I am a selfish person by nature. Maybe we all are in some way, but I feel like it is really an area of sin in my life.
When I started this blog after being accepted to the God-sized Dream team, I had some big plans for me. Big exposure, possible income from writing, being a contributor on a blog/website….not bad things necessarily, but my heart was really focused on what was in it for me.
But in October, when I attended Allume, God really broke my heart and in a good way. I walked away with less information about how to grow this site, and a more of a desire to give back to others.
In Holley’s devotional she says this “Because our God-sized dreams aren’t really about us at all. They’re about the kingdom, God’s purposes in our generation, his refining work in our lives.”
It is a daily dying to my selfish nature and asking God to direct my path and my heart for His people.
There is a worship song by Chris Tomlin called “Lay Me Down” and when I was thinking about this idea, the chorus came to mind….
“I lay me down
Im not my own
I belong to you alone
Lay me down
Lay me down
Hand on my heart
This much is true
There’s no life apart from you
Lay me down
Lay me down
Oh oh oh
Lay me down
Lay me down”
I am not MY own…I am His.
Abraham understands this idea of laying down his dreams doesn’t he? After waiting 100 years, God gives Abraham and Sarah a son, just as He had promised. Then we see that God asks Abraham to lay down that very thing that meant so much to him….
Genesis 22:1-2 “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
For many of us, this story of Abraham and Isaac is a familiar one. And once again as I was reading these passages, I was prompted to dig a little deeper and it revealed even more to me!
I was curious about the first verse “After these things God tested Abraham…..” I wasn’t sure “what things” it was referring to so I backed up a little in Genesis and discovered even more.
Farther back in the story we see that Sarah, who not getting pregnant on her own, orders Abraham to go and be with her maidservant. Hagar does get pregnant and has a son, Ishmael.
As a side note – can I just say that I love that God still keeps his promise to Sarah and she also gets pregnant – even though she tried to play God herself. At some point, as the children are growing, Sarah sees Ishmael laughing and she gets upset. Sarah orders Abraham to cast Hagar and Ishmael out.
Genesis 21:12 “But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
Did you catch that?
“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named”
So now we find ourselves at that pivotal moment when Abraham is placing his beloved son on the altar which he has built and is getting ready to sacrifice him just as God has asked.
Being obedient and willing, but yet hopeful.
God had promised Abraham that through Isaac his offspring shall be named.
God had been faithful in fulfilling His promises in Abraham’s past. Maybe not in the time frame he had anticipated, but Abraham trusted God regardless…even if it meant laying down his son on an altar. And how could Isaac have offspring if he were dead?
Abraham must of had faith that God would provide….he maybe didn’t know how He would provide, but he trusted that He would.
So I look at my own journey to see if I have had a similar faith. And oh how I have failed miserably most of the time!
Recently there were a couple of things that I had committed to doing, wanted to do even, but I felt a very strong sense that I was supposed to go and ask for grace and step away for a season. It was hard but the “No” was so powerful I didn’t dare ignore it! 🙂
Sometimes what God is asking us to do goes against what we feel is best for us. Only because He knows the better that He has planned!
I have a friend who has lots of wonderful dreams and ambitions, and yet she has felt a pull lately to lay all of them down right now for rest. Rest is not what she wanted to hear at this time, but it IS what she heard…so she is being obedient and stepping back from her dream chasing for now.
I believe that this level of obedience comes from a constant turning over of all selfish things to God. Staying in prayer over those things we have the opportunity to participate in, and being open to laying them down if that is what God is asking us to do.
These journeys we are on won’t always be easy and I am not always certain about what path my dreaming will take me. But I can be sure about the One who is leading me.
Today I am linking up with my dreamer sisters over at God-sized Dreams….join us?!
Photo Credit: kindonnelly