In the book of Genesis, God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (Genesis 22:2 KJV)
Abraham obeys and right before Isaac is to be sacrificed, God provides something else to be sacrificed instead.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him…And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. (Genesis 22:12,13 KJV)
Through this act of obedience, Abraham demonstrated that he feared God because he was willing to give up his son.
…[N]ow I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. (Genesis 22:12 KJV)
The Lord promised to bless Abraham, his seed and all nations because of his obedience:
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18 KJV)
This got me to thinking about the importance of obedience. We often hear people say that what we do does not matter. That God will bless us no matter what because He loves us. We can sin and be blessed. We can disobey God’s word and be blessed. Do whatever we want because God will give us the desire of our hearts regardless of what we do.
This is simply not true.
We must sacrifice those things that are worldly, unholy and not of Him. We must obey Him.
That is the only way to be truly blessed.
So I am left to ponder these things – what have I sacrificed to God, what am I willing to sacrifice to God, and what am I withholding from God that blocks His blessings? Where in my life do I continue to be disobedient to His word and will?
Sacrifice and obedience matters.