An Act of Ultimate Worship
Read Genesis 22:1-18
Worship is about giving. It's about surrendering our lives, even losing our lives, so that God's life can be displayed through us.
"Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Mr, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.' " - Luke 9:23-24
Abraham knew what it was to take his CROSS daily and follow the Lord ...
For Abraham, following the LORD was to suddenly have a very high price tag - his son, Isaac that he and his wife had waited so agonizingly long for.
Have we ever felt the price tag of our faith was to high? Have there been things - even good and noble things - that we have had to give up for the cause of our FAITH? Some of the pathway of our lives are literally strewn with things that in themselves may have been great, but that simply were not God's best for our lives.
Be it known that the Scriptures tell us quiet clearly that we are not our own, but that we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23).
Abraham's price had suddenly risen to hideous heights. God was asking him to forfeit the life of his son. Is any price too high? In Abraham's estimation, it wasn't. In worshipful OBEDIENCE to the LORD's command, Abraham arose (early) and would have sacrificed his own son, had not the LORD intervened and stopped. Hebrews 11 tells us that Abraham reasoned that God could bring his son back to life again even if he were slain.
What incredible FAITH! What trust Abraham must have held in his HEART towards the LORD. He believed that his son would live again, even if he killed. Sometimes the things that the LORD asks of us can seem pretty grim. But there's always payback time! Though the price that Abraham had to pay was really huge, he effectively secured for many generations to come, the promise of blessing from the hand of the LORD. In fact the Bible says that every nation on the face of the earth would be blessed because of Abraham's OBEDIENCE. Abraham was able to worship God even when faced with the prospect of losing a son (Genesis 22:5). Can we worship God even when it hurts to do so?
Can we worship Him when things of significance crumble in our lives? Can we worship when our soul are in turmoil, pain, or deep regret? I think that the answer is "YES". When we know for sure that our heavenly Father loves us then the the answer can be "YES". When we know for sure that He is for us and not against us, then the answer can be a resounding, "YES".
It takes great FAITH to believe that God loves us even in the midst of great pain. But if we hearken to what the LORD says about us in the Scriptures, then we will find over and over and over again that God does assuredly love us and He promised never to leave us. When trials and temptations come - and they do come - we need to stand firm in the knowledge that we are ever loved by someone whose capacity to love us is tremendous!
It is even possible that the LORD may be testing our level of devotion for Him. Does this surprised us? He tested Abraham. Scripture is clear on that point (Genesis 22:1, 16). So why does God test us to see what's in our HEART? Generally, it's to test our readiness for more responsibility in the Kingdom. It's not to be harsh or hard or cruel with us. Sometimes He just wants us to see what we're made of. God entrusts greater stewardship to those who have been proven trustworthy.
He is constantly fashioning us and shaping us so that we can contain more of His glory. God is preparing for Himself a people whose HEARTS are towards Him and who will bring praise and honour to Him in the earth.
So whatever season of our lives we're in right now, remember Abraham's ultimate ACT of WORSHIP an make a conscientious decision to WORSHIP GOD!
(an extract from: The Heart of Worship - by Kerrie Christensen)