With winter upon us, most people would do well to check their winter travel preparedness.
Items that you should have in your car, but probably don’t.
- Full tank of gas
- Flashlight & batteries
- Ice scraper
- Fire source
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
This is not an exhaustive list, you could add several more items to your preparedness efforts. People will usually prepare for days, months and even years for the “big” things in life:
- Just the right school choice
- Career plans
- Changing of a career
- Vacation plans
But these same people don’t put any thought whatsoever in how they prepare to obey the Lord’s call on their life. They seem to think that obedience will somehow just be automatic.
Today we will look at the Four things that Abraham had brought to prepare himself to fulfill Gods call on his life:
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. – Genesis 22:1-13
Abraham brought Isaac
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. – Genesis 22:3
Abraham could not have obeyed God if he didn’t bring Isaac with him. Also, notice that Abraham did not delay in obeying the Lord. He rose up early in the morning, he didn’t procrastinate. He didn’t put off the inevitable, he wasn’t looking for opportunities to fail.
Isaac was the promised seed that God had promised to give to Abraham in Genesis chapter fifteen.
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. – Genesis 15:1-6
Isaac also represents our promised seed, the promise of a new birth if we will put all of our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus:
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. – Galatians 4:22-31
The first step to obedience with God is to take the promised seed; In order to receive this promised seed, you must be born again:
- John 3:1-7
- Romans 3:10
- Romans 3:23
- Romans 5:12
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 5:8
- John 3:16
- John 14:6
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
- Ephesians 2:8-9
- Romans 10:9-13
Then you must decide to take that promised seed with you, as Abraham did. You have to decide every day to take the new man with you and to live in the new man and not in the old man:
But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; - Ephesians 4:20-23
Abraham brought the wood
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering,..-Genesis 22:6
Abraham brought the wood with him, he wasn’t going to risk a lack of useable wood to keep him from fulfilling Gods call. Isaac carried the wood, which is symbolic of Christ bearing his cross to the crucifixion (John 19:17).
If we are going to be disciples and if we are going to fulfill Gods call, we must take up our cross as well:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Matthew 16:24
What does it mean to take up your cross?
We must be willing to die for his cause, we must be willing to deny ourselves:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
Our commitment level is revealed through our trials. Trials will come (John 16:33), Jesus isn’t interested in half-hearted commitment. Don’t just go half way:
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. – Luke 9:57-62
Total commitment is required, you must be willing to forsake everything for him:
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:26-33
You are expected to finish what you start, half-hearted commitment is unacceptable:
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Abraham brought the fire
…and he took the fire in his hand,…-Genesis 22:6
In Scripture, fire represents the divine judgment of God. We need to rely on Gods judgment if we are to fulfill our calling:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3:5-7
Don’t trust your own understanding, you need to decide now, before you are faced with the temptation to do something different, to acknowledge the Lord in everything. He will direct your path.
Abraham brought to knife
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. – Genesis 22:6
A knife was the tool that was used for preparing the sacrifice. We are commanded to present our bodies a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1. The knife that we have to help us to prepare for that sacrifice is the word of God:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: - Ephesians 6:17
Psalms 119:105 says that: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. A light won’t help if it’s back home on the shelf, in a drawer, or on the nite stand. A light is only useful if you take it with you and turn it on:
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. – Psalms 119:10-16
Abraham left nothing to chance that would keep him from obedience to Gods call.
- How have you prepared to obey?
- Have you taken the promised seed?
- Are you fully committed to his cause?
- Have you relinquished control to him?
- Are you spending time with him daily in his word?
- Have you presented yourself as a living sacrifice to him?
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ