Dear brothers and sisters,
Good afternoon. I was extremely busy with meeting after meeting as soon as I had finished our staff morning prayer time. I literally had no break in between to check my email nor write my journal until now. But the day was very fruitful. Praise the Lord!
The devotion I read this morning came out of the story of how Abraham sacrificed his only beloved son, Isaac. After Abraham learned to obey God’s ultimate command in his life, God said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me" (Genesis 22:16-18). Abraham has reached the place where he is in touch with the very nature of God, he understands now the Reality of God.
"My goal is God Himself . . .At any cost, dear Lord, by any road." "At any cost, by any road" means nothing self-chosen in the way God brings us to the goal. There is no possibility of questioning when God speaks if He speaks to His own nature in me; prompt obedience is the only result. When Jesus says - "Come," I simply come; when He says - "Let go," I let go; when He says - "Trust in God in this matter," I do trust. The whole working out is the evidence that the nature of God is in me.
God's revelation of Himself to me is determined by my character, not by God's character.
"'This is because I am mean, God’s ways so often look mean to me." By the discipline of obedience I get to the place where Abraham was and I see Who God really is. I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ, then, I know that "in all the world, my God, there is none but You, there is none but You." The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God. We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us, then all of a sudden we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up. "All the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen." The "yes" must be born out of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say "Amen" to a promise, then that promise is ours.
The lesson of obedience is truly difficult for us but essential for our transformation as a child of God. The test of faith may make us angry with God at time. We know that He is not a nice God even though He is good at all time. No matter how difficult our lives may be today, we know by faith that God means to bless us through it. We learn to obey with a cheerful heart.
Have a blessed evening.
Love you in the name of Christ,