God Provides for Our Journey
Some call it the inner audible voice of the Lord. It’s an experience of hearing a phrase or a sentence in your mind that you clearly perceive as His voice. It is one primary way by which God provides for our journey, especially in times that we are desperate for Him to confirm our life choices. I recently revisited such an experience. We had just moved to Kansas City to be part of the International House of Prayer, and I was battling with not being able to provide financially for my household. I felt led to read the story of Abraham and how God provided for him.
Sowing the Seed of Sacrifice
The irony of Abraham’s provision is that it was in the context of God taking away from Abraham what He had previously provided. Isaac was being relocated in a sense, from the provision column to the sacrifice column. Brings to mind the admonition to hold loosely what God gives you. Steward it well but be aware that it all belongs to Him and He calls the shots on when it might transition out of your hands.
So here is the inner audible that hit the bullseye of my heart as I was praying about God’s provision:
The ram is already in the thicket.
The Beginning & the End
As father and son journeyed up the mountain, Isaac questioned the absence of a lamb to sacrifice. Gen. 22:7 Abraham answered, God will provide for Himself a lamb for the burnt offering. Gen. 22:8 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. Gen. 22:13 Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Rev. 22:13 He is overseeing every aspect of my journey.
Walking the Path of Abraham
It’s been a long time since Abraham’s story and in a sense we are continuing in the family way. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. Gal. 3:7,29
I love being an heir and I love the promises of God. What I often wrestle with is the “process” of walking in faith. Abraham was told on the front end that he was to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. His immediate response was one of obedience. It doesn’t make sense, but I know God is speaking so I will obey. It was exactly the situation I was in, though to a lesser intensity than Abraham. Why did I sell my house, leave my hometown of 53 years, the security of a full-time job, and move to Kansas City?
God Provides the Journey + the Provision
Without question, God desires to provide WHAT I need, but He also deems vital the WHERE and HOW of the provision. The process of encountering Him is what He delights in and what we desperately need.
So before He provides the ram, He provides the journey. They were four men at the beginning, then only two. On the third day, Abraham told his two servants to wait, while he and Isaac kept their appointment on Mount Moriah.
There are some places where we journey in community and then some places where only you, and what is dearest to you, must journey alone.
Obedience > Intellect
His journey and crushing mandate to sacrifice his son, all transpired in less than a week. I’m guessing that it added a few years worth of gray hairs! I believe that all my trials over the years, rolled into one collective force, would not match the intensity of Abraham’s test. He and Isaac walked out alive from their Gethsemane to continue on in patriarchal service to God, Isaac a foreshadowing of a future Son who would walk to Golgotha’s hill, this time the knife not being spared.The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience. Click To Tweet
Discernment in the spiritual world will never be based on common sense or emotions. The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience.
While sharing common lessons of faith, story lines are individual and unique. I’ve walked with fellow saints through many endings that were not glorious or desirable. It does not however, end the pilgrimage of faith we are called to walk in this age; it simply begins a new chapter.
Whatever your situation today, may I encourage you that God provides for the journey. The ram is already in the thicket.
P.S. Seeing as it’s December, I’ve included a lyric video for your listening enjoyment.