Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Laying Our Desires on the Alter

“Father if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

Abraham and Sarah had a strong desire for a son. But there was one problem, both Abraham and Sarah had advanced beyond the normal age for procreation. However, God promised Abraham that he would have a son. The Lord even called him a father of many nations. After many years, the day did come when the beloved promise came to pass. They named their son Isaac, and all was well in the lives of Abraham and Sarah.

Then one day God spoke to Abraham and told him to take his son Isaac to the top of a mountain in the land of Moriah, and offer him as a burnt offering to the Lord. Abraham obeyed believing God could restore the life of his son.

When Abraham reached the top of the mountain he bound up his son and laid him upon an alter. When he raised a knife to kill Isaac, God spoke. “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son.”
In this true story, God tested Abraham, and Abraham passed the test. His desire to obey God was greater than his love for his child. He is called in the Scriptures the father of faith and a friend of God. When we have dreams and desires that we believe are from the Lord, it is natural and fitting for us to ask God to give us those things. Perhaps you have your heart set on serving in a particular vocation or maybe you are asking the Lord to heal you physically.

God does not always give us what we want right away. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years before Isaac came along. There are also times when what we desire is not the ultimate best for us according to God's will. Jesus prayed, “Father if it is Your will take this cup away from me...” Christ was talking to the Father about going to the cross. Even though Jesus asked for another way, the Father led Him to His death upon the cross.

We must be willing to place our dreams and desires on the alter. Sometimes God will give us those things and sometimes He does not. It is at these times when we must bow before the Sovereign will of our Maker knowing that He sees everything and He knows what is ultimately the best for our lives. Whatever He decides, we must always strive to place our love for and obedience to God above our desire for other things no matter how noble they may seem. It is important that we not let the thing we long for to become an idol in our hearts. When we surrender these desires to the Lord, He will bless us and give us His peace.

There is a time to lay hold of God's promises with unwavering faith, and there is a time to surrender to God's perfect will. Our trust is to be in the faithful character of our loving Heavenly Father. He will always take good care of us; He always has our best interests at heart.

Dear Father God,

Thank you for Your many promises to me. Lord, I ask that You would move in my life and do great things. Help me to always keep my love for you above any other desire I have. If there are any idols in my heart, Lord, please show me. I surrender all I am to You. Have Your way in me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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