by Steve Trullinger
The degree to which we trust God is fascinating to ponder, yet not easily discerned or measured.
The hope of the sincere Christian is that they would grow to trust Abba wholeheartedly as they mature into Christlikeness. At many points of ponder in their walk with Jesus there may be assurance of a greater level of trust in God that exceeds what was evident in previous seasons, but the question usually remains as to whether there is any “hidden” distrust of the Father that might still be lurking in a shadowy chamber of the heart.
While I might confess with my mouth that God is always perfectly trustworthy, how do I know if my heart truly agrees with my mind/mouth? Must I always go about life with a nagging uncertainty regarding just how much I really trust God? Questions like these can be bothersome or even upsetting as they pounce uninvited on weak places in our thought realm.
Here is some good news! Your Abba knows exactly where those doubts are in your thinking, and he knows the very best way(s) to encourage you in your process of gaining confidence in his trustworthiness. A powerful example from the life of Abraham provides insight into Abba’s fatherly love for his children and his attendant desire to help us grow in the knowledge of our trust in him.
In Genesis 22:1-18, the writer recounts the story of Abraham’s obedience to God in his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac according to God’s command. The angel of the Lord called a halt to the sacrifice just in time to avert Abraham’s thrust of a knife into Isaac’s heart on a makeshift altar on Mount Moriah.
There are many lessons that derive from this extreme act of faith on Abraham’s part, but let’s focus on a particular blessing born in the heart of Abba that will encourage us all. Abraham indeed “passed the test” of obedience to God, and God was pleased [Gen 22:16-17]. But there is an additional insight we can gain by thinking about God’s motive for the “test.”
It is very likely that God already knew what Abraham would do in obedience to the command to sacrifice Isaac. So, it is doubtful that God was in “suspense” as Abraham lifted the knife above Isaac on the altar. I believe that at least part of God’s motive was to help Abraham believe that he could be obedient in the extreme! This was surely a blessing to Abraham, to know that his trust in God was strong enough to believe that God would somehow “raise” Isaac if indeed he was to die at Abraham’s hand. Abba purposed to display quite clearly to Abraham that his level of trust in God was indeed extremely strong. In other words, it was a “set-up” by God to powerfully encourage his friend Abraham!
God’s confidence in Abraham’s desire to trust the heavenly design for the outcome of this strange command was accurate and the “set-up” demonstration of Abraham’s trust in God was intended, at least in part, for Abraham’s benefit!
The trust was two-way; God “trusted” Abraham’s belief in his promise to father nations through Isaac and Abraham indeed trusted God, even though he was ignorant concerning just how the promise could be fulfilled after the anticipated sacrifice of Isaac. As a result, the relationship of Abraham with Abba grew even stronger and helped prepare Abraham even more for the rock-solid expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promise!
Abba derives joy in revealing to you the trust he has in your ability to trust him. You, in turn, can entrust treasures to others whom you trust in your sphere of influence, knowing that this joy of the Master awaits you as well [see the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30]!
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