Friday, January 12, 2007

The Isaac Offering

"A guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do ..."

Whatever the Chaldee version of that phrase is, Abraham certainly muttered it into his cloak as he made that ascent up the mountain of Moriah on the eve of the sacrifice of his son to God.

Imagine if he, after receiving the command from God, asked his friends what they thought about it. Imagine if he asked his wife Sarah, "I think I heard God say that I'm suppose to offer our son as a burnt offering." What would she have thought? "Are you out of your damn mind? God would never tell you to do that!"

Perhaps that's why he set out so early in the morning.

But that is exactly what God had spoken and Abraham knew it. He had to dispell every word of resistance discouraging such a disgusting act such as human sacrifice, and yes, it was a terrible thing to command a father to do. But God had said it. Abraham had learned to recognize the voice of God. Now, he was to learn to trust it.

It's a scary thing to come face to face with an Isaac offering request, but it is essential to our discipleship. A time will come when God bids up lay down the very thing that we have invested our entire lives for, the thing that we love more than anything on earth. He asks us, "Do you love me more than these? Can I have this?"

It's not that He intrinsically wants it or needs it, but knows that our hearts are attached to it, and our grip has tightened around it. It was a gift to begin with, but with time we clutch it like a child clutches a candy bar. We forget that there was a time when we were without it and God was enough to satisfy us completely. But then this 'thing' came along.

I must ask myself, "Am I at rest if I am not in fulltime ministry, or on my way to the mission field just yet? Am I satisfied, sitting still, doing little but being attentive at the feet of Jesus, like Mary? Or am I constantly compelled to shake and move and get busy for the ministry, like Martha?" If my identify has been programmed by what I do for God and not who I am in God, then my heart is laid captive by an external force that is not God Himself. My proper integration into a church where I am not given a high profile responsibility is essential at this point of my life. Though this may run contrary to the suggestion of many and makes little sense given my soon approaching graduation from a Bible College, I am sure that the call of God, for now, is to stop, and to receive, to be led, and to fellowship. It's high time I flow and resonate with a church rather than flail about impatiently as one of its leaders hoping to get where I 'really wanna be'.

It's time to offer Isaac.

Giddy up.