“He said, ‘Take 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.’"
Have you ever walked into a Sam’s Club or Costco and, all of a sudden, something comes over you? It’s like you are magnetically pulled to these beautiful rectangular boxes with vibrant colors showing on them that make the pictures look almost real. You are drawn closer and closer, and down deep inside you, the feeling arises that one of these things needs to be yours. OK, maybe it’s a guy thing, but the innate desire for earthly possessions can consume us from time to time. The gifts in our lives can overtake us if we’re not careful.
Abraham knew this far too well. God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, but there was one problem: he had no son. So he waited and waited and waited. Finally, when Abraham and his wife were incredibly old, God gave them a child. Isaac was the apple of his father’s eye. He cherished his son. And why not? He had waited long and well for this boy to be born. However, over time, the love for his son started to creep into his love for the Father. God brought Abraham back to right standing, however, when He asked him to sacrifice Isaac. This seemed so cruel, but God had a message for Abraham. Author A.W. Tozer did a great job of putting God’s response into words. He wrote that God seemed to say to Abraham, “I never intended that you should actually slay the lad. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there.” Powerful words from the gracious Lord of All, but Abraham got the message loud and clear.
What message is God sending you today? Sometimes He can chip away at things bit by bit to get you to understand His ways; but at times, like with Abraham, He chooses to cut quickly to the heart and have it over with one act of separation. All the gifts, things, possessions (yes, even family) God has graciously given us we can have fully, but we must understand we don’t truly possess any of it. Everything is His to begin with, and it always will be in the end. Our role is to care for it, but not to make it into an idol in our hearts. Our sports, our homes, our games, our lives are gifts from God, and they all belong to Him. We simply have one choice to make each day: to choose God or our current idol.
Today, realize that your whole future will be conditioned by the choice you make. Actions produce habits, which produce character, which produce destiny. So, choose wisely. Possess nothing. Give God credit for everything and see the blessings that will come from your life moving forward.
1. Does the word “mine” get used too much in your daily vocabulary? If so, why?
2. What are the current struggles or idols in the temple of your heart that are standing in the way of your keeping God first?
3. What will you do when you are faced with choosing God’s way or your own personal desires?
1 Corinthians 4:7