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Obedience Without Why

Journal Entry // November 14, 2021

I have been thinking a lot about my journal entry from yesterday with a focus on what it means to see faith in action. Mainly I have been contemplating the the life of Abraham and David to see how this dynamic was demonstrated in the Bible. I don’t have a passage of the Bible this time to focus and direct my thoughts. I am just thinking through the lives of these two men as revealed in the whole of scripture and in my memory.

There are so many stories of Abraham’s faith being worked out in life, but I find the story of him being asked to sacrifice Isaac so very intriguing. Just like Noah, God had command Abraham to obedience without a full explanation. There was only information for Abraham to accomplish his task. The task being to go up on the mountain and offer Isaac as a sacrifice. There was no “why” from God and Abraham did not require one. He was just obedient.

How could Abraham be obedient when everything in his mind had to be yelling at him that this was not right. His mind surely struggled with wanting to understand how this meshed with the character of God. How could he walk that path with his son at his side the whole time? Even when Isaac questions him about where the sacrifice is, Abraham answers that God himself will provide the sacrifice.

That is faith being worked out in a life of obedience. I don’t know how I would handle that situation to be honest. I would like to think that my faith would carry me to obedience like Abraham, but I know that it probably wouldn’t. I know that my heart struggles even with the basic requirements of obedience. How could I ever manage obedience in the face of so many red flags. Red flags telling me that I had obviously misunderstood what God was requiring.

I do this every day in my battle with my flesh. I can’t even live out the obvious teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. The clear teachings of Christ as he explains the true intentions of the law and how it is to be worked out in my life. I struggle with my flesh, because I am afraid. I am afraid of what it means to follow Christ and live in obedience as reflected in this story of Abraham.

I let sin linger in my heart because I still enjoy its poisonous pleasure. I know that it is seeking to destroy me, yet I continually refuse to drive it out of my heart. I know that on some level there will be sin in my heart, but it worries me to see my habits and desires conform to the flesh and not Christ. It worries me to not see a passion for obedience that is demonstrated in Abraham’s life.

God calls me to obedience in all areas of life. I am his child and he loves me. He loves me perfectly and his design is to conform me to the image of Christ. Is this my goal as well? Yes. Then I need to move from a lifestyle of the here and now. I need to see my focus change to have as my goal the pursuit of Christ and holiness. I need to take my every “Isaac” and walk it up the mountain and sacrifice it to Christ. Knowing that what is required is obedience. And if my “Isaac” is of value and need for the strengthening of my faith, God will redeem that sacrifice.

This is important. Everything must be laid on the sacrificial alter. There can be no holding back of anything. My rights. My justice. My feelings. My emotions. My desires. My plans. My… My… My… All of these are to be sacrificed to the Lord for his goodness. And he will accept that pleasing aroma through the blood of Christ. And he will change me. He will change me so that I only want Jesus and nothing else.

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