Then God said, “Abraham …
take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—
and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a
burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Uh … I don’t know about you, but this has never been one of my favorite Scriptures. I mean, yes, I know it’s meant to be a foreshadow of what God did for us with His Son, so in the spiritual sense, it’s truly a powerful and moving story.
But to my human side, the one that clings to my husband, kids and family? It’s a littttttttttle tough to take and a Scripture I always tended to avoid. So guess what one of the things God taught me was, during my month-long fast in May?
Yep, you got it—the Abraham Factor.
You see, while reading Catherine Marshall’s Something More, I came to the chapter, “The Prayer of Relinquishment.” Giving God our heart’s desire and actively trusting that He knows best and will do the best for us. In essence, it’s becoming as little children who totally trust the Father, not only accepting His will, but embracing it with the mindset that He loves us and will work all things out for our good.
Catherine Marshall carefully points out that there is a difference between acceptance and resignation—“one is positive, the other negative. Acceptance is creative, resignation sterile.” Acceptance opens the door of hope wide, while resignation slams it shut. One says God is good and loves us, the other says He is harsh and doesn’t care.
Neither is easy when it means relinquishing the desires of our heart, but “acceptance” promises that God knows best and will bless our obedience with a greater good. “Resignation,” on the other hand, damages or severs the Father/daughter or son relationship that is so critical to both God and to us.
In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36), Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
With this prayer of relinquishment, Jesus laid His will, His desires, His life on the altar just like Abraham, making His will one with God’s. Abraham’s trust in God was so strong, he told his traveling companions that “We (he and Isaac) will worship and then we will come back to you.” As we all know, God stayed Abraham’s hand that day, providing a ram for the sacrifice instead.
But as Catherine Marshall states, in the case of God’s Son, Jesus’s heart-wrenching prayer “was not answered as the human Jesus wished. And yet power has been flowing from His cross ever since.” She goes on to say that, “that is why it should not surprise us that at the center of answered prayer, lies the prayer of relinquishment.” I will even expound further and say it should not surprise any of us that at the center of God’s blessings, lies the prayer of reliquishment and obedience.
The prayer of relinquishment. Not an easy one to pray, but one I’ve learned brings the most peace and hope. In my latest release, Love at Any Cost, the hero’s crippled sister Jess MacKenna opens her brother Jamie’s eyes to the notion of trusting God’s will instead of his own:
She glanced up with a smile so full of love, it thickened the walls of his throat. “Promise me, Jammy, you’ll lay your will down for God’s so he can bring us the miracle we all so desperately need.”
Pulse staggering, he stared at his sister, his breathing shallow. Lay his will down for God’s? Pry his fingers apart and let go, just like that? Trust a God he’d never trusted at all, just on a whim? His eyelids weighted closed. No, not on a whim. On a request from the sister he treasured, the mother he cherished, and the friend he respected. The sting of tears burned in his nose when Cassie’s image came to mind. And the woman I love.
His breath caught at the twine of Jess’s fingers in his. “Let go, Jamie, and let God be God,” she whispered, the trace of an imp in her smile. “He does it so much better than you.”
Yes, He certainly does. A lesson I wrote about in Love at Any Cost, but didn’t fully understand until the month of my fast, when God showed me His desires of His heart for me are far, far more wonderful than my own. And, as my own character taught me from the pages of my very own book — far, far easier when we pry our fingers off and let God be God …
Happy weekend and Hugs!
1 to 2 PM CST — WED., JUNE 12, 2013:
WHOO-HOO … PLEASE COME SUPPORT ME AT REVELL’S AUTHOR CAFE FOR A SOLID HOUR OF GIRL (OR GUY) TALK AND A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF LOVE AT ANY COST. ASK QUESTIONS OR JUST LEAVE A COMMENT AND LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!!
But Shhhhhh … FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO COME BY AND MENTION YOU ARE A SUBSCRIBER TO MY JOURNAL JOTS AND/OR THAT YOU VIEWED/”LIKED” MY VIDEO, I WILL ENTER YOU IN MY OWN PRIVATE DRAWING FOR WINNER’S CHOICE OF ANY OF MY SIGNED BOOKS, INCLUDING MY UPCOMING RELEASE, DARE TO LOVE AGAIN, SO I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! HERE’S THE LINK FOR WED., JUNE 12, 1-2 PM ONLY:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013:
WIN YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS ON MY SEEKERVILLE BLOG ENTITLED “WHEN THE PLOT THICKENS TO CONCRETE!” HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!