In this fascinating story of faith and sacrifice and trust and surrender, I see the characteristics of a God who asked nothing of Abraham that He didn’t demand of Himself. Because it is so significant, I cannot resist sharing with you three powerful truths about our God that I see illustrated here.
God the Father showed us how to live when He released His dear Son to us. Nine months before that wondrous night in Bethlehem, the Father sent His Son. Christ willingly left His seat of absolute power in heaven, set aside the voluntary use of His divine authority, and became a helpless infant. As a human, subject to all the pains and sorrows and limitations that affect us all, He would mature, learn, minister, suffer . . . and die. If the Father was willing to release His own Son to us, what could be so much more precious to us that we would withhold it from Him?
God the Son showed us how to die when He released Himself to the Father. Isaac’s quiet obedience to his father illustrates this beautifully. He gave himself over to the will of his father and allowed himself to be placed on an altar without a fight. That’s exactly what the Son of God did at Calvary. When our faith is mature, we’ll not fear death.
God the Spirit will show us how to live and die as we learn how to release whatever has us in its grip. (That last phrase wasn’t a mistake.) As long as we’re owned by whatever we’re clutching, we’ll never be given over completely to the Holy Spirit. This would be an excellent moment for you to do some self-analysis. To what, to whom are you clinging? Let it go. Let them go.
The Lord may be in the process of taking it from you. He’ll gently tug on it at first, giving you the opportunity to release your grip. If you resist, He’ll eventually have to pry your fingers away, and I can assure you that it will hurt. My advice? Voluntarily release it. Trust the Lord to provide. He has another ram in the thicket. You can’t see it right now, but He has it waiting. Only after you have placed your sacrifice on the altar will you be ready to receive God’s provision.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.