The Ultimate Challenge

Ultimate ChallengeGen 22:1-5 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 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. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

Lev 20:1-5 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.”

God had a law that you were not to offer children to the god Molech. Abraham lived in a time where it was not an unusual thing to offer your child to gods. When God starts to sound like the devil, what do you do? God wanted to see if Abraham was willing to offer his son like people who worshipped other gods did. Abraham trusted God enough that He knew God would somehow work things out, even bring back the dead. This is a hard thing to understand.

This must have been so hard for Isaac. Abraham tied up his son, put him on the altar, and pulled out the knife! He was planning on killing his son and lighting up a fire. We don’t know what Isaac was thinking. Isaac was the victim of his father’s commitment. He didn’t sin. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was the blessing. Maybe he didn’t say anything, but I would have.

Isaac asked his dad where’s the offering? Isaac was carrying the wood. Abraham answered, ‘God will provide Himself a sacrifice.’ Abraham was saying God was going to have to do an intervention here. Isaac is the victim.

I think after that, every time Abraham got out the knife to butcher a lamb, Isaac had a twitch. Every man’s works one day will be tried by fire. There is a refining process that every heart must go through. Sometimes, we’re ready for it, sometimes not. Why does God challenge us in such a way? Why would God do something like this? It’s almost like He’s turned away. If you know God and have a walk with God, you know He is good, and somehow it will work out.

The main thing we need to remember about Job was that he was protected. God had a line that the devil could not cross. He moved that line a little, but Job was still protected. God sometimes shrinks our territories and challenges our comfort zone. God tested the limits of Job and Abraham.

Sometimes a test feels like an attack. God will let evil do evil, but He won’t allow more on us than we can handle.

Every one of us has an Isaac, something close and dear and precious, that we would have a hard time if God took it from us. We have this comfort level in life that if God takes that away we would have trouble. Family, friends, house, income, stuff, that you work hard to keep. If God comes and says, ‘I want you to give that to Me,’ you might rebuke the devil. What do you do when God sounds like the devil? You fight like hell. Hell says, ‘Sacrifice your kids, look like this, make a lot of money, do this.’ We need to fight with everything we’ve got. When we have a strange message from the Lord to surrender, we need to trust God no matter what. Why are we so afraid of sacrifice?

We have got to lay down what God asks. He issues us a challenge. Will we accept it? 

The 21 Day Challenge is: 

  1. 30 min of uninterrupted prayer
  2. Bible reading every day
  3. Fast as the Spirit leads spending that time in devotion to the Lord.
  4. No meat, no sweets, no entertainment (non-Christian) media
  5. Be at every service.

Offer up Isaac for 21 days.

Nehemiah said, ‘If you will stay on the wall, we will get it done.’ We’ve got to get Isaac on the altar and pray and see what God will do and we will see revival. It is time to fight like hell. It’s time to fight the way the devil would fight.

Be faithful. 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio

If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.

www.thelifechurchofdesplaines.com

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About ChristinaLi

Writing inspirational romantic suspense splashed with humor. Married for over 20 years and mom to five amazing kids, she is happily addicted to morning coffee and afternoon tea. Free for you: Violet Miracle, a Little Bit of Coffee, Flowers, and Romance Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Violet-Miracle-Little-Flowers-Romance-ebook/dp/B008EMBZGY/ref=la_B004EL7842_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504197523&sr=1-2 Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/529287
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