This has been a great tool in helping keep perspective. I’ve learned so much from the posts written this week by Rusty and Kim.
When reading through Abraham’s story (Genesis 12, 15, and 22) this week there’s a word that keeps coming to mind—obey. As we read his story, for whatever reason Abraham struggled to obey God for years. Situations came up that he had a choice to either obey God or make his own decision. When he made his own decisions, things ended up much harder for him. But to his credit, he did follow through with that big ask from God—the one about putting a knife to the son he waited decades to hold, love, and raise.
I don’t know about you but there are times where I’ve, like Abraham, struggled with obeying God. Maybe it is coming clean about a secret that we kept from our spouse. Taking a friend out to lunch and asking for their forgiveness after you trashed their reputation can be a struggle.
Perhaps it is deciding to take a step and tithe to your church when your family thinks you’ve lost your mind. Asking God for the strength to forgive the person who harmed your child can be an almost impossible struggle. But I think there’s a bigger issue. From reading through Abraham’s story, God wanted Abraham to trust Him. Obedience was a way that Abraham showed that he trusted God. Although he didn’t start of too good, Abraham was a man that trusted God. Abraham learned something very important—God can be trusted. Like any dad, Abraham struggled with taking Isaac up to the mountain. Like Abraham, we can obey and still struggle with what God is telling us to do.
God can be trusted. Those four words have set me free. He loves you and me. He doesn’t break promises. He doesn’t lie. Abraham’s story shows that God is incredibly patient with us as we grow. He knows everything, which means that my cum laude mind couldn’t handle what He knows. He wants the best for you and me. This doesn’t mean a life without pain, suffering, or struggle. ‘Best’ simply means growing us so everyone sees Him at work in our lives. His character doesn’t change. Because of this, we should want to trust Him, which leads us to obey Him.
It may not make us look smart when we obey God, but we’ll be stronger for it. Trust makes or breaks any relationship and our most important relationship we have is with God.
What is God telling you to do today? How is God growing you so that everyone in your circle of influence sees Him at work in your life?
Jeff Geyer Pastor of Spiritual Formation and Family Ministries New Hope Church