Early this morning, I took a hot bath to soak my aching body (12 hours of housework and yardwork on Saturday is still wearing on me) and read a chapter of AW Tozer’s Pursuit of God. As I read Tozer’s words, I just couldn’t help but keep thinking, “I’m no Abraham!”
Abraham was told by God to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. In layman’s terms, that meant that Isaac was to take his son to the top of a mountain and murder him FOR GOD. As those who have heard or read the story already know, God waited until he was able to instill fear and reverence for the Lord in his heart, then commanded Abraham not to lay a finger on Isaac. As Tozer explains, this test of faith in God was about clearing out Abraham’s heart from coveting anything other than God.
Well… I’m no Abraham. I covet many things in my heart, some that I feel like I shouldn’t and some that feel right. But it seems that according to Tozer (and the Bible), God should be the only thing residing in my heart. This is a very troubling concept for me.
My sons, my wife, and many other friends and family reside in my heart. My pain in the butt dogs reside in my heart, too. Not to mention, the love of music, nature… etc. And, I think Tozer’s point is not that I shouldn’t love these things, but that the love and reverent fear of God is the only love that should reside in that inner Holiest of Holies in my heart. But, I’m not sure I’m wired like that.
This is certainly a struggle for many, but I can only speak for me. If God asked me to sacrifice my son to Him, I’d probably curse God up and down before becoming Jonah, trying to run from Him. Now, the solace in the story is that God would never make me (or Abraham) carry through on that sacrifice, but I could never have gotten to that place in my heart where God was so revered that I could let go of my own child in such a manner.
I guess I don’t have to be all that concerned with such a literal request, seeing as Jesus’s sacrifice eliminated the need for such a sacrifice to God in this day and age. However, there is a non-literal sacrifice requested daily… and I’m not always sure I’m up to the task…
Just some food for thought… I’m no Abraham.