Well, it has been fun but all things must come to an end. Today, is the last in the series called, “On the Edge” – a study of the excitement of following God. We have used the man Abraham as our example during this series. We will go with Abraham one more time – this time to the most challenging test of all. We’ll call this teaching, “Abraham’s Calvary”.
Last week, we talked about fulfillment. We discovered that God is not a man that He should lie or change His mind – what He has said, He will do. Fulfillment is a time everyone looks forward to. To finally reach the place in which faith becomes sight. Can you imagine how the devil feels looking upon the fulfillment of the vision realizing that all his attempts against the child of God ended in failure? Just because you have reached the fulfillment of the vision doesn’t mean that Satan gives up. He doesn’t give up – he simply changes tactics.
There is something within our nature that wants to avoid obstacles, hard times, etc. Leading up to the fulfillment of the vision, we have been waiting. Waiting implies that something is missing. Oh maybe we are not necessarily doing without, but something that we are looking toward has not transpired and this creates a tension within us. Once the vision is realized the tension disappears in the joy of fulfillment. And, then something strange begins to develop within us that Satan seeks to exploit for his own purposes: we never want to return to living by faith again!
We like fulfillment because we don’t have to wonder what God is going to do or wait on Him any longer or look at a need without the resources present to handle it. While we are bored without adventure, we also don’t like the unknown – so if it comes to choosing between the two – we choose “a bird in the hand” rather than a life of faith. Satan seeks to use this type of situation to create an idolatrous life. If he can’t get you to give up on God, he’ll settle for you serving the vision rather than the God of the vision!
To avoid the trap of temptation from Satan, we must follow the example of Abraham and be willing to lay down everything if God asks us to. In this story, we see God tell Abraham to go to a hill and sacrifice his only son. It takes three days for Abraham to arrive there – three days of death to self. Abraham takes his son and lays wood upon his back and approaches Mt. Moriah. In his hands are the instruments of sacrifice. Abraham does not quarrel or dispute with God. Isaac is not going to be a sacrifice: Isaac already is a sacrifice. You see, a life given by God and a life given to God is the definition of a sacrifice. Isaac’s life was a product of God and therefore belongs to God. So, God can ask anything of it. Remember, your vision is a product of God. Your vision belongs to God. So, God can ask anything of it at any time.
At the end of the journey awaits the One who began the journey. God watches Abraham from the hill. Abraham’s obedience to God’s direction at the hill proves that nothing has changed in Abraham – God is still his Lord. God provides the Lamb to fulfill His Word to Abraham as He always has. And, Abraham provides a life to God that is a living sacrifice – holy and acceptable to the Lord. One day at this same hill, God will again provide a Lamb that saves the life of His seed. Jesus went to this spot with the wood of sacrifice on His back – the Father leading the way with the instrument of circumcision and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus left it all to do His Father’s will. A life given by God and a life given to God is the sacrifice. So, if God asks for a sacrifice from the vision or if God asks for a sacrifice of the vision – remember, the vision is a product of God, it belongs to God and therefore, is a living sacrifice. It is created to serve its Lord and Jesus must always be Lord.
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