Sunday, March 30, 2014

Obedience is Better than Sacrifice...but often, Obedience IS the Sacrifice

Whats your "Issac"? The one thing that you do not, ever, want to do? The one thing you hope that the Lord will never ask you to do or sacrifice?

For me, I never wanted to break my parents heart. Thats a good thing, right? That a child would strive to honor their parents with their decisions and life so that the parent can be proud of them? Surely, the God who says "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right" will never command me to do something that I know will hurt them?

I have been waiting 569 days for an answer to a prayer. Yes I have been counting. That's:
> more than 49 million seconds
>more than 800 thousand minutes
> more than 13 thousand hours
> about 81 weeks
.....and still the most I've heard from God is wait. Wait. WAIT!

So I wait. Along the way, God decimated me. But he also put me back together.

This whole time, I have been waiting for him to act on my behalf. I have been waiting for him to show his hand and come in miraculously.for 530+ days, I waited for him to step in. So when he told me to stop praying and start acting, I was floored. I was resentful. Didn't he know that I was waiting for him? If I had to do it myself all along, why have I been praying for all this time? Whats the point? Why did I waste my time, my tears, all those hours on my knees, just for him to tell me to act? What?!

Just like that, God exposed to me my own selfish nature, my own agenda. He showed me that while I really loved him and loved spending time with him, I was deceiving myself into believing I wasn't treating him like my magical holy vending machine. My personal servant. "God do this - I command you".

God told me to act and how to act and what to do and guided me in what to say. Still I avoided him because I was resentful. I didn't spend time with him, I chose to ignore him. After all, if He wasn't going to help me, why I should I spend time with him? For a whole month I avoided him. I tried to justify it: "Oh I don't know if this is really God or I am just acting because I am tired of waiting." and "God, give me a sign if this is really from you". In my heart of hearts though, I knew, I was just trying to drag my feet. God told me what needed to be done and I was just trying to find any excuse to not be obedient. I was also trying to manipulate Him to do it for me.

Why? Because what he asked me to do was sacrifice my Isaac. Years ago, even in my teens, I told God that my life was His to do with as he pleased (and I meant it - still do), but please don't let me break my parents hearts. In the back of my mind, I knew that God was an all or nothing God and if I truly wanted to give him my life then he will not let me hold anything back.

The time came and God did indeed require that sacrifice.

I fought Him for a month until finally I decided that I had to do it. God was more important to me than my Isaac. Down to the very last minute I held back. I could literally feel a war between myself, the Enemy and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit urged me to step up and I would take the step and open my mouth. Then Fear would come in with Doubt and I would clamp my mouth shut and step back. For many hours over 3 days I had this tug of war within me. Everything within me wanted to pull back. Only a small piece of my heart said to jump. I prayed, gathered my courage and jumped.

My whole life has imploded. My father has not talked to me for a week. Mom told me he cries whenever he speaks of me. When I speak to mom, she cries too.

The day I jumped I wondered if I did the right thing. If I am really hearing from God, why am I the only one who thinks I am where he called me to be? Why is everyone telling me I am dead wrong?

I am reminded of Abraham. If he had told anyone about Gods command to kill Isaac, everyone would have told him the exact same thing. Truth is, sometimes, what God requires goes against every bit of common sense, logic and reason. Often, we can't make sense of it. No one can. It seems impractical, foolish, ridiculous. They say, "How can God fulfill His promise if you go and kill it?! For that matter, why in heaven or hell would God tell you to kill the very gift he gave you as a sign that he would fulfill it? You are crazy if you think God would ever tell you something like that. You are being deceived by the enemy."

But in the midst of all of that comes a quiet assurance and a voice in the recess of my heart, not really heard but felt. "Trust me"

Praising Him Who Saved Me