Genesis 22 1-2,8,10-12,15-17

22 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “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.”

8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “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.”

15 Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 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, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you,


When we look at the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac we don’t think about dreams. We usually just see a story of faith but we don’t think dreams. But the dreams that I’m talking about are not merely hopes for the future but rescue from the pain of now. What happens to them is a struggle against the stronghold of “now”. God attacks it with an undisclosed future. God is using just his creditability to propel this family forward. God’s creditability meaning His faithfulness. God simply gives His word, God shows Himself, and God provides.
The Lord tells Abram (Abraham) to leave his father’s place and go to a place where He would show him. God disrupts Abraham’s now for a place unknown to him. In the very instance of God calling out Abram, Abram’s concerns for the right now is challenged. Abram was asked to leave the country in which he grew up and all of his family. For all we know this is the first time he had even heard of God and we can assume this because his family were pagans. Yet he just walked forward. In the process he had to deal with many things and each of them were situations and circumstances that afflicted his “now”. To better make this story resonate with us let’s look at “now”.

Before we were became believers we had one enemy; God and he was good. As Christians we have more enemies and they are evil. Those enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil. *The world is a mindset of secularism, secular means now; the present. In the bible it means a mindset that says the here, the now, the concrete, what you see right now is all that matters.
Tim Keller

Looking at this understanding of the “world” and its mindset of “the now”. We can start to see what Abram was facing each and every time God confronts him or he finds himself in a particular circumstance. God actually leads Abram to the promised land of Canaan but he walks right through it. God tells him this is the Promised Land for your people and keep going and camp at a different spot. After which he has to leave and go to Egypt because of a famine in the land. In Egypt he has his wife taken by Pharaoh and next he is rescuing his brother Lot from captivity of a conquering army. Then the Lord promises Abram a son when he is at an age that makes it difficult. Not only is he old but his wife can’t have children but also she is old as well, way past child bearing years. Sarai has always wanted children but couldn’t and in those times having a heir and just children in general helped build your wealth. Bearing children was a sign of blessings. Women who couldn’t were not the ones men wanted. So given their current situation, worldly pressures, and not having no control over their physical bodies they our given a promise a hope a dream come true with no reason to believe it. A child held a look of hope for their future, wealth, wellbeing in old age, and future family members.

We all have those types of dreams and hopes. We all have something that we hang are everything on. Look at where your trials and tribulations are right now. Where is the point of your sufferings? There is where the Lord is dealing with your heart and your dreams. It is here were you will scale your own mountain of transfiguration, this is your mount of olives, and your doubts and struggles are like the rich young ruler approaching Jesus Christ. What I mean is that our dreams approach Jesus looking for justification or endorsement from God. We present our dreams to God for His blessings and our approval before God. When God gives us our dreams, then will we worship Him as “God”. Jesus then pressures the young man’s true god, his true motives, his true heart, his true center of hope and asks him to lay it on the alter; just as God had asked Abraham. The ultimate dream catcher is not after the hopes and dreams that we have. He is after our hearts, he is trying to revive us, to breathe life into us, to simply resurrect us from the grave of our lusts, desires, self-righteousness, self -assurance, self-reliance, and our idolatry. The worst things in our lives that keeps us away from Jesus Christ are not the obvious evil things but the very good blessings from God. “Sell all that you have and follow me”, that was the command. “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.”, that was the command. The wealth given to the young man was a blessing from the LORD, Isaac was a blessing from the LORD and one person’s dreams and hopes was in getting GOD even at the expense of losing a blessing. One of these two people valued GOD more than “now”. We will come to that point in our Christian walk with a choice of what will be your center? That choice will govern what you will do next.

Think about the Lord’s Prayer; Jesus knows that the trials and tribulations of living in a fallen world would tests our walk. Notice how the asking for “Give us this day our daily bread.” is followed by” And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. Waiting on the Lord’s provisions, purposes, deliverance and renewal will always be a point of attack. Waiting on the Lord will try to sway us to sin and others to sin against us. The enemy will always come up against the faithfulness of God and the very promises of God, which will lead us to switch places with God on the throne. In these moments we began to push God out of His place. “If you decide what is right or wrong for you, rather than following God’s word you are putting yourself in the place of God.” (Tim Keller). Sarah fail in that moment and offered Hagar to Abraham because she thought it would be impossible for her to have children, even after God made a promise.

Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” – Genesis 18:12-14

Have you ever doubted? Have your faith ever wavered? Our doubts will not just haunt us but they will destroy us if we don’t take them to Jesus. We doubt or have unbelief because we are walking by sight. Our sight kills our faith because we stop thinking and start trusting the appearance of the situation or the imaginary outcome. To battle doubt we have to renew our mind by thinking of The Lord’s goodness, faithfulness, promises, past deeds. The Lord’s collateral is a risen Savior, his good for it. To live by faith is to live under a trusted Shepherd who has never lost a sheep. You just do what sheep do and let the shepherd worry about what the sheep need. The devil doesn’t destroy faith because he can’t but what he can do is cause doubt in our decision to put faith in God and not ourselves. Our doubt affects obedience. The natural enemy of faith in God is selfishness or “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. Yet as powerful as our doubts can be, the Lord is stronger.
What the Lord promises, the Lord has already done. Who are we to believe that our doubled mindedness has the power to limit God? How can a man think that his faith “releases” God? Sarah’s laughter can’t shame God into taking back a promise nor can our weaknesses keep God’s love and provisions from His children. Sarah was focused on “now” but God had been moved past that after He created the world. We need to keep up and look to where The Lord is leading us. God is calling us to come to the altar to lay down that good thing for a better thing; Jesus Christ. We may be holding on too tightly to something and praying for a new something but can’t receive it. Not admitting to our faults, needs, weaknesses, and longings are closed fists before a giving Lord. To not release what we “think” is best and to do what we “think” is right are deaf ears before Christ as He calls to us. Not for a lack of faith but because of a lack of obedience to walk up the mountain of troubles to get to the altar and give God the dream He has given so the ram in the bush will be given.



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