Letting Go

Faith can be against all our instincts.

Genesis 22:15-19 (ESV)

And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Abraham has passed the test. The LORD Himself declares this to be the ultimate act of faith. The whole Bible declares this to be the ultimate act of faith. But why? Sure, what Abraham did was impressive, but why does this make him the father of faith? Why is this act of faith so special?

Because it’s the opposite of what Abraham did with Hagar. Then, Abraham tried to help God keep his promise. That was totally faithless. If the LORD is God, He can keep his own promises.

But on mount Moriah, Abraham was ready to kill God’s promise. That was just as totally faithful. This time, God’s promise will be kept only if God keeps it.

And Abraham didn’t know what was going to happen next. Yes, we know from Hebrews 11:19 that he knew that God was able even to raise him from the dead – God is able to do lots of things – but Abraham didn’t know what He was going to do.

In other words, Abraham didn’t have a hand-hold. He had nothing to cling to. He had to let go of all expectation and all understanding. God said, “Trust me,” in a situation where the normal response is, “No way! This is nuts!”

But this wasn’t just anyone saying, “Trust me.” It was the LORD himself, and if He is who He says He is, the normal response doesn’t apply. So Abraham let go of everything rational and did what God told him to do.

That’s faith, baby.

Please pray for your ministry leaders. Their task is, in a sense, to help God keep his promises. Yet, at the same time, they do it through faith. It’s always a challenge to not confuse our own “great ideas” with the LORD’s guidance. Leaders are expected to lead and they’re not called to be stupid in the secular sense of the word. Still, the LORD can give unexpected guidance.

So, while being a ministry leader is the most rewarding job in the world it’s also one of the toughest. Challenges and tests abound. Even when they are sure of the LORD’s leading, others may disagree. Every decision is subject to second guessing.

Pray that the LORD will guide them, comfort them, and reward them.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:


Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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