You can become a winner only if you are willing to walk over the edge. (Damon Runyon)
People become interested in spiritual things for various reasons. Some seek to alleviate
pain, others seek purpose and there are those who desire spiritual enlightenment because
of the teaching they have received. All who sincerely seek the Lord will find Him. But
there is a hidden danger in our faith walk that few ever expect to encounter. Christ talks
about this temptation in the Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed. Jesus said (Matthew
13:22), "The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but
all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of
wealth, so no fruit is produced.”
There are many distractions: worry, fear, money, blessings and a host of passions that
consume us and govern our priorities. We must overcome the propensity of allowing
trivial concerns to dominate our lives by making God our chief concern. Our most
significant accomplishment in life is staying focused on the Lord.
Let us follow the example of two early pioneers of the faith: Abraham and Sarah. God
promised this couple a son: Abraham was 75 and Sarah was 65 years old when the Lord
spoke to them. Twenty-four years later that promise had not been fulfilled. The Lord
again appeared to Abraham, assuring His servant that He had not forgotten him. Finally,
when it appeared as though God had abandoned them, Sarah gave birth to a son. They
named him Isaac. Several years later God tested Abraham saying (Genesis 22:1-19),
"Take your son [your pride and joy and greatest blessing] whom you love; go to the land
of Moriah (present day Jerusalem) and offer him there as a burnt offering."
Abraham didn't know what God was going to do, but he trusted Him and was obedient
to the Lord. He laid Isaac on an altar of sacrifice and just before plunging a knife into
Isaac’s heart, the Lord stopped him. God did not intend for Abraham to offer Isaac, but
he did require that he become willing to give him up. God tested Abraham's obedience
and willingness by asking him to sacrifice that which he cherished most. There are times
when the Lord tests our love for Him by asking us to do things that He does intend for us
to do. God tests our willingness.
We are good at attaching strings to our faith and serving the Lord on our terms. We
often attempt to impose our will on God. But let us remember that He is the potter and we
are the clay (Jeremiah 18:6). You can please the Lord by offering Him your best; the best
part of your life—not that which is left after you have spent it all in the pursuit of your
own self centered interests.