Worship That Comes From the Heart
In His Presence: “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).
Usually, there will come a time when God will test the depth of your devotion to Him. In Genesis 22, He tested Abraham’s faith beyond anything imaginable. The Lord instructed Abraham to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice.
For a moment, draw this parallel in your mind: God sent His own Son to earth and willingly offered Him as a sacrifice for our sins. Was God’s request of Abraham a foreshadowing of what would come? Perhaps. However, the one thing we want to focus on here is that Abraham was willing to obey God. He did not talk back, make excuses, or turn away from God. He just obeyed—knowing in his heart that the Lord would provide the right sacrifice.
When they had reached their destination, Abraham spoke with words of faith as he told his servants, “I and the lad will . . . worship and return to you” (v.5). When it came to the actual moment of sacrifice, God stopped him. “Abraham! . . . Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (vv. 11-12). God did not want Abraham to harm his son. He was just checking Abraham’s devotion.
How often have you faced a difficult situation and thought, “Lord, You can have anything, but please, just don’t take ______.” You can fill in the blank for yourself. In this situation, Abraham would have written in the name of his son Isaac—the answer to the promise God had given him years earlier.
Is there something that you are withholding from God? Could it be a relationship, dream, idea, or pursuit? Worship begins in the heart. Therefore, always be willing to obey the Lord by letting go of anything you deem more valuable than your relationship with Him. When you do, His goodness and mercy will be poured out in abundance for you.
One Minute Please
God never sends a test our way just because He’s in a testing mood. He has a specific purpose in mind. Usually, it is to draw us closer to Himself.
Rather than viewing the cross as an historical event that will take us to heaven, we ought to view it as a current event containing everything we need to bring heaven to bear on earth.
In The Power of the Cross, Tony Evans carefully and pastorally applies the cross of Christ to life today. In three parts, he considers:
• What makes Christ unique; how Old Testament prophecy and typology looked ahead to Him; and how His humiliation, death and resurrection sets Him apart as Lord
• What was accomplished on the cross for us, how it is to be the centerpiece of our lives, and how it's a source of authority for us
• What is the power of the cross and the stability it provides, deliverance it offers, the power of its ongoing remembrance, and more
The cross is the hinge of history. How much more, then, is it the hinge of your life? It gained more for you than you may realize; do not make the grave error of overlooking it. As a thank you for your gift of any amount, we’ll get this brand new book, The Power of the Cross, out to you right away.