Monday, October 22, 2007

A great message

Last Sunday I was out of town for a baptism and birthday party. When I got home I was talking to a friend of mine who goes to my church who told me that I should have heard the message at church. It's been over a week now and the Holy Spirit is really working on me and this message keeps coming up in my mind. This morning I decided to sit down at my computer and listen to the message online. (message date: October 14, 2007)
The message: Abraham - Genesis 22: 1-2 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
The message really hit home. Here's what Pastor Kris had to say...
Have you ever been tested? Have you ever been asked to give something up? Have circumstances come up where you have lost something that you didn't want to lose?
There were promises resting in that thing or person that you lost.
Like in my case - from the time you find out you are pregnant (sometimes even before) you start to vision the life that this child will have, his/her whole life begins to play out in front of you...there's so much possibility for this child - but none of it can happen if it's not God's will! Pastor Kris goes on to say that those we hold dear to us ultimately belong to God first. Our children aren't ours - God has trusted them to us, but they are not our possessions - they can be taken from us in the blink of an eye as we found out. How do we respond when God tests us with these things? Sometimes God does test us, just like he did Abraham. How do we respond to that kind of testing? Do we trust that God will provide? Do we know that if we give it up that God will give it back to us 10-fold because He loves us and we can trust Him?
We have a God who tests, but we also have a God who provides! We all like the God who provides...the heavenly ATM that I can go to at any time and know that He'll provide. But what do we do when we are faced with a test? Pastor Kris gave 3 things to do:
First, we have to recognize the test. Don't chop it up to circumstances - "stuff" does not just happen! God doesn't CAUSE difficult situations, but when you are in the middle of one, you can be sure that God is at work in the midst of them and He's bringing something good out of them. Like the Natalie Grant Song, "Bring it all together"
Secondly, we have to respond in faith. We have to be obedient. Put it all in God's hands without knowing what the outcome is going to be - Abraham trusted God - he did what God told him to do without knowing what the outcome would be! We have to do what God desires even when no one is looking!
And finally, we have to reflect the image of God. There is a world who is watching us. There are thousands of unsaved people watching how we will respond to testing. When we can recognize the test, respond in faith and reflect the image of God when we are faced with a test, what are we showing to the world?
People have said to me a lot in the past year and 3 months (WOW, exactly 1 year and 3 months since we found out that Jesse's heart was no longer beating) about how strong I am...I don't take any of the credit! I can't take any of the credit - I know I am not that strong, my God is though. He has given Brian and I strength that we can not even explain. And it doesn't stop there. I have also said that I have a sense of peace that doesn't feel right! I don't feel like I should be laughing and moving forward in my life? How can I be happy when my son was taken away so soon or when my other angels were taken away before their tiny bodies ever took any form? But I feel a sense of peace about it all! If you have kids, think back to a situation where they wanted to do something so badly, but you knew it wasn't good for them...they threw the biggest fit and was so upset, falling to the ground in a temper tantrum like none other, but the whole time you are there saying, "child, I know what is best for you and this is not it" It's the same with us and God. We are his children. Sometimes we can't have what we think we should have, we throw a fit, but the whole time God is up there saying, "child, I know what is best for you and this is not it." Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.
When we trust God, He can do amazing things through us! I pray that God will help me Recognize the test, Respond in faith and Reflect the Image of God.

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