Power Of Sacrifice (3)
Sacrifices will always trigger off divine reactions and they can come in various ways and in torrents. Yes, they often lead to divine covenants, generational covenants, exclusive divine blessings, promises and promotions, outstanding prosperity and favor, divine protection and preservation, and also special placing in the plan of God. True! Go study closely God's response to Abraham's obedience at Mount Moriah and you will find all of these. Just one act of obedience fetched that man all these. We must always be careful to obey God even when it is painful, not convenient, out of season, or against our wishes and senses. Yes, it could be at a great price, but the end product, the reward, will always worth it. May God help us!
Yes, Abraham's blessings are ours, but we must also be ready to courageously go through his trials, tests, etc, if they come our way. I know some self-styled preachers of grace will not like to hear this, but it remains the truth. Grace also comes with a responsibility. And that is why people like Paul will admonish us to stir it up. You can stir up the grace. You can abuse it. You can lose it and you can also ignore it. It's your choice. Our actions, inaction, thoughts, activities, lifestyle, etc, have roles to play on how God responds to us. Look at Jesus, He had so much grace on Him, yet He was very careful to know, observe and follow ALL God's instructions and directives. He was bent on fulfilling all righteousness at every turn. He lived a life of complete obedience and sacrifice till the end. No wonder God gave Him a name, grace, anointing, authority, a kingship, priesthood, a place that is above all in heaven, on earth, under the earth and the waters. Grace comes with responsibility!
Abraham provoked God by his actions. Again, imagine God saying to a mortal, 'Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand of the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed' Gen 22:16-18. Wow! These are also what you receive when you provoke God through your actions and sacrificial life. The God of Abraham is also your God. He has and cannot change. Now, let's take those covenant promises one after the other:
Swear By My Own Name
Why did God swear before pouring out those covenant promises? I mean God taking an oath just because of a man?? Well, that is God for you. He loves commitment and faithfulness so much. He wanted Abraham to know that what He was going to say was final, sure, true, established and must perform. And since He has no other thing or higher authority to appeal to, He swore by Himself. We must always know that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel; Jehovah has the final say in all the affairs of man. His words, plans, wishes are final in heaven, on earth and also in your life. What He says, no man, no situation, no power, no authority, no opposition can annul. Yes, your life of sacrifice can provoke God to swear concerning you. Nothing can change His eternal plan for you in the name of Jesus! Forever His words on you are settled! 'Abraham, for obeying me, for sacrificing your only and best to me, I SWEAR TO YOU!' God is swearing to you today. We will continue next week.
Rev. Agbo is the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer and a minister with the Assemblies of God Nigeria. Tel: 08037113283. E-mail: [email protected]