*I wrote this during the first full week of February…my how quickly things change! This all happened within the course of one week.*
After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!” “Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.” He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-2 MSG)After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!” “Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.” He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.”
They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son.
Just then an angel of GOD called to him out of Heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes, I’m listening.” “Don’t lay a hand on that boy! Don’t touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.” Abraham looked up. He saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham named that place GOD -Yireh ( GOD -Sees-to-It). That’s where we get the saying, “On the mountain of GOD, he sees to it.” The angel of GOD spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear— GOD ’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:1-2, 9-18 MSG)
I don’t think my telling this in words via a video could do this justice. So here goes.
Last year before I left New Orleans, I kept hearing ‘a ram in the bush.’ I thought at the time it pertained to several different things, but the last of those was the church I would attend in moving back to Charleston to begin ministerial preparations. I had already gotten the affirmation of my calling through a complete stranger on one of my YouTube videos from which I cried. God was speaking so clearly to me.
I have since realized in being back home God meant something else. In climbing my own Mount Moriah, I have had to bring a great many things with me: the desire of marriage and my own family, returning to my job with the navy, moving back to Atlanta, getting out of debt, having my own place…so many things. Over the last 8 months, God has stripped me and built me up in many ways, strengthening and deepening my love for Him through it all. I don’t have it all together, but I know it will all work out. So that brings me to my latest fork in the road.
I sent an email to close friends and family alike to pray for me as I have had a word of ‘Move’ in my belly for quite some time. It seems as soon as I surrendered the marriage burden and let go of some things, God began putting bait in front of me to focus my eyes on Him. It was very appealing and I had settled it in my heart and mind that I would move in whichever direction or location He said to. Since that time, I have had several job interviews, some favorable, some not but in the process God taught me my worth. It also taught me to speak up for myself instead of just asking for the bare minimum. But God wasn’t done (and thank God He isn’t done yet!)
You see I began the My One Word challenge in January where my word is live. I also read a few books, the Wild Goose Chase, the Best Yes and My One Word, that have all helped to point out things about me that needed to be changed so I can move in the right direction. I needed to make decisions for me, I needed to stop being afraid of failing or making the wrong decisions, I needed to stop being indecisive and letting things, people and situations decide for me. I needed to release guilt from making my own choices. I needed to live.
In this process I’ve learned tons. In beginning the next books on my list, Crazy Love, which was inspired by the reading plan of the same name I completed, I realized today that I have been living so narrow minded…focusing in with a narrow lens that these things are about me…when they are all a part of the bigger plan of manifesting God’s will through me. So it brings me to my point.
Yesterday I had a reading from my other challenge, Love Does by Bob Goff, where we have to pray that God reveals Himself or His kingdom operating in an unorthodox place. The reading suggested your city’s red light district or your job, so I asked Him to do it at my job. I have already submitted all the paperwork for moving and starting my new job. Then in an instant, God showed me how He has been working for me here at my current job, how I have grown in leaps and bounds, how I have learned so much and matured just in working here. All because I was willing to do whatever He said. I left New Orleans and came back here when He said move, and then after this, I was willing to go again.
I felt like Abraham much the last few years…that strange willingness to leave and go to the place He would show me. In every situation I’ve faced, He has shown me where He wants me to be.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned through Abraham and all of these experiences is to merely be willing. Go on the journey. Take the step. Trust God’s leading, and when the path turns, keep walking. Because most of all, through it all, the path is for you and you alone, so it will all work out better than you could ever plan yourself. God only seeks a willing person to be willing to do His will…to be willing to trust Him to manifest His plans and glory in and over your life. Trust that He will do it and consider it done!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28