How will you respond during test? In life you will be tested. You don’t ask for it. You don’t plan for it. You may not want it. But it will come, you will be tested hardly at some point in your life. Ultimately, you will be tested with your faith, family, finances, friends, health or other areas in your life. Let’s learn from the story of Abraham.
Abraham Tested Gen 22:1-18
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.9 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. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.12 “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.”13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 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, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
How to respond when tested?
Five Lessons We Can Learn From Abraham:
Lesson 1: Obey enthusiastically and properly.
V. 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
Rom. 12:11 (NLT) Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
(NIV)Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Lesson 2: Obey God intentionally even if we don’t understand everything.
V.6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son
Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.
Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own
Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.
“We don’t have to understand everything before following the Lord. When we obey God intentionally, he will eventually reveal His divine purpose and that is always for our best interest”
Isa. 55:10 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts
Lesson 3: Obey with faith and a vision.
v.5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
v.8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
v.13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He
went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son
“Faith and Vision comes through Obedience” and “Obedience is an act of faith”
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him.
The Lord’s Covenant With Abram
Gen 15:1 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid,
Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.
Isa 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but
will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Lesson 4: Obey God wholeheartedly for He blesses exceedingly.
v.16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
v. 17 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,
v.18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
“Obedience comes first before reward”
1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.
11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you.
Lesson 5: Obey as a response to the ultimate love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:8 ESV
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
“ We obey for He firstly obeyed “.
It pays a high regard when we obey the Lord. Yes, it is hard to obey especially when you need to sacrifice and deny your own flesh, but God honors those who honor Him.
Psalm 147: 11 but he takes pleasure in those who honor him, in those who trust in his constant love.
While it is hard to obey, it also very hard to suffer the consequences of being disobedient. So, why choose to disobey when you have the privilege to obey and honor Him and experience the gift of obedience? He who created you, redeemed you, purchased you with a high price and blessed you beyond what you deserved. He deserves your utmost obedience!
Lord when you test me, let me say, Yes! I obey.