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.
Our faith is evident by our actions. It is more than just words or the intent of our hearts, but it is acting upon those things we know to be in obedience to God. It is about giving God that top place and honoring Him no matter what it requires. God had called Abraham out long before this moment, asking him to leave behind all he’d ever known. And Abraham had done so, and what he’d come to know along the way was Almighty God and His unfailing faithfulness. Because of that, Abraham is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Abraham stood at this moment prepared to give up the son he loved so much, the one for which he had hoped for so many years. God had come to Abraham and asked for the most precious thing he had, and when Abraham willingly offered it, God knew his heart to be faithful and obedient. And, having seen that, God graciously supplies a way for Abraham to make his sacrifice and to spare his son, as well, but it was as if he’d gone through with offering his own son.
Have we shown ourselves to be fully obedient to God? What is it that He is asking of us? Sometimes that’s not always an easy question to answer. But, as in Abraham’s case, the more we walk with God, the more steps of obedience we take, the closer we’ll get to Him and the more able we’ll be to discern His voice and exactly what He is asking of us. And as we seek to know Him and His Word, to walk in His Spirit, to abide in Christ, living out an active faith will be a natural result of that close relationship we develop.
Abraham lived his life being open to God, heeding His voice, obeying in the hard things, and experiencing His grace over and over again. And we have the option to live the same way. It’s not about choosing some hard path and hoping God will be pleased with some great sacrifice, but it is about doing specifically what He has told us to do. It’s about living out our commitment to Him in big and small ways as He directs and leads. So may we be humble and submissive servants of our Lord, acting out and demonstrating our faith in Him through obedience.