“Here I am” by Pastor Kent Munsey
March 3, 2019
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son. ”
Genesis 22:9- 12 (NIV)
God tests us, but he doesn't tempt us. Every person is called by God. We are not just saved, but called. Every call is connected. We're called individually, but he always calls us to one another as the body of Christ.
No call will ever be realized without surrender. We surrender in salvation to God's call for our life. Every time we surrender, God responds with his best. Surrender is an act that allows God to bless us in the manner that he chooses. God is not trying to take something from you; he's trying to get something to you.
Abraham renames the mountain “God will provide.” God's provision is found in our surrender. His grace is found in our surrender. We can look to this mountain to see the power of surrender.
What we can learn from this story:
1. The Place of Surrender:
God calls Abraham to a place of surrender. His son represents his inheritance, his legacy, his reputation, his relationship. This is a test of surrender. Why would God give him a son, the desire of his heart, only to ask him to surrender it?
We often view sin as the only thing we need to surrender, but oftentimes it's God's blessing in our lives that becomes the greatest impediment to our relationship with God. The greatest threat to your relationship with God could be the gift, talent, blessing, wealth, or relationship that God has placed in your life.
Who can God bless and it won't be used against him? Who can God give true power, success, beauty to, and it not be used against him?
Our God is a jealous God. He is intolerant of rivalry. He's either Lord of all, or he's not Lord at all. God’s jealousy is not toxic or unhealthy; he is holy and righteous, and he will not tolerate anything rivaling our relationship with him.
2. The Problem of Surrender:
The problem is not Isaac; the problem is Abraham. When Abraham gained a son, God lost a friend. The very thing God gave Abraham became an impediment to his relationship with God. When we get what we're called to have, it can become an idol in our life.
The problem of surrender is that it requires faith and trust. Abraham had to believe that God was faithful and trust him. In Genesis 22, when his son asked him where the burnt sacrifice was, Abraham tells him that God will provide.
If you believe that God is good, that he is faithful, that he is a provider, that everything good in your life is from God, then you will continually find yourself in that place of surrender (Hebrews 11:17-19 TPT).
More often it is the provision that God gives that becomes an idol in our life. We look at the blessing and not the blesser, the provision but not the provider. Surrender requires faith.
Jesus displayed the greatest act of surrender He wasn't called to be a martyr but a savior, but even the savior had to surrender. He entrusted himself to God (1 Peter 2:23 NIV).
3. The Power in Surrender:
There is power in surrender. Jesus surrendered his life for a greater life. Is there anything in your life that could be an idol that could limit what God is doing in your life?
Abraham surrendered because he believed that God is faithful and wanted to give him sons, not take his son. When you believe that God is good, you can give back to God.
God is not asking something from you; he wants to give something to you.
Are there any blessings, gifts or provisions from God that may be an impediment to your relationship with God?
What do you believe that God may be calling you to surrender?
What kind of faith or belief in God will be required from you in order to be able to surrender and trust him?
How can you find power in surrender?
What do you believe God has promised you and wants to give you in the place of surrender?