WeeK 8 Day 1
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
What is the reward for passing a test? Often it is a more challenging test. In learning math, the tests become more and more difficult. The same is true in learning piano or perfecting your skill at a sport. Faith grows like a muscle or a skill. It must be pushed beyond its current level in order to go the next level. This faith development is painful, just as muscle development is. When you push a muscle, lactic acid builds up making the muscle painful to use; it can take a couple of days to recover from a difficult workout. But the saying “no pain, no gain” is certainly true in muscle development. It is also true, for the most part, in faith development. When we feel pain, we tend to automatically believe something is wrong. This can be true: pain can indicate an injury and be a sign to “stop!” But it can also be the side effect of going to a new level and be a sign to “press on!” When our faith gets pressed, it means we are in “water over our heads.” It seems like what we are being asked to endure or to choose is beyond our ability, and it probably is. But when we respond to God in faith to the current situation, we are becoming spiritually resilient for what is ahead. If we try to evade or avoid the current challenge, we find ourselves increasingly unprepared for future challenges. Abraham’s greatest test of faith was built on his prior experience with God. When God told him to “go to the place I will show you,” Abraham went. When God told Abraham he would have a son, Abraham chose to believe him. Those are a couple of the big items we know about; no doubt there where hundreds of smaller choices Abraham made to learn to trust in God’s faithfulness. Now when this next test came—the biggest test of all—it was no doubt a great stretch, but it was not totally beyond him. It was just “a bit more.” All the days of saying “yes” before this prepared Abraham for this day of a very large “yes.” Close the gap today on your faith. There are going to be opportunities to trust him today, to say “yes” to him. Take those opportunities; they are your preparation today for what God has next.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.