DAILY DEVOTIONAL FROM PASTOR WESLEY January 20, 2022
The Reward of Relinquishment
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, … “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” … On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So, the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” … “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So, the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham… Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.” Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:1-18
When God asks us to surrender our will to His, it’s our job to trust He will show us the way (Proverbs 3:5-6). I’ve learned that, while it’s a struggle to put everything on the altar, we don’t have to understand how God will accomplish His plans. Telling God “no” because we first want to understand why amounts to getting in our own way. But when we say “yes,” He can pour out His goodness and reward our obedience.
Today’s passage shows a remarkable example of relinquishment. Abraham’s deep faith in God’s trustworthiness allowed him to obey and offer up what was most precious to him: his son Isaac. As a result, the Lord provided a substitutionary sacrifice that day and also promised Abraham countless descendants, one of whom would be Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.
God shouldn’t be mistaken for a parent who withholds a treat until the child complies. Rather, obedience positions us to receive what He is already trying to give us—and to accomplish what He has in mind for our life. So, when we fail to trust God enough to do what He says, we could be closing ourselves off from those good things.
What has the Lord told you to do? Have you only partially cooperated, or have you relinquished your need to understand and obeyed completely? If the Lord says to give, know that you too can trust Him to provide. God wants you to enjoy His blessings, not be controlled by them.
This is Dr. Michael Wesley, Sr.'s latest book on the subject of marriage. As a Pastor he has counseled many couples before, during, and after marriage so this has given him keen insight into the marital relationship. He himself has been married to the same woman for over 40 years so he has a wealth of knowledge on this subject. In this book Dr. Wesley covers that marriage comes from God, the keys to compatibility, the keys to staying in love, and even what to do if you feel you have married the wrong person. This is an excellent read if you are considering marriage in the future or even if you are currently married.