Genesis 22:1-19 Hebrews 11: 17-28 ISHMAEL ISAAC • Abraham was asked to send him away Gen. 21 • Represented the Spiritual man • Represented the world and the works of the flesh. Gal. 4 • We never give God our Isaac’s until we have sent away our Ishmael’s • The flesh was mocking the Spirit Test between two loves. Flesh vs. Spirit I. OUR FAITH MUST BE TESTED SO WE CAN TRUST IN GOD’S LOVE FOR US A. CAN YOU TRUST GOD WITH THE POSSESSIONS HE HAS GIVEN YOU? There is a big difference between giving up something for the Lord and giving it to the Lord. Abraham was given a priceless possession and then asked for it back. Abraham loved both Isaac and God. God wants to have preeminence. Abraham was beginning to love the blessing more than the Blesser, the gift more than the Giver. “If you don’t listen, I will turn your blessings into curses.” Malachi 2:3 We suffer from immorality, ungodliness, perversion, murder of the unborn, the effects of pornography, and lackadaisical attitudes, because we have allowed our blessings to become curses. The test is somewhere along life’s journey when God will ask us to give some blessings back to Him. B. CAN YOU TRUST GOD WITH HIS PURPOSES FOR YOU? With Isaac there is a purpose, and through him the nations will be blessed. Understanding and doing the will of God requires… • finding • following • finishing the will of God. Faith is not simply obeying in spite of the evidence; it is obeying in spite of the consequences. This was the first time God was asking for human sacrifice. Abraham was perplexed because only the heathens and pagans made human sacrifices. When we plan to obey and move into procrastination, we are automatically in disobedience. Abraham was informed, intentional, and immediate in his obedience to God’s command. Isaac said, “We have the wood, the fire and the knife, but where is the sacrifice,” Abraham replied, “God will provide for the sacrifice.” He was speaking faith into his son. C. CAN YOU TRUST GOD WITH THE PROMISES HE HAS SPOKEN TO YOU? Years earlier God said to Abraham. “You are going to have a son. It’s going to happen.” God said, “Not only are you going to have a son; all the world will be blessed through your son Isaac and his descendants.” Jesus said about Abraham, “He saw My day, and he rejoiced.” God gave Abraham a vision of the Messiah on Mount Moriah. II. OUR FAITH MUST BE TESTED SO IT CAN TRANSLATE INTO RIGHT CHOICES Hebrews 11:23 The Bible supports personal responsibility for the choices and decisions we make. “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt A. TESTED FAITH CHOOSES COURAGEOUSLY Faith makes brave choices, it doesn’t give into fear. Moses parent could have played it safe, the child would be sacrificed so that the rest of the family would survive. But they believed that he was a special child for whom God had a great purpose and did not give into fear and defied the king’s decree. Sooner or later faith will mean having to do something that will challenge us, something that is different. Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. “Sometimes we are afraid, but being afraid is not a reason to do somethingif it’s the right thing DO IT SCARED!” Mark Twain B. TESTED FAITH CHOOSES THE RIGHT WAY NOT THE EASY WAY. • Faith chooses the right way, even though less people choose it. • When you have faith in God you do what is right even if it disadvantages you, because you know God is looking on and is pleased. • Too many people pray for mountains of difficulty to be removed, when what they really need is the courage to climb them. Example – Paul’s thorn in the flesh C. TESTED FAITH TAKES A LONG TERM VIEW OF THINGS AND CHOOSES ACCORDINGLY Faith means… • choosing to look at the long-term implications. • we believe there is a future. • God has a plan. • that heaven is real Faith affects our choices in life. D. TESTED FAITH ULTIMATELY RESTS ON JESUS OUR SACRIFICIAL LAMB “Christ our Passover Lamb” I Corinthians 5:7 Faith will cause us to make the choice of entrusting ourselves to Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross to pay for our sins. “PLEASE PRIME THE PUMP, BELIEVE ME IT WORKS” THE PACKERS TOOK THE TOY BOWL TESTED FAITH… • chooses the right way, not the easy way. • trusts God with the possessions he gives us. • chooses courageously. • takes a long term view of things. • ultimately rests on Jesus our Sacrificial Lamb.