Summary: How to live a Spirit FILLED life by letting go of__________________
The Ultimate Decision
August 25, 2014
There is a story I have told many times about people who had hunted monkeys in the jungle. The trappers would hollow out a coconut and put a piece elf meat in it. Then they would secure the coconut to a tree with a chain. Once the monkey had the meat inside the coconut he could easily get out if he let go of the meat. But not wanting to lose the meat the clenched fist ended up costing the monkey his life.
In the Old Testament the story of Abraham and Isaac is wrought with confusion , angst, faith and obedience.
Genesis 22:1 "Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" “Here I am,” he replied."
God will test us but he will not tempt us, that is up to the evil one for that. Testing produces faith, endurance and hope. Tempting goes to evil and enticement which rarely turns out good. In the Old Testament there was not a Savior yet. The people scarified animals on the altar so when God looked down from heaven he saw the shed blood which meant life and that shed blood covered the sin. But in Abrahams case God desired more from the father of many nations.
God told Abraham to take Isaac and offer him (Isaac) as a sacrifice. Now to realize the importance of this Abraham had waited over 99 years to bore a son to Sarah. Isaac would get the Blessing and in lineage would be his first born son. Seems very similar to
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I want to mention something that is not in the verse but we can imagine the scenario.
Genesis 22:9,10 "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. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.”
The Bible does not mention this but I doubt Isaac was quiet. He could have been screaming to his father “Why, why, why, PLEASE don’t do this to me father.” But Abraham obeyed God and the Lord at the last second found another sacrifice. God needed for Abraham to see his own heart. Then God credited this act of obedience to Abraham as righteousness.
Today the love of the Lord and the joy that you could be having in this life may be stagnant because you have not put your favorite or most important possession on the altar. I have heard many Christians say, "Lord you take my child and this deal is off”. Meaning that their faith is OK as long as nothing happens to their children. I have to tell you that if something happened to Bryce or Chase I would be devastated. But I now realize that God would not be the one to blame but Satan and sin in this world. The Lord would be the only One who could comfort me. But what if God answered all our prayers to keep everyone alive, what would happen?
1. We would get tired of this life
2. We would never experience Glory, peace and true communion living with God.
Maybe your most prized possession is money. Maybe you want to hold onto it for security. But read the sobering passage of Luke 12:20. In paraphrase a man did great in his business so he decided to build a bigger corporation, sit back and take life easy for HIMSELF. Then God said, Tonight your life will be demanded from you. This man was not rich towards God, just himself. UNTIL you give-up what is more precious to you than Jesus then you will live a life of frustration, turmoil, fear, doubt, envy and worry. Because holding onto some thing other than the Lord will eventually kill you inside. God is eternal, people and possessions are not. Let me elaborate on people. We can love people but they will leave this earth and go to heaven or hell. If we love them more than God we will always be worried about what happens to them.
Today IF you desire to lead a Spirit filled life then you need to be like Abraham and offer you most prized possession on the altar today. I am not telling you to sacrifice your child if that is your idol but I am telling you to sacrifice your hold upon him or her. YOU HAVE TO LET GO.
To be blunt with you, you either trust God to fulfill your life or you don’t. When I have let go God has POURED yes POURED His blessings out upon me. Blessings for the most part is not financial security but peace in your soul. When I let go I can feel His presence and being obedient is a joyful experience because THERE ARE NO OTHER DISTRACTIONS. Obedience to His call is tough when we have many other idols.