Abraham’s life presents a realistic picture of a saint instantly saved by grace but constantly struggling with repeat offences and carnal thinking, but the Lord was always merciful, gracious, and willing to pick up Abraham, brush him off, and help him learn through his experiences. The same loving God will do the same for us.
Without a direct revelation from God it's impossible to know for sure, but circumstances might suggest the possibility that we have indeed experienced a special visitation. I have two such experiences.
For a quarter century, Abraham and Sarah occupied God’s waiting room. When Abraham was 75 and his wife 65, God promised they would have a son. At just the right time in God’s providential plan, Abraham and Sarah laid eyes on the promised child and heard the words they had dreamed of all their lives.
When God forgives, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more! However, Abraham’s life reveals another sobering truth: God’s merciful decision to not hold our wrongs against us doesn’t mean we won’t suffer physical, social, and emotional consequences in the present world.
If we are not careful we could easily get the impression that adolescence is a disease with headaches and heartaches, pressure and pain as its only symptoms. Not so! Adjustments and struggles may be present, but not to the exclusion of tremendous growth and remarkable achievements. These can be some of the most exciting years of one's spiritual pilgrimage.
Developing the habit of deferring gratification is no simple task, especially since we all seem to be multi-taskers these days. We live with the short term in mind.
Abraham loved his son, but he also knew his God. His life was built on the positive side of faith. Knowing deep in his soul that God is a God who provides, Abraham crested that rugged mountain with confidence.
Letting go is always difficult. And the closer we are to the thing (or person) being released, the more difficult it is to let go. We must hold everything loosely. Some of the most poignant examples of letting go come in the context of parent-child relationships. Upon receiving God’s command to offer his son as a sacrifice, Abraham let Isaac go and obeyed without resistance, illustrating his allegiance to God above all.
Our earthly lives revolve around the people we love and the things we enjoy. However, someday the Lord may step into our contented, predictable lives and say, “Let go!” As we’ll discover in this message, that day came for Abraham…and then some.
In his message, Chuck Swindoll encourages us that God never puts us through a test without a purpose. And when we release our treasures into God’s hands and trust Him with total abandonment, God will provide for us. His rewards surpass anything we could imagine!