I Respectfully Disagree.

When I think of the story of Abraham offering Isaac on the altar as a sacrifice I am often confused.

One think I absolutely HATE is manipulating others feelings or actions.  What was the point? I mean I know that God was testing Abraham but really did he have to go THERE?

Step away from this story for a moment.

Think about leadership.  In every single position I have had, the leaders, management, trainers, etc. that I respect and look up to the most are those that are willing to do ANYTHING they ask you to do.
Take Starbucks.  I worked there for over 5 years.  There were times I was asked to do things that I did not want to do.  Clean up vomit in the bathroom?  No thanks.  Scrape gum off the menu board?  Next please.  Clean the drains that reek of curdled milk.  Seriously?

I have actually told people no.  My views may have changed since then, because I was convicted another time about the whole "working as if for the Lord" Scripture.  However, there have been times, not just at Starbucks, that I have straight up refused to do something.  I mean, unless you want a double dose of vomit to clean up, I may not be the particular person for that job.

Through the years I have begun to notice that, even when it is a job I am not inclined to be enthusiastic about completing, if I know the person asking me to do it would do it, then I am so much more willing to finish it due to the example they have set.  They have led the way.

Back to Abraham.  Did he know that God himself would one day give up His innocent son as a sacrifice?  I don't know.  I think that Abraham knew God well enough to know His character.  He knew that God wouldn't ask him to do something that He Himself was not willing to do.  So that added to the trust he had when he raised that dagger above his only Son's body.

Was it a test?  Yes.  Greg Marksberry said something in the sermon today that hit home.  He said, "If Abraham was to become the Father of our faith, then God wants to know he trusts Him."  At first I thought YES!  This makes GREAT sense.  Then I gnawed on it a bit more and I am sorry Greg but I respectfully disagree.

God knows us.  He knows how much faith we have.

When I am employed and I see someone gain favor, if I have seen their exemplary behavior I do not question the decision for their favor, may it be a promotion or award.  If I see someone receive favor without that visible example of hard work, faith, etc.  I may question their position.

God knew this would be a Bible story.  He knew Abraham would have many sons and that his sons (and daughters) would talk about this story, well, forever.  The test wasn't for God to see his faith.  The test was for US to see it.  To know that GOD chose someone who would follow Him unconditionally. 

God is an amazing leader.  Perfect in fact.


A Worthy Walk

I am guilty.

I judge people when they walk past, yes just by looking at them.  I judge the things they say and I judge the motivation behind their actions.

We are all guilty.

I am trying to improve this part of me and my tendency to judge has greatly lessened, especially with the happenings in the past 3 years.

Recently I took a big step (for me at least).  I felt God telling me that the new church campus we were launching needed a Wednesday night Bible study.  He told me it needed to be Wednesday, that I needed to teach/facilitate, and he told me who I should ask to help with the class I would be in.  I have been so confident in these things.

God has been clear.

This other part of me has been more self conscious than I have ever been in my life.  Satan has been throwing things at me and quite frankly I just wanted to throw the towel in.

"How can YOU lead a class when you are a single mom?  YOU don't have time!"
"Nobody is going to relate to you as a single mom."
"What happens if they don't like you?"
"What if you are late all of the time?"
"What if you don't live up to what HE wants?"

These are all things satan was telling me.  I felt unworthy.

"We encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own Kingdom and glory." 1 Thessalonians 2:12

Thankfully I did not give up.  I pressed on, fought back the way I needed to and began the study.  I was trying to walk worthy of the one who so clearly called me to this place.

The thing about this process is that for the first time in over 2 years I feel like myself.  I feel like behind the shame of my sin which was so evident when I first became pregnant and revealed it, along with the shock of becoming a parent and focusing all of my energy on this little Jewell, I lost who I am in Him.  I wouldn't trade being a parent for anything, however I feel more balanced in this calling.

He is bringing me out of this cloud I didn't know I was living in and I am so relieved and beyond thrilled.

I say all of this to say I have not been the same since I had my child.  It has been a difficult load to bear and I could not have made it without my God and friends.  I have judged people too often and I know that if people have judged me in the past 2 years I do not blame them.  God is being glorified and I am working harder to "walk worthy of God, who called ME into His own Kingdom and glory."