 2:08 AM  
Blogger sailorcross said...

Thank you so much for this devotion. I think of Abraham and Isaac so much, especially when it comes to my own son. Would I be able to do this? Then, I think of Jesus--God sacrificing Jesus for us--how painful it would have been for God.

And then my own selfish wants that God has been asking me to surrender. I have smoked since was 13. Now, I know that is not pleasing to God. I have tried to quit so many times, and have at least 5 and then gone right back.

I need to obey God and quit this addiction. I want to please Him and make Him smile upon me for my obedience in this. Yet, still I struggle. I need to keep my heart and eyes focused on God, not these cigarettes. They will never fulfill me. Only God can fulfill me with His everlasting and unconditional love.

Thank you for pointing me in this direction, asking God for the strength to do this and stay away from it once and for all.

If you get a chance, stop by and read my testimony. (Darkness Into Light).

Thanks so much again--this devotion has put things into the proper perspective and my heart onto a right path.

Beth

August 6, 2008 at 3:09 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you for these beautiful words.

August 6, 2008 at 5:27 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Excellent post Chelsey and so true. This past year has been one of those times when we just had to let go of what was obvious to us and push toward what we couldn't see.
All for His Glory!
Blessings,
Kim

August 6, 2008 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

What an awesome God, to look on our willingness, ever so puny sometimes, but He looks at our heart and then provides the answer-one we didn't expect! How Abraham and Isaac must have celebrated!
Thank you for this post-I needed it!
Debra

August 6, 2008 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Roanne LeRaine said...

This devotion is in perfect line with the bible study I am doing right now called "no other gods". I often feel like I have made many sacrifices for God-- homeschooling my kids, staying home for 8 years, allowing my husband to grow his business, etc. But this past year, as I try to pursue my lifelong dream of being a published writer, I have learned to lay down my idea of success and God is opening many new doors. He started with releasing me from homeschooling, which led me to write my first published clip on school choice! So, you never know what laying down what is close to your heart can bring.

August 6, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

"Abraham had his eyes fixed on the unseen. He had to. If he had looked too carefully at what was in front of him – it would have broken him"

What incredible truth! You are so right . . . at times we simply can't look too carefully at what is in front of us at the moment. We have to "remember" (yesterday's devo) the truths that God has implanted in our hearts and wait for Him to deliver us. . . and He will!!!

Thanks for such 'real' and strongly needed word!

August 6, 2008 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Carmen said...

beautifully written!

August 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Awesome devo, Chelsey,

Thanks for sharing your heart. I just wrote about this on my blog a couple of weeks ago... God had asked me to lay something down.

Beautiful job!
Julie

August 6, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Tiffanie said...

It can be easy to hold onto the small stuff and not make the sacrifice (I'll cancel on my friend cause I'd rather finish my book etc.), because after all... it was just a small thing, God is more concerned w/ whether or not I can learn to sacrifice the big stuff... right...
Maybe our "small" sacrifices aren't actually so small. And if we saw them as more than something small; big sacrifices, we'd be less likely to write them off? (Maybe I'm the only one who does this anyway.)

August 6, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Staci said...

GREAT POST....it is incredible how faithful our God is, i have been soo bummed because i have sooo much to write about and little to no time, PLUS i have not been motivated at all!!! BUT i wrote this several weeks ago http://theloalbos.blogspot.com/2008/07/gods-voice-in-tiny-creatures.html

and it is almost the same blog as you wrote here today. Anyway the just of it is I was asked to sacrifice my best friend. NO, not physically sacrifice like kill her or anything LOL but sever the ties if you will. I did not understand....but just like abraham i obeyed.

And that was almost a year ago. at the beginning my husband reminded me of this story and told me "you see, if you are faithful to obey, he will give you back your sacrifice"

My bff and i experienced FULL restoration, but our relationship is MUCH MUCH different now, honoring to HIM and to our husbands.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to give God the glory!!!

youll be reading a new post later today on my blog...inspired by this one!!!

August 6, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

Ps our reconciliation came almost a year later....just thought that was important to share!!!

August 6, 2008 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

Even thought I have read this story many times, it hit me harder today....for my son is Isaac, and the thought of having to lay him down on a physical altar brought tears to my eyes. This is very true....we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and work toward His glory instead of being short-sighted. Thanks for this today!

August 6, 2008 at 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

Thank you so much for relating the story of Abraham and how it applies to us today. I'm always awed by Abraham's faith .

August 6, 2008 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I can hardly let go of my two sons; let alone even think about Abraham. Thanks for the amazing post. Cindi

August 7, 2008 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

One of my favorite Bible stories of all-time. It is so rich with lessons to be learned and truths to take to heart.

Thank you for telling it so beautifully and for your encouraging words with it. :)

August 7, 2008 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

That was so good. I struggle with that story so often, putting myself and my children in their places. Thanks you for such great insight.

August 8, 2008 at 8:01 AM  

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