Chapter 7- “The Present”
1. Trust game
Andy and I stood behind the kids and asked them to fall backwards into our arms. We chatted about how they knew we would catch them because they trusted us. Even though it may have felt a bit scary the first few times, they kept on trying and trusting became easier.
I reminded them later about the game and said that God asked Abraham to trust Him at the beginning of his journey, to leave his home and go to a place where God would show him. God then promised Abraham his descendants would be more than the stars. Abraham had no children and initially tried to “fix” things himself by fathering Ishmael. Eventually though he trusted God. Now God asks Him to sacrifice his own son, the son God had promised, the son he loved. Abraham again trusted in God.
At first it can be difficult to trust in God. One thing we can be sure of is that whatever the test or trial, God will give us the grace and strength to endure.
2. Follow the leader
We had a game of walking and doing funny moves around the living room. Jacob led and we had to follow. The idea I tried to get across was that God is a great leader and doesn’t expect you to do anything that He is not prepared to do Himself.
We sang the song “Love The Lord your God with all your heart”. Great action song and a good reminder to put God first and love Him more than the gifts He gives us.
I don’t know about you but how often do we pray asking God for something with an idea about how best God can answer our prayer already in mind? This weeks chapter has been the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son “whom he loved”. The concept of this is so terrible to us we cannot imagine how our loving God could possibly ask this of His friend Abraham who walked and talked with Him.
In the Crossways Bible study book on Genesis, is says the challenge for Abraham and for us is “Do we love God more than the things He has given us?” Even as Christians we can sometimes choose to depend on other things or people rather than trusting in God. We can have our own ideas of how best God can answer our prayers.
The chapter ends in the Jesus Story Bible with a powerful image of Gods love for us;
“Many years later, another Son would climb another hill carrying wood on his back. Like Isaac He would trust his Father and do what his Father asked. He wouldn’t struggle or run away.
Who was he? Gods son, His only Son – the Son he loved. The lamb of God”
When we choose to trust in God in every area of our life, we have to relinquish control. We need to allow God access to everything to do His will, His way and not ours. We can trust in Him, knowing the price He paid. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it says “for we walk by faith and not by sight”, living all of our lives based on the confident trust in Gods promises in His word (ESV study bible).
The Bible is not a fairytale, but the Word of God and this verse does not mean we will live happily ever after. But it does mean that through Gods sacrifice of His own Son whom He loved, we can have a new found freedom. Everything we have and everything we are belongs to God. In the words of the New City Catechism “Our lives are not our own but belong body and soul to God”. He made us for His glory and we can trust Him with the things that are most precious to us. When we let that sink in we can find true freedom, resting in the arms of our Saviour.