Succeeding through Obeying

1/8/2006 7:25 AM

Title: OBEY FIRST, SUCCEED SECOND

S: Genesis 22:2 NKJV  Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

Genesis 22:7-12 NKJV  But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!"

And he said, "Here I am, my son."

Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"  (8)  And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.  (9)  Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  (10)  And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  (11)  But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!"

So he said, "Here I am."  (12)  And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Genesis 22:17-18 NKJV  blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.  (18)  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

O: This has always been a fascinating story.  If I heard some voice in my head, or even in person, telling me to take Seth and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah, I don’t know if I could do it.  He made Isaac carry the fire and the sticks for his own funeral.  I’ve often wondered what Sarah would have said – did she even know?  We’ve always quoted, as Adventists, Isaiah 8:20 NKJV  To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.  Yet in the 10 Commandments, it says, Exodus 20:13 NKJV  "You shall not murder.

Was this voice from Heaven speaking AGAINST the word of God, or not?  How can a person tell?  I’ve always said that the way Abraham was able to tell was that he recognized God’s voice and no imitation would make it happen differently.  But could Satan make his voice sound just like God’s?  Could the very elect be deceived?  How do you tell?

A: As I sit here thinking, it comes to me that there are certain things that I must do:

  1. I must get into the word daily
  2. I must do more than just the LIFE Journals, I must actually get into a deeper study
  3. I must make God my first and last priority in life – above family, friends, work, etc.
  4. I must assure that I am part of the elect

In other words, this is not a matter for Christianity-Lite, but for Christianity-heavy.  I must make sure that I am putting God first, growing with Him, relying upon Him for my day-to-day decisions and I have to listen and obey Him.  Look at the last verse in this scripture reading - (18)  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

God says that the reason Abraham passed the test was because he obeyed God.  Obedience is a big factor.  And it’s downplayed so much in today’s world.  I think much of the story of Abraham up to this point is telling about his success in following God and his failures in doing so.  Now, this is put to the final test.  But although I believe Abraham had some major failures, his life was trending towards Heaven.  And when this one came along, it was only natural that he continue to obey and follow God.

P: Lord, that’s the prayer of my heart.  I want to obey and follow.  I want to be a part of you and your family.  I ask you into my heart and I ask you to make me a man like you.  Please take my life and make me like you.  Please fill me with a desire to listen to you.  Please cleanse me.  Please forgive me.  I am a sinner.  I’m full of pride, selfishness and anger.  Please forgive me and cleanse me.

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