Summary: God has called each of us to absolute surrender of ourselves to Him.
Theme: ON THE MOUNTAIN OF ABSOLUTE SURRENDER
Text: Genesis 22: 1-14
A. Our passage this morning is one of the most preached portions of the Bible. Usually, this story was used as a picture of God giving His darling Son to die for the sin of mankind. God is revealed here as the “God of Provision.” Abraham called Him “Jehovah Jirah,” which means, “The Lord Himself will see and provide.”
B. But on the other dimension of this text, it talks about Abraham being in the most trying times of his faith in God. God tested Abraham. He told Abraham to offer his beloved son Isaac as a burnt offering at the mount of Moriah.
Though human sacrifice was a common practice in Abraham’s time, God’s command to offer Isaac could have been so horrifying to Father Abraham. Isaac was his only legal heir for all that he had, especially, for all that God had promised to him. And above all that is so heart-distressing, Isaac was Abraham’s greatest treasure. This son was everything to him –Isaac was and would be the fulfillment of all the promises he received from God. How could God ask Isaac from him?
But instead of seeing a devastated heart of a broken man, what can we see? We see the heart of a worshipper. Abraham, full of faith and confidence, without doubting and questioning God, made his steps towards the mountain of absolute surrender.
Now as we study this particular event of Abraham’s life, let us see through his example what it would take for us to be on the “Mountain of Absolute Surrender” as well, just like him. Remember, God has called each of us to absolute surrender of ourselves to Him.
What would it take for us to come to that mountain? Absolute surrender involves:
1. If one must come to the place of absolute surrender, he must first be in the position where he could hear God and where he could understand and discern what God’s will is. Spiritual perception is important for a person to be able to come to the altar of God, the place where God wants him to be. But he must be in the right position to have that.
2. Now I gather that Abraham was in the right position to hear God and to have clear perception of God’s will:
First, because Abraham had a personal relationship with God. There’s no doubt about that. He knew the Lord and the reality of his conversion were revealed in the chapters we have previously studied. Of course the person who has no relationship with God is unable to hear God.
Second, Abraham was able to hear God with clarity because of his intimate relationship with God. Look at verse 1: God even called him by name! That implies intimacy. Abraham was so close to God that he could hear God’s word without obstruction. A believer whose relationship is not right with God, who is in his spiritual waywardness, will have distorted hearing and would have a hard time listening and perceiving what God wants him to be.
Third, Abraham was able to hear and perceive the will of God for him because he has a willing heart to respond. That’s the reason Abraham was able to rise up to the mountain of absolute surrender.
Please take note of this: the greatest hindrance to spiritual growth is the unwillingness to listen and respond to the words of God. This is the major culprit of the immaturity of many Christians. God Himself tells us not to harden our heart when we hear His voice. But today’s Christianity seems to have problematic hearings. That’s why you don’t have to wonder of the reality that Christian churches today are filled with immature Christians and spiritual weaklings.
3. Knowing that Abraham was in the position to hear Him, God then had a message for Abraham in verse 2. God’s revelation is part of the process. We would never know the mind of God until He reveals it to us. There would be no clear perception of God’s will without God’s revelation. We see Abraham here had not been disappointed. God revealed to him His divine plan because he was listening. That’s right! If you are ever hungry for the Lord, you will not get disappointed. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness for they shall be filled.”
1. Abraham was a thoroughly prepared man. He was ready to obey the voice of God. So the day after he received the words of God, he rose up early in the morning and prepared everything to set out for Mount Moriah. You see, if you must come to the place where God wants you to be, you must be thoroughly prepared to respond to His voice. You are not able to come to the place of absolute surrender unless you are ready to obey the words of God.