Summary: It is what happens in these intervening years before the "some time later..." that determines my destiny. It is those things appropriated and applied in the EVERYDAY that determine how I will respond to God when the crunch comes "some time later".
Part 3 - Genesis 22:1-11 - WHEN IT COMES TO THE CRUNCH...
Day after day the drudgery of books had began to depress me. Don't misunderstand. I love reading books. I was working in a warehouse at the time. Two of us would work in a large cubicle to pack books into boxes according to a computer order and convey them to be stacked onto palettes and trucked out to the retail shops in four Australian states. But I was called by God so clearly to be a Pastor. Packing books? Why would God have me wait all this time just to be packing books.
"Some time later" (Genesis 22:1 NLT) after Sarah, at about 90 years of age, has given birth to Isaac, and before she dies at 127 years of age (Genesis 23:1), the events of Genesis 22 occur. We are not told what went on in those 37 years except that Isaac was loved by Abraham.
That's what I am talking about. Between the fulfillment of God's promise and the "some time later". I can look back and see how God has shown up in my life in the most amazing ways and I have responded in faith. My life has been changed. Then "some time later" God once again speaks into my situation, only this time it is to TEST MY FAITH.
It is what happens in these intervening years before the "some time later..." that determines my destiny. It is what happens when I am serving Him faithfully, day by day, living out the fruit of His promises, growing in the things I know about Him and applying His Word to the circumstances of my life. It is those things appropriated and applied in the EVERYDAY that determine how I will respond to God when the crunch comes "some time later".
""Abraham!" God called". "Yes," he replied. "Here I am." Imagine God speaking with me in an audible voice. I would be shocked but I would still love it. That would be so cool.
"Lord speak with me. Here I am. Sydney, Australia. That little place in Stanhope Gardens (Sounds like an old peoples retirement village), just before the bend, on the left, Solitaire Court. In my study just down the hall. That's me, sitting at my computer. Welcome Lord. You are really good at finding people."
But then again what if He were to ask me to do something IMPOSSIBLE?
God tested Abraham's faith. He says "Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, WHOM YOU LOVE SO MUCH-and ... SACRIFICE HIM as a burnt offering ..." (Genesis 22:2 NLT). You know the story. At the last second Abraham is stopped.
Do I really need to be tried for attempted murder before my faith is acceptable? I have only one son, whom I love very much. Would I do it? Somehow it goes against all I have been taught about You, Lord. That you would ask me to do such a thing would be most IMPROBABLE. That I would do it would seem IMPOSSIBLE! It really would have to be an audible voice for me to go to a mountain and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. Even then I'd be thinking "Is this a demon trying to TEMPT me or the Lord trying to TEST me", so You would need to be very convincing before You got me to obey You on this one.
I watched top gear last night on television. The makers of each new car know that their designs will stand the stresses to which they are subjected on the road. Nevertheless SOME TIME LATER, after they have been designed, and before production for the general population, they are RIGOROUSLY TESTED.
When God tests me, He tests me to APPROVE my faith, NOT so that I will FAIL. It seems it is more for my benefit than it is for His, and it is what I am doing NOW in the everyday situations of my life that prepares me LATER, when the crunch comes.
God bless you as you exercise faith, as you continue to learn to hear God's voice and obey Him today, as He prepares you for the "some time later" situations of your life.