Have you ever been too out to be in and too in to be out? I have. I am. What a peculiar place to be. There is a story in the Old Testament of the Bible in which God calls Abraham to take his only son and go on a journey to this mountain to sacrifice the boy to God. Now, why would God ask such a thing? He could have had anything. He's God. It's like, get your own boy to sacrifice God! This boy is special. He is Abraham's only son and for that matter why kill the boy that You just gave to these nice people? Isn't this boy supposed to be a blessing? Isn't this boy supposed to become a great nation? But, you see in order for God to give Abraham the blessing and inheritance that He had promised, God had to know where His place was in Abraham's heart. This was a test and so Abraham took the boy and some servants and went towards the mountain. When they came a way off from the place Abraham told the servants to "stay with the asses". He told them He and the boy were going to the mountain to worship. He gathered his stuff for the fire and the sacrifice. He took the boy and went. Isaac wondered where they would get a lamb for the offering? Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb for the burnt offering. At the mountain, Abraham built the altar and laid his son on it. He raised his knife to kill his son and God called to him and told him to stop! God said that now He knew that Abraham feared Him. God knew He was first in Abraham's heart. "Abraham looked and there was a ram tied up in the thicket." He called that place The-Lord-Will-Provide.
It's a funny thing to be too in to be out and too out to be in. It lacks commitment. It lacks a step of faith. What's your Issac? What's the thing in your life that you possess that means more too you than anyone or anything? There have been times in my life that people's admiration of me was my greatest possession. I would have almost done anything to have it. I did not lay it on the altar until after I allowed it to own me and by then I had laid God on the altar instead, choosing what felt right at the time. It corrupted my soul, the lust for admiration. When I received no pay off from my investment I was devastated but, I knew. I knew whom I had sacrificed in order to have momentary love. Maybe for you it's alcohol or drugs. The constant pursuit, the lifestyle of sneaking and hiding and lying, the numbing down, the giving up. Maybe its sex. Do you sacrifice your marriage for some secret time on the computer after everyone has gone to bed? Do you hide the receipts from your spouse because you went and purchased pornographic materials or spent time in a sex shop? There are many "Isaacs" out there in the world. The thing our heart tells us that we need in order to be OK. In order to have peace of mind.
I'm sure as Abraham walked with his boy and the servants away from camp he had to have looked back, too out to be in. Then he looked towards the mountain of his destination, too in to be out. He had a decision to make. Did God really say He would bless him? Did he trust God? Would God really provide a lamb? Abraham had waited so long for his and Sara's needs to be met and now here was the answer to their prayers walking right beside him. What would he do if God didn't provide? But he knew God would provide. God had proved Himself faithful to Abraham. Today, we all have a decision to make. God is asking us, Am I First in your life? Will you trust that I will provide if you lay this thing on the altar and give it away?
Today, I'm not staying with the Asses. I'm going up the mountain! God will provide!
""Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the Church..." Ephesians 3:20,21