POP QUIZ: OUR PATHWAY TO PROGRESS
"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, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you,'" Genesis 22:1-2.
When he was 75 years old, God gave Abraham a promise that he would be the father of many nations. However, it was twenty-five years before Isaac was born! For twenty-five years Abraham believed God without any evidence whatsoever. Finally, when he was 100 years old, Abraham and Sarah (80 years old) had Isaac. Abraham’s promise had been fulfilled, and maybe he was feeling it was time to rest. Maybe Abraham thought, “I’m just going to enjoy my son. I was believing God for 25 years, and now here’s my promise fulfilled.” And all of a sudden God said, “Pop Quiz.”
Abraham has another test. After waiting for his son for 25 years, Abraham now as to take this son and offer him on Mount Moriah as a sacrifice. Isaac was the promised child- Abraham's only hope of becoming a great nation like God had said. Can you imagine what Abraham was thinking and feeling?
Hebrews 11:17-19 explains Abraham's response like this: "By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, 'Your descendants shall come from Isaac.' Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar," (MSG).
So Abraham said, “I don’t care what it costs me, I’m all in. I belong to God.”
Sometimes, after you've finally received a breakthrough after believing God for something, there’s a temptation to trust more in the provision than the Provider. All of a sudden we want to rest, and we no longer walk by faith because we fought so hard to get the blessing. I’m sure that’s where Abraham was.
How many of you went to school and enjoyed Pop Quizzes? Do you remember the teacher springing a test on you to see where your knowledge base was, and if you were ready to go to the next level? It’s the same with the things of God. When God gives us a test, He has an intention. He has promotion in mind. He wants you to be blessed- to go to the next level. God says, “I want to take you higher and higher. I want you to see more and more of My grace, more and more of My victory, but at every level there’s going to be another test." Tests are the normal way of life.
Awhile ago I received a nice check, which I cashed and was carrying the money in my pocket. I liked that money in my pocket. However, I ran into a situation where some people needed money. I said, “I’m going to pray for this need.” And God replied, “Why don’t you do more than pray? You’ve got cash in your pocket.”
I went through all kinds of scenarios in my mind on how to get out of it. Do any of you ever do that? Your brain gets involved. Finally I said, “Okay God, I’m not going to trust in my provision more than I trust in my Provider. This is a test, and I’m going to pass this test. No matter what, I belong to You and my money does not own me.” Do you know what I found out? The more money I get, the more I tend to rely on my money instead of the Provider who gave me the money. If I’m going to walk with God there are going to be plenty of those kinds of tests.
God takes us through tests because our character is more important than our promotion. Did you know what God has in mind for you? He's got all kinds of promotions, blessings, prosperity, anointing, breakthrough- but if you don't pass the test, you don't qualify. You have to build up the structure, the frame, the character of your life, the things that really hold you together, so that when you get to the place of promotion, you can handle it. God loves you, so he's not going to promote you beyond what you are able to handle. God is so good.
Pastor Ron Enget | New Life - Lead Pastor