Summary: This is the fourth in the series of messages adapted from Tony Evan’s book, Dry Bones Dancing
Are You Paying the Price?
-In your hunger for the passion and power God offers through His Spirit, what price are you willing to pay?
-Let’s put it another way: What is your pursuit of God costing you? Because in case you didn’t know it, all biblical worship, all service to God, all encounters with God involve a sacrifice.
-It was unknown in the Old Testament to approach God without some sacrifice. There was expense involved in entering His presence.
-David said this in II Samuel 24:24, “I will not offer burnt offering to God that costs me nothing.” He understood that there’s a price tag involved in worship. He recognized the worth of the God he worshiped. And when you’re passionate about something, you will pick up the tab.
-So the question is this: Are you willing to pay the price?
-You see, it’s one thing to say you’re hungry for God and for His presence and to be asking for it; it’s another thing to be willing to sacrifice for it.
-The Bible calls it a test.
-Why does God test our hunger for Him? Because the passion of our lives must be for God and not merely for His blessings and gifts. God doesn’t mind giving us blessings out of His hand as long as what we truly want is His heart.
-Let’s look at Genesis 22:1-18 to get a clear understanding of what we have been talking about so far. (Read Text)
-Abraham was enjoying a time of prosperity and peace when he got interrupted by God.
Look at verse 2.
-In order to worship God, Abraham would have to bring a sacrifice and it wasn’t just any sacrifice. There was nothing that would rock Abraham more than this.
-Many of us wouldn’t mind God testing us as long as it didn’t involve something we value. “Test me over what doesn’t matter to me.”
-That’s why, in the area of giving, when God asks His people to give a tenth of their income, He asks them to give it off the top, not from what’s left.
-God asked Abraham to give Him the most precious thing in his life. Why? Because only when you’re tested in an area of affection do you know who you really love.
-God asked Abraham for what was most valuable to him. It would involve a severe cost.
-It’s tough to have to relinquish your heart’s ownership over something your heart does not want to part with.
-Might be a relationship, might be a possession or a position.
-You be tested on what your heart clings to.
Why does God test us like this? Because He wants to take us to the next level in our journey of following and growing closer to Him.
-In whatever God asks us to sacrifice, He’ll be testing not only our willingness to sacrifice but also our faith.
-Faith means acting like God is always telling the truth. We have to trust Him to shake off our not wanting to do what He tells us to do, because if we obey what He commands us, we can be assured that He’ll eventually cause us to feel good about it.
-What God requested of Abraham made absolutely no sense. It was a contradiction.
-God had already assured him that Isaac was a gift to him. Look at Genesis 21:12.(last part)
-Isaac wasn’t married and there were no children by him.
-When you face your own test from God, it very likely will not make any sense.
-And it doesn’t make sense because it’s a test. What God is testing is your faith and His question in the test is always the same: Do you love me more than these? (John 21:15)
-There is no logic in the test. Isaiah 55:8-9
-When God began his test of Abraham, He didn’t give him full information (v.2)-A lot of us would be more willing to take the test if we had all the information in advance.
-Consider the response. V.3 There was immediate obedience.
-He didn’t understand, but he didn’t argue either.
-Nor did he get sidetracked trying to explain it to anybody else. V.5
-Most of the time, when you are in a test from God, you can’t explain it to anybody.
-If you don’t understand it, how are you going to explain it?
-But notice what Abraham did tell the servants. “I and the boy”…
Throw It Back To God
-Isaac had a question for his father. V.7 He didn’t understand what was happening either. Abraham answered with another statement of faith. V.8
-All Abraham knew to do was turn this back to God. There comes a time in our lives when all we can do is trust God for the answers. No one else will do.