Walking with God in a godless culture, By Ayo Akerele

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Abraham’s walk with God in Genesis 22 is a classic model of a life of obedience, brokenness, faith, spirituality, and passion. How many of us are willing to release a precious gift to God, something we have waited for, for at least a decade? Abraham did more than that, he stunned heaven by daring to give up his Isaac. Peter once said to Jesus, “master we have left all.” A lot of us have left nothing to follow Jesus. One of the most difficult places to be in life is the school of divine test. God tests. He doesn’t tempt (James 1:13). Here is the difference. Temptations reveal your weakness. Tests reveal your strength. God tests. Satan tempts. A teacher or a tutor would normally administer tests to students after they have been taught. Prior to Genesis 22, God had taken Abraham through some life lessons. There came his day of divine examination. The entire episode of Genesis 22 is a prophetic parallel of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. God wanted to carry out a pilot study of redemption, a foretaste of what would happen on the day the son of God would be offered as a sacrifice on the cross. In Genesis 22:3, the Bible says, “Abraham rose early in the morning.”

This strikes a chord in the heart of passion. Abraham was phenomenally passionate about God. Get out of your father’s house (Genesis 12:1). He jumped out. No wonder he was dangerously blessed by God. Passion is the habitat for divine encounters. God is never found in the world of apathy. David said in Psalms 84:2, “my soul longs for you.” What about you? Is your soul longing for God or for money? Are you passionate about this Jesus whose stickers litter your room? You will always have time for your passion. Charles Spurgeon would always say, “If you could find time to eat, you could find time to pray. It’s all about priority.” Every man has time for his passion.

But something else stands out to me in Genesis 22:4. The Bible says, “on the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.” There is something about these three words, “the third day.” God came down on Mount Sinai on the third day (Exodus 19:11). On the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1). Jesus rose from the dead on the third day (Acts 10:40). In Luke 13:32, Jesus said, “I shall be perfected on the third day.” This is a prophetic picture of the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ. Friends, the third day is about to break on us. Abraham saw the place on the third day. Will you see the place on the third day? Will you be part of the marriage supper of the lamb? The third day is about to break on us, friends.

But Abraham said something that is really fascinating. In Genesis 22:1, God told him to go and sacrifice his son. In Genesis 22:4, Abraham told his servants, “I and the lad are going to worship.” Wait a minute. Are you seeing something? I struggled to reconcile this. Why did Abraham call sacrifice, worship? God didn’t tell him to go and worship. God said, “go and sacrifice.” Friends, your sacrifices to God, no matter what they are, are acts of worship unto God. Never trivialise your offerings. Never trivialise your labour of love at any level, either in your local church or to your neighbour or to the poor. Every genuine kingdom sacrifice is an act of worship before God. Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 (GNB) says, “offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” Did you see something in that scripture? Paul equates “sacrifice” with “worship.” This is a spiritual principle that beats the imagination of carnal and unsaved people. Abraham caught the revelation, sacrifice is worship.

Further in Genesis 22:4, the Bible says, “Abraham laid the wood on his son.” In John 19:17, “they laid the wood on Jesus on the road to Golgotha.” In Genesis 22:7, Isaac asked his father a question, “my father, where is the lamb for a burnt offering.” In Matthew 27:46, Jesus cried to His father and said, “my father why have you forsaken me? Abraham never knew that God’s instructions to him was a shadow of the coming redemption of mankind. He simply aligned himself with a divine agenda. You don’t know how costly disobedience is. You don’t know why God has allowed you to marry your spouse? Many people have unplugged themselves from the socket of divine agenda by their disobedience and carnality. You can never see the bigger picture like God. The late Dr Charles Stanley would always say, “just obey God and leave Him with the consequences.”

But here is the twist. In Genesis 22:7, Isaac asked his father the world’s greatest question, “where is the lamb? That question was answered in John 1:29, “behold the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” This was more than four thousand years after this question was asked. There are some questions God answers with a split of seconds. There are some questions in life that are never answered in a thousand years. There are some that will only be answered when we get to heaven.

However, what got me more stunned was the way Abraham bound Isaac with ropes. In Genesis 22:9, the Bible says, “Abraham bound Isaac.” Why didn’t Isaac run away? If it were me, I would have dragged the rope away from my father to escape for my life. But Isaac surrendered himself. The Holy Spirit told me clearly, “here is the sign of ultimate brokenness.” Here is the picture of total surrender to the will of God. The Lord asked me, “Are you sacrificeable? Can God bound you in His will? Paul said, “I am a bond servant of Christ.” (Romans 1:1). Isaac on the altar was the picture of the Lord Jesus on the cross in total surrender to the will of God. A lot of us are King of kings and Lord of lord of our lives. Jesus is only Lord over our challenges, but not Lord over our finances. He is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.

Many of us are attending churches of unbroken pastors. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “it takes a broken man to break men.” God is calling all of us back to the place of obedience, spirituality, brokenness, and passion for God. These four virtues shot Abraham to the top of divine approval. Abraham’s blessings only follow people with strong commitments to Abraham’s virtues. Shalom

Ayo Akerele is the senior pastor of Rhema Assembly and the founder of the Voice of the Watchmen Ministries in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached through ayoakerele2012@gmail.com

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