Tuesday, October 9, 2012

laying it down.

Doing this book with a bunch of great gals:

As I felt myself "loosing momentum", I thought through verses that could help with motivation. Of course, one can go through the book and do what is outlined there--but, I needed to remember the "why" behind the doing. That can get foggy sometimes in the day-to-day.

I'm also doing this study with a bunch of great gals:

Wow. This book is really life-changing in the way I look at knowing and doing God's Will. So great.

Also, during these weeks, Rey and I felt God calling us to do something we'd never dreamed of doing. Doing something that would radically change--no, turn upside down our plans and goals for our lives. During sleepless nights and heavy days of praying, soul-searching and obedience--we found ourselves deciding to obey God, even in this.

We took the steps we felt God was calling us to make, wondering at what the outcome could be. I felt the passage of Isaac and Abraham--when Abraham goes to sacrifice Isaac--being whispered to me, but didn't take the time to look into it.

In the end, the decision was made for us, and we did not have make the life-change we thought we would. Which left us a little shell-shocked--like, "God, what was that all about?"

So, I recently picked up the "Experiencing God" book to do the homework before the next meeting. First day, first page of the study referenced the Isaac and Abraham passage. I started getting excited--this is no coincidence!

So, I poured over that chapter--Genesis 22. I switched out "Abraham's" name to Rey and Liz. I changed "Isaac" to goals and plans. I was amazed at what God's voice said to us:

"After all this, God tested Rey and Liz. God said, “Rey and Liz!” “Yes?” they answered. “We are listening.” He said, “Take your dear plans and dreams, which you love, and go... Sacrifice them there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.”  ....They arrived at the place to which God had directed them. They built an altar. They laid out the wood. Then they tied up their life's plans and laid them on the wood. They reached out and took the knife to kill their plans. Just then an angel of God called to then out of Heaven, “Rey and Liz!” “Yes, we are listening.” “Don’t lay a hand on those plans! Don’t touch them! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your dreams, your dear plans, on the altar for me.”

And then I loved this conclusion:

"....The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear—God’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.”

All of this is not to say that the "test" is over. Not to say that we'll never again have to lay our lives on His alter.... But, I was profoundly grateful that God loves us enough to shake us.

Which brings me full-circle to when I was looking to regain my motivation as my friends and I journey through the book Seven. 

Our sacrifices--no matter how small or large they seem--are all ways of us saying, "Not even this will get between You and I, Lord!" When we seek Him and clearly hear Him guiding us to offer something up to Him, to leave something behind--and do it--we are tangibly showing our love. Often times, it is not that the "thing" in itself is evil. It is just evil if we refuse to allow God to burn it up, if He so chooses.

Does this passage relate to you in a way? Is God calling you to lay something down to test if it may be an idol to you?

Father--each time I say "no" to some thing, let it be because I am saying "yes" to You!