I love hearing that…don’t you? I was walking back into my dorm building the other day and someone was holding the door…”Come on in, I’ve got you.” It’s that feeling of assurance. I remember walking up the stairs, thinking…that’s quite possibly one of my favorite phrases.
It’s even better when it comes out of His mouth. Life is just plain crazy. It’s busy. It’s messy. It’s not what I expected it to be this year at Nova. It’s not how I envisioned it playing out. But, what’s so wrong about that?
Pastor Don McClure spoke this weekend at Calvary Chapel on Abraham’s willingness and faith to sacrifice Issac. I have to admit..when he said Genesis 22 and started talking about the story, I was thinking, “Oh, another sermon on sacrifice. I’ve heard this before.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Doesn’t it consistently amuse you that God can take something you’ve heard 1,000 times over and make it fresh and new?
Pastor Don said Abraham went out in faith when he left his country. He stayed out in faith, even when the going got tough. But, the ultimate test- 50 years into his journey with Christ- was when he was asked to sacrifice his son. God asks us, “Am I more precious than any promise I’ve ever given?” Ouch.
God says He loves me. Yes, I praise you, God! God says He forgives me of my sin. Yes, I praise you, God! God says He will provide all I need. Yes, I praise you, God! He says He is preparing a place for me for eternity. Praise God! He says He will fight my battles for me. Praise God! He says He will hear me and answer my prayers. Praise Him! He says He wants to know what I will do for Him….
Do I love Him because of who He is, or because of what He does? I never want to be a person with what I call a “Medicine Bottle God.” Take Him when you need Him, but when you’re feeling fine, just forget about Him. No. But, what am I willing to give? Everything I have in this world? My most precious promises? Give all that up in immediate obedience? I pray that is my response to anything He asks of me.
1 John 4:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
God has reassured me time and time again with those sweet words- “I’ve got you.” He’s blessed me with blessings I come nowhere near close to deserving. Yet, when He asks me what I will sacrifice, my mind doesn’t go to the thing that will cost me the most. There’s lots of growing left for this girl, because my mind goes to something manageable, something I think I can give to Him that won’t cost too, too much. Yes, God, I’m willing to sacrifice…a little sleep. a little money. a little food. Really? A little? Is it really a sacrifice, then?
Psalm 27 encouraged me this morning.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek: (It takes a seeking, determined, committed heart…)
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD, (though that’s an impossible task!)
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock. (Did you catch those promises?)
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; (See the sacrifice? A joful one, at that!)
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” (See the desire of his heart?)
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD (See the eternal focus? Where does his help come from?)
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD! (Hear the excitement in his testimony? I can just see David saying…Wait, I dare you! See what my God will do!)
I once heard a pastor say, “Sometimes the most active and agressive step of faith you can take is to patiently wait.” I feel like I’m somewhere in between Abraham’s second and third stage. God’s asking me to stay out in faith. Staying out is harder than going out, because staying out requires adjustment when your expectations aren’t met. Staying out requires a steadfast heart that’s willing to wait, after all the excitement and newness has worn off. But, I also feel like God is asking me now…Okay, Chelsea. You’ve been walking with me for a while, and I’ve shown you time and time again testimonies of my faithfulness. We’ve done the whole step-out-on-faith-and-watch-Me-move-mountains-and-do-a lot-with-your-little. We’ve done the whole mountain top experience thing. I’ve lavishly demonstrated my grace, my mercy, my unconditional love, my holiness to you. How do you reflect that?
Too often I forget that I have the privilege of encountering a holy, holy God who has no obligation to reveal even a glimpse of His glory. Even if He did nothing for me but create me, He would be worthy of my praise because that’s just who He is. He’s worthy. But, the fact is that He chooses to not only reveal Himself, but reveal Himself in a personal and intimate way. He chooses to speak directly to me….to me! He witholds NOTHING. So, why do I hold onto the things that don’t even matter in the end?
“I’ve got you,” He says. The question is not a matter of God’s forgiveness and love, but of my faithfulness and commitment. “I’ve got you,” He says, “but, do you have me?”