1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2
There are three tests found in the life of Abraham in this passage. These tests are common to our lives as well. Satan tempts to bring out the bad, but God tests to bring out the good. Although I would rather be exempt from tests, a faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.
The story is told about a man on the operating table who was very uncomfortable about his imminent surgery. Although anesthesia was to be applied, the doctor said, “It seems you are very uncomfortable about this surgery.” “Yes,” the man replied,” it is my first surgery.” “I understand,” the doctor said, “this is my first surgery too.”
How many of us would rather go to a surgeon who has been tested?
The first test answers the question – Can You Trust God with the Possessions He Has Already Given You?
Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born. Sometimes we say we are willing to give up everything for the Lord, but are we willing to give it up to the Lord? There’s a big difference between giving up something for the Lord and giving it to the Lord.
God had given Abraham a priceless possession and then asked for it back. It was the test of Abraham’s faith because he loved both Isaac and God. It is not enough to give God a place, prominence, or priority in our lives. God wants to have preeminence. Is there anyone, anything, or any blessing that we love more than God? Is it possible that Abraham was beginning to love the blessing more than the Blesser or the gift more than the Giver?
Somewhere along life’s journey, God will ask you to give some of your blessings back to Him. Can you trust Him with your possessions?
The second test answers the question – Can You Trust God with His Purposes for You?
Not only did God give Abraham a possession, He gave him a purpose. “With Isaac there is a purpose, and through him the nations will be blessed.” Understanding and doing the will of God requires three simple steps of finding, following, and finishing the will of God.
The opposite of obedience is disobedience. Faith is not simply obeying in spite of the evidence; it is obeying in spite of the consequences. It is obeying whether or not we understand the purpose.
Sometimes we offer sacrifices for which God is not asking. Real obedience is doing what your told to do…doing it when your told to do it… and doing it with the right heart attitude. A lot of people who plan to obey only procrastinate. As soon as we move into procrastination, however, we are automatically in disobedience.
The third test answers the question – Can You Trust God with the Promises He has Spoken to You?
God said to Abraham years earlier, “You are going to have a son. It’s going to happen.” Did it happen the next day or during the next ten years? No! In the course of time Isaac was born in fulfillment of God’s promise. For decades Abraham stood on those promises even when he and his wife became old. Wow! Have you ever struggled holding on to a promise of God for a week? Real faith stands the test of time.
Can you trust the promises of God even when the circumstances of life do not add up? On life’s journey, you may face many problems, sicknesses, and disappointments – but God will still keep His promises to you.
This devotional was created from original material by James O. Davis.