I could not, but that is only because God has not prepared me to do what Abraham has done; God is preparing me to do something else and He is preparing you to do something else. We would recall that God commenced His work in Abraham when he was seventy five years old and does not ask him to sacrifice Isaac until fifty seven years have elapsed. In other words, God had invested over fifty years of spiritual preparation in Abraham and perhaps more importantly, Abraham submitted himself to it.
Are You Submitted
We can admit it. So many of us will not tender ourselves to God because we fear that He might ask us to do something we aren’t prepared or willing to do. The old cliché, “God never gives us anything we can’t handle, ” just doesn’t seem to ring true for us. Well, that’s a good thing, because that little chestnut is erroneous. A proper adage would declare that God never gives us anything He can’t handle—God makes our way, not the other way around.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
From Comfort to Completion
Hopefully the truth of 1 Corinthians soothes you, but you might wonder why a Christian would want to be positioned similarly to Abraham. Of what benefit could it possibly be? We do not know if Abraham fully understood the implications at the time, but we have the advantage of being able to examine the entire sequence of events permitting us to see the bigger picture…a picture perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-3
Starting With Faith…
This is exactly where Abraham started his expedition. The Book of Hebrews reminds us that by faith Abraham obeyed. Faith always comes first and it can only ripen as it steeps in blind submission. Compliance of that sort looks like this:
…He was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8
Drawing on Hope…
When it was revealed to Abraham that he and his matured wife would bring forth a nation from a yet conceived child, he chose hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. ‘Hope’ is an oft misused word in today’s culture, but as applied by Abraham, it came with the notion that he absolutely expected fulfillment of God’s promise. Only active faith gives birth to that kind of hope.
Abraham, who is the father of us all…who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Romans 4:16 + 18
Maturing in Love…
You might find this incredible, but we see God using the word ‘love’ for the very first time in the Bible in this passage about Abraham and Isaac. It is not an accident. God has fundamentally waited twenty-two chapters to introduce us to this word and when He does, it is within the context of a father’s love for his son.
Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love… Genesis 22:2
Have you ever wondered why? Well it certainly is true that what God is asking Abraham to do with Isaac is a symbolic depiction of what He would later do Himself on Calvary with His Son Jesus, but that’s not the entire story. It is here where God essentially declares to Abraham; ‘Love me more than that which you love the most.’ This is the place God desires to bring us! In this position we fully realize it has never, ever been about us, but it has always been about Jesus. That is why it is a journey worth taking and why an intelligent person goes.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16