Summary: When can we be assured of blessings? What are they based on? They most assuredly come from God but they are entirely based upon a life of obedience. If you’re looking for blessings, then you should also be obedient to His Word for your life.
To Those that are Obedient
Obedience to God is the key to living a life of faith and uprightness before Him. Obedience can be defined as compliance, agreement, submission, respect, duty, conformity, while the opposite of obedience is simply non or dis of all those words that we just mentioned.
Total and absolute surrender to the will and way of God for our lives is the only desire that God has for us. Though people tell us that God desires for us to make up our own minds, i.e. free will, there is no option with obedience. Anything other than following God’s will and way for our lives is simply disobedience. This may seem to be a contradiction, yet, God already knows what you’ll do with His Son, His Word, and His Way for your life.
Your heart and desires are known by God. The heart of man according to the prophet Jeremiah:
(Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
If we were to stop, and begin opening gifts according to what God examines in your mind, or according to your conduct or even according to what your deeds deserve, what do you think you would receive?
Would you receive the good gift (bread)? Or, would you be the one receiving the stone or the snake? Remember what it says in scripture?
(Matthew 7:8-11) “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Our scripture today can be divided into three sections:
God reveals His will to those that are obedient, vv. 1-2
God reveals His way to those that are obedient, vv. 3-14
God reveals His blessings to those that are obedient, vv. 15-24
II. The Message
A. God reveals His will to those that are obedient, vv. 1-2
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. 2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
=He Speaks to YOU
God called out simply speaking the name Abraham. Abraham answered, “Here I am.” Well, yea, God knows everything, so He should know where Abraham is. Yes, that’s true, but does Abraham know where Abraham is? What does that mean? We see TWO things that are demonstrated by Abraham’s response and his life that he led. We see Heart Condition and Faith Condition.
In order to respond to God our hearts need to be conditioned. Yes, God can speak through any condition that our hearts might be in as far as sin is concerned, He spoke to Belshazzar in Daniel 5, by writing on the wall. But, God will not continue to reveal His will and truth for a person’s life, or continue to use that person, unless that person’s heart is given over to Him. God cannot or will not begin or continue the sanctification process in a Christian’s life unless that life is surrendered to Him.
Abraham’s response to God was not an acknowledgement of where he was physically, but where he was spiritually. It was an acknowledgment that he was prepared to receive the WORD of God.
When you go to the Lord in prayer are you prepared to receive the WORD of the LORD? Are you able to say, like Abraham, “Here I am”?
In order to hear the WORD of God our faith condition must be rooted in the WORD. In order to respond, “Here I am,” our belief must be established and not wavering. Remember what it says in James?
(James 1:6) But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
When you go to God are you going in sincerity and belief that what you ask for will be done for you? Then GO BACK! And keep going back until you get your heart right before Him. God desires to grant you the yearnings of your heart and the needs of your soul, but you have to ask.