Slightly over four thousand years ago, God issued an unreasonable demand to a man named Abraham. “Offer your son Isaac as a sacrifice,” God ordered (Genesis 22:2).
Abraham didn’t question God’s motives, he didn’t argue with the Lord and he didn’t outright reject God’s edict. Instead, he immediately prepared to destroy the son he thoroughly loved (Genesis 22:3).
Nothing in Abraham offered any resistance to God’s unreasonable command. He flowed smoothly along with God’s thoughts. His body, mind and spirit willingly yielded to what God had in mind. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead…” Hebrews 11:19. Abraham thought like God thought. His mind offered zero resistance to God’s will and God’s ways.
But it wasn’t always like this.
Abram grew up in a society steeped in the occult and idol worship. That’s all he knew because that’s all he was taught. All the gods of Abraham’s day were visible images before whom he reverently bowed.
But one day the Spirit of the invisible God began speaking to Abram. God directed him to leave his hometown of Ur and move to the Middle Eastern region we call Israel.
Great battles erupted within Abram’s thoughts. Wars raged between his ears as his body and mind resisted ideas that seemed totally unreasonable. “Leave my family? Leave my homeland? Obey the voice of a God I cannot see?”
Abraham and his family left Ur but failed to complete the trip to the land God spoke about. They settled for ten years in a Middle Eastern city named Haran. Because of his resistance to God’s thoughts, they failed to finish their journey to Israel.
Defeating our opposition to God’s thoughts is difficult, but not impossible. God patiently waited as Abraham’s resistance to divine ideas diminished. Gradually the Lord helped Abraham destroy his antagonism to God’s ideas, thoughts and ways.
Let’s consider some steps we can take to defeat our resistance to God’s thoughts.
Accept God’s Reasonableness
God isn’t anti-reason. He isn’t illogical. He is infinite, measureless, unbounded. Therefore, his intellect stretches way beyond the bounds of our three-pound brains. So God led Abraham in ways that allowed him to slowly accept God’s reasonableness. No human can comprehend God’s motives for doing what he does. Nevertheless, we know that an infinite intellect guides our steps and directs our paths. We are not anti-intellectual, nor are we unreasonable. We surrender ourselves to the supreme logic of the Creator of all things.
Believe in God’s Loving Nature
God isn’t merely an intellect. He’s a person, but a person unlike any human. He is measureless love! Unselfish concern for our welfare permeates all of God’s nature. He always puts us first. Doesn’t Jesus’ earthly life, his torture, his crucifixion and death prove God’s complete freedom from selfishness? Abraham’s conviction that God loved him freed his mind from fear of obedience to the divine will. Believing in God’s love will do the same for us!
Expect the Reward for Surrendering to God’s Loving Intellect
In Abraham’s mind there was no contradiction between God’s command and God’s love. Therefore, God’s command to offer Isaac as a sacrifice appeared totally doable. After all, “Can’t God raise the dead?” Abraham reasoned.
Look at the reward for trusting God’s loving intellect. The Almighty God kept his promise to multiply Abraham’s descendents. One of these sons we call Jesus Christ. Through Jesus the entire human race enjoys uncountable blessings and the hope of eternal life. Abraham became more than a blessing – he became a blessing from God. Can there be any greater reward for surrendering ourselves to the God whose requests appear unreasonable?
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare,” Psalm 40:5.
Be greatly encouraged!
From the Archives of Pastor James Fields