I love our morning prayer times. It sets up my whole day. It sets my mind on things above. It turns my focus first thing each day to Jesus.
I grew up singing the old hymns in church. My mom was the piano player at our church. So I would hear the songs all week long while she practiced for Sunday morning. The words and melodies were burned into my mind and my spirit. I’m so grateful for that now. All day I have been thinking about an old chorus:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
As we gathered for prayer on Monday morning, we were challenged with these questions: Do you love the promise from God more than you love the God who gave you the promise? What is it you really love and would you be willing to lay it at His feet?
In Genesis 22, God posed those questions to Abraham. In a great test of Abraham’s love and obedience, God asked him to lay down his promise, Isaac. As they journeyed to Mt. Moriah, I’m sure Abraham must have battled these questions. Do I love Isaac more than God? How in the world can I do what God is asking of me?
We know from scripture that Abraham was obedient to the Lord. And when God saw Abraham’s obedience even to raise a knife over his precious son, God intervened. He had a ram waiting in the bushes. A different sacrifice would be made that day.
Abraham learned a new name for his God: The Lord Will Provide. Oh boy, did He that day! What a time of rejoicing they must have had!
Do we love Him like that? Would we willingly surrender it all to Him? Or do we want it our way? Do we want our stuff more than we want Him?
At various times in my life, I have heard His voice calling me to surrender my most precious promises and gifts from God back to Him. I didn’t want to do it. Yet I knew I must love Him more than the things He had given to me. At times, God spared my sacrifice and provided another way. At other times He received the offering on the altar of my heart as a precious seed of worship. In each and every situation I experienced greater love towards God. I also encountered more of God and knew more of His love towards me. It was never easy – but it was always worth it!
Bonnie Keen wrote: “Any dream held too tightly can become an idol.” God is jealous for our affections. He rightfully deserves first place in our heart and in our life. No ministry, no person, no thing can take His place.
Take a minute today and read Genesis 22. Think about the challenge that lay before Abraham and Isaac. Consider how would you respond? Ask yourself the questions: Do I love the promise of God more than I love the God of the promise? What is it I really love and would I be willing to lay it at His feet? Take time to let God speak to you today as you reflect on these questions. Listen to the words of the song below and take a moment to surrender to the Lord any area that you have placed above Him.
Prayer for Today: Lord, I want to love You more! Today I choose to love You first. I choose to turn my eyes upon You. I give you priority in my life; the things of this earth grow dim. I long for you. Lord, reveal any idols in my life that I might surrender them to You. I desire you more than anything you could give me. I love You more than the blessings You have provided. I choose You today Lord!