Jesus wants to test our hearts. He wants to be sure that we love Him more than anyone or anything else.
Abraham of the Old Testament seemed to struggle with this. God gave him a son, Isaac, in his old age. The boy was precious to Abraham’s life, the joy of his heart. This young man was a physical representation of everything sacred to Abraham’s heart: the covenants God had made and the physical link to the coming Messiah.
As Abraham watched Isaac grow from a little baby to a strong, young man, perhaps this child began to fill the spot that Abraham had previously reserved for his friend, God. Perhaps, at this point in his life, had he been asked whom he loved more—Isaac or God—it would have been difficult to answer.
A.W. Tozer writes, “It was then that God stepped in to save both father and son from the consequences of an uncleansed love.” So God said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).
Abraham passed the test.
When Abraham so wonderfully passed this test, God blessed him and spared his son (Genesis 22:3–18). In essence, God told him, “It’s all right, Abraham. I never intended that you actually kill Isaac. I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might remain unchallenged there.”
After this test in Abraham’s life, there was nothing in his life that was not committed to the Lord. He still had great wealth, flocks, and possessions. He still had his son Isaac. He had everything, but he possessed nothing! His grip was very light on these things, and tighter on the eternal. Again, to quote Tozer: “Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.”
God is still looking for men and women who will shake their world, men and women who will be His disciples. I urge you to make that step. If you do, our world will never be the same again. English evangelist John Wesley once said, “Give me a hundred men who love God with all of their hearts and fear nothing but sin, and I will move the world.”
A personal thought
Will you dedicate your Isaac to the Lord today? It could be a family member or friend you love more than God. It may be a relationship you are in at the moment. It may be some sort of pursuit you are afraid to give up.
Will you step out from the fickle multitudes and fair-weather followers today and be a true disciple of Jesus, loving Him more than anyone or anything else?