Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 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.”
This is the triangle of God’s blessings. We can only experience being in the center of His blessings when we are able to surrender our “Isaacs” (please see previous message) or until we are able to give up our idols, the things which hinder us from focusing on God and developing an intimate relationship with Him. Once we are able to surrender these things that preoccupy us then we can easily surrender to God in faith and in obedience every aspect of our lives.
Often times it is not a question of our willingness to surrender to God but rather in the actual doing that we falter. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak . . . as the old cliché goes. But should we just accept this and not do anything about it?
Thomas Kempis said “Instant obedience is the only kind there is; delayed obedience is disobedience.” We come out with all rationalization and reasoning to delay obedience. . . but a delay in our obedience to God is also disobedience. This we should realize. Because when we delay our obedience to God’s commands then we are positioning ourselves away from the blessings of God. It is no wonder that Abraham instantly obeyed God’s command to surrender Isaac. But his instant obedience did not come overnight, Abraham had to go through a process of transformation until he reached this point in his walk with God. His faith was progressively being dealt with by God until Abraham trusted God completely. Likewise, all of us should imitate Abraham and grow in our faith and obedience to the Lord. Because when we have become transformed and when our faith has grown then we can easily obey God’s command to surrender our Isaac.
Faith and Obedience go hand in hand. Without faith it will be difficult for us to obey. But in order for our faith to grow progressively we should know the basis of our faith. Without knowledge, we cannot trust. Without trust, we cannot have faith. Without faith, we cannot obey. If we do not obey, we cannot be blessed.
This is something we should remember:
Know God to trust and have faith in God
Faith in God to obey God
Obey God to love God
Love God is to be blessed by God
Blessed by God to bless others
PRINCIPLE: The blessed/ happy life starts with Knowing God.
Many of us think we know God, but the truth is we do not. Because if we truly knew God then we would easily surrender our Isaac. If we knew our God, then we would trust in His plans for us. . . and this is reason enough to obey Him immediately. Our hesitation comes from our lack of understanding and knowledge of who God is and what His plans are for us.
We insist on clinging to our idols, to our gods. . . the things we think are important to us . . . the things we put before God. These idols preoccupy us, the direct our choices and take control of our lives. And all because we do not know God. We do not know Him enough to trust Him. Do not trust Him enough to grow in faith. Not enough faith to obey.
What are the consequences of not knowing God: (
We will have a wasted curse life.
There will be an absence of God’s blessings.
There are curses that will befall one who does not know God in Psalm 115:4-8 and Psalm 53:1. Likewise there are blessings bestowed by God on one who strives to know Him in John 10:10-15 and Romans 8:28-30.
When we let other gods take control of our lives then we become like them. We lose sight of what is real and what is important. . . and end up focusing on this world and all its false promises. Wrong thinking equals wrong behavior . . . and this leads to a cursed life. Whereas Right thinking equal right behavior . . . leading to a blessed life.
The God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, is the same God who made these promises. He is almighty, He is holy, He is omniscient, He is omnipotent, He is omnipresent, He is eternal, He is sovereign, He is faithful, He is immutable, He is merciful, He is gracious, He is good, He is eternal. . . and He loves us.
To truly come to knowledge of God, we should:
1. Find information, revealed facts about God. Who He is, how He exists, what is He like.
2. We have to intentionally and aggressively need to go beyond just the facts about God. We need to know Him personally and intimately.
The Bible was given to us by God in order that we may know Him better. He also sent us Jesus Christ so that we may know Him. (John 14:7; John 17:3 and 1 John 5:20). The Bible gives witness to two facts regarding the knowledge God. First, it teaches us that God is incomprehensible, and but then it also declares that God is knowable. Both are true, but not in an absolute sense.
We can know God through His word in the bible and through Jesus.. . and He wants us to know Him. The question then is: do we really and truly know God?