Recently I have been revisiting the life of Abraham. I know that Abraham was flawed, as we all are, in his character. Fear and self-protection caused him to put his wife in a compromising position, not once, but twice during their life together. However, when God gave him a directive, Abraham moved in prompt obedience, even though it would prove to be relationally or physically costly.
When God instituted the covenant sign of circumcision Abraham was 99 years old. We are told in Genesis 17:23b that he took,
“every male among the men of Abraham’s household and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.”
I can just imagine the excuses I would have come up with:
- Let me get them used to the idea first.
- I can’t afford to have all the men down at the same time.
- Let’s wait a few days and get caught up on the work around here.
When Ishmael is around 14 years old Abraham is asked by Sarah to send him away and God confirms that this is something he needs to do. We are told that
“the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.” Genesis 21:12
God assures Abraham that he will take care of the boy, but His plan for Abraham will come through Isaac. How does he respond? Genesis 21:14
“So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away.”
Is there a relationship in your life that you know in your heart of hearts is not part of God’s plan? Will it be painful to send them away? Yes, it will. Are you willing to put it away for the greater purposes of God’s glory in the story He wants to write through your life?
God comes to Abraham again and this time tests him by asking him to take Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering on Mt. Moriah. It is almost inconceivable that we read,
“So Abraham rose early in the morning,”
to do what God had commanded. How can we understand such a willingness to obey and to obey promptly?
He considered God ABLE and FAITHFUL. Do we?
Each step of obedience led to a deeper and greater revelation of God’s unfolding plan for Abraham and His intention to bless the world through this man. He had been tried by God, and in the process, Abraham had seen His incredible faithfulness and trustworthiness. Within Abraham’s act of obedience to give up his son, God displays His glorious plan of redemption. Hebrews 11:19
In the same way, I believe when you and I yield promptly to God’s directives for our lives, His glorious plan of redemption is displayed through our lives. Let’s ask the Lord to impress deeply on our hearts the need and ability to give ourselves to prompt, same day, or early the next morning, obedience. Has He not shown Himself to be faithful and trustworthy to us?
Lord, help us to acquire a mindset of prompt obedience to your known will for our lives. Help us to push past excuses and delays and with eagerness press into serving you without hesitation. In Jesus’ name, amen.