Lay Down Your Isaac
God is jealous for us
I am totally convinced that at some time in our lives God will test our loyalty to Him by asking us to give up the very thing we love and think we can not live without. Why? God is jealous for our affections and he does not want to be an addendum to our plans. [click-to-tweet] He wants the priority seat in the airplanes of our lives and hearts.
Confessing your idols
What is the one thing that you can not do without? By this I mean it is detrimental to your very being. Whatever you answered this question with, if you're a Christian and your answer wasn't God then you have made an idol out of said object or maybe said person. And for that, you will have to learn to lay it down and trust God with ALL of your life and earthly possessions because, "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). Here, Jesus expresses the saliency of treasuring and idolizing and how it leads to control.
My struggles with idolatry
Idolatry has become a big concern in my spiritual lens because I was very guilty of idolatry a few years ago. I was enamored with Michael Jackson. I studied his life and music. I knew all of the facts about him so I thought I knew him. I collected posters and books and even joined a fan club. Yes, I was pretty obsessed and I never saw it as idolatry until he died and I wanted so desperately to just die, too. I was pathetic, yes, I admit. A fanatic gone bad. Until one night God whispered, "I wish you would study me like that. To cry out for me because you lost connection with me. To read my Word and surf the Internet to get to know me better. And you know what? Jesus is the true King. MJ was the King of Pop but Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16) [click-to-tweet]. I was flabbergasted as I realized I was guilty of idolatry. I had never looked at my reverence for this celebrity that way, yet I did devote a lot of loyalty to him, even in death.
As I moved past the MJ case, about four years later someone brought to my attention that I idolized my ideas (the perfect man, life, career) and expectations (I held people to standards of near perfection and would be hurt when they failed me or themselves) and like Abraham, I needed to "lay down my Isaac" (Genesis 22). I had to learn to trust God and not my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). So here I was not allowing God to be the leader of my life because I was still holding on to myself and my thoughts and making the decisions instead of trusting God with my life completely. I was not in total submission to God. I was not anchored in Him as Hebrews 6:19 declares. I was anchored in my stubbornness and the comfort zones I had become accustomed to.
Abraham sacrifices Isaac
So I studied Genesis 22 and was astounded at how Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac. I am sure the townspeople thought he was crazy and Sarah was going nuts about the baby she so desperately desired to have and now the Lord was asking them to give him back. What grief and pain were the two inflicted with as parents. And only a God who loves his child would would make such an extreme demand, right? I am certain that God knew in advance his reasoning for asking Abraham to do this. Maybe Abraham and Sarah forgot that God had promised this son and would uphold His word.
How miraculous that just as Abraham was about to pick up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice, the angel of the Lord intervened by calling Abraham's name (Genesis 22:10-11). Yes, our Lord know us by name. How precious is that? God then commanded Abraham not kill Issac because the sacrifice proved that Abraham would withhold nothing from God (Genesis 22:12-13). God promised Abraham an abundance of blessings because he obeyed God. He also blessed Abraham's lineage and promised they would have the ability to conquer their enemies. Thus, the Abrahamic generation reaped great blessings because of obedience and a willingness to sacrifice.
Clear the stage
Abraham proved he had no idols. Nothing to take his total attention and heart away from God. No distractions. No items of worship or devotion. In today's society, our lives are the opposite. We have distractions galore - reality, society, the television, and the Internet. And the enemy rubs his hands in glee because he knows that a distracted human is an easy target for his territory. Let's not be putty in the enemy's hands. It's time to take s stand and clear the stage to get rid of our idols. What is distracting you today? What Isaac must you lay down to give God your all?
Common idols of today:
- Significant Other
- Addiction/Willful Sin
- Cellular Phone
God wants you back
Those are just some of the distractions that we run to instead of running to the open arms of a loving God who is waiting there. God is jealous for us and He will reveal whatever it is that has taken precedence in our lives which encompasses how loving He is. He refuses to allow His children to be abandoned from His grace, and He will go to extremes to bring us back to Him. If that isn't love then I don't know what is.
Dear Lord, Please reveal to me any idols I may have in my life. I sincerely desire to make you number one in my life because no little god will do. Give me the faith and strength to run to you and seek you first with all I may encounter and endure this lifetime. I love you, God and thank you for relentlessly pursuing me. In Jesus's name, Amen.