Give Up the Promise--You Want the Promiser!

God has great plans for you. The Bible says so. I happen to believe the Bible is true.

Have you ever felt like you KNEW what God’s plans for you were? Perhaps even that He had told you, vaguely at least, how He was going to use you?

Grab your Bible, whichever translation you prefer, and take a look at what Abraham knew. Genesis 12:2-- God told Abram that he was going to make him into a great nation at the ripe ole age of 75.

Genesis 12:7--but Abram had no descendant.

Genesis 13:15-16--Still Abram had no descendants, only servants.

Genesis 15:5--More than dust, more than stars, yet still none.

Sarai convinced Abram to bear a child with one of her servants. Ishmael was his illegitimate child. They took God’s plan into their own hands, and it didn’t work out the way they had hoped. It caused pain and heartache for all involved. (Genesis 16)

After their plans failed, God changed Abram and Sarai’s names, made a covenant with them that would carry down through the generations, and reminded Abraham that his descendants would be many and a lineage full of nations and kings. Abraham assumed all of this would come from his son, Ishmael. However, that was never God’s plan. (Genesis 17:1-18)

At the time God appointed, Sarah gave birth to Abraham’s son, Isaac.

God had a plan, and He followed through with His plan even when Abraham and Sarah deviated. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem like the timing was right. It seemed impossible.

That’s where we should get “and they all lived happily ever after”, but we don’t.

In Genesis 22 God instructs Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, and offer him as a burnt sacrifice to God.

Ok, God. Isn’t Abraham supposed to be the father of many nations? Through his descendants? And isn’t Isaac the only legitimate descendant?

Why in the world would God ask Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice?

This is where many of us get stuck.

But Abraham didn’t. He wasn’t so focused on God’s promise that He took his focus off of God, the giver of the promise.

Look at Abraham’s response.

In verse 3, he rose early. No wasting time, dragging his feet, or procrastinating, hoping the Lord would change his mind. He got up at the crack of down and headed out with all the necessary supplies to get the job done.

In verse 5 Abraham tells his servants something very interesting. WE will come back. Now, only he and Isaac were going on from that point, and he was supposed to be offering Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham had faith that God was going to do something amazing on that mountain.

In verse 8 Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the sacrificial lamb. Isaac knew they should have taken a lamb with them. Abraham knew Isaac was supposed to be the lamb, but he had faith God would supply the sacrificial lamb.

And then, after Isaac is bound, lying on the altar, and Abraham is poised to slay him, God shows up.

A ram was found in the thicket to be offered as a sacrifice. Provided by the Lord.

See, Isaac was never going to be sacrificed.

Abraham either wouldn’t have taken him up the mountain to do it, or God would provide a sacrifice in his place since Abraham demonstrate such faith in God.

Abraham knew God’s promise--more descendants than he could ever number. He’d already tried to jump-start the plan once before. God asked him to give up the one thing that would bring God’s promise to fruition.

No, that’s not exactly what God asked Abraham to do.

God asked Abraham to give God the one thing that would bring His promise to fruition.

I feel like God wants me to ______________.

You fill in the blank.

Are you frustrated because you know what goes in that blank but no matter what you do, how hard you try, where you look, it all leads to pain and heartache for all involved?

Have you laid the gift on the altar? The one thing. The sure thing. The item, the gift, the person, the feeling, the calling, that is the promise, have you offered it back to God?

This morning as I read, I realized how stuck I often feel. However, if I’m following God’s lead, there will always be a ram in the thicket. He will provide.


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