The Reward of Letting Go

  • September 24, 2015
Thursday 24

Genesis 22:1-3

While it’s often a struggle to put everything on the altar, one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand how God will accomplish His plans. All He asks is that you surrender your will to His and trust that He will show you the way forward (Prov. 3:5-6). Abraham’s willingness to give up what was most precious to him came from his unyielding faith in the Lord’s trustworthiness.

However, if you tell God no because He won’t explain why He wants us to do something, we are actually hindering His blessing. But when we say yes to Him, heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward our obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit. But don’t mistake His way of rewarding as being like a parent who withholds a treat until the child does as he’s told. Rather, obeying the Lord naturally positions us to receive what He is already trying to give us and accomplish in our lives. So, when we fail to trust Him and refuse to do what He says, we are the ones choosing to close ourselves off from those good things.

What has God asked you to do? Have you only partially cooperated? Or have you, like Abraham, given up your need to understand and then obeyed completely?

If the Lord says to give more than you think you’re able to give, know that He will provide. Whether things are running smoothly or the bottom has dropped out, He is always trustworthy. You can count on almighty God to keep His everlasting Word.

Bible in One Year: Micah 1-4

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1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham!" And he said, Here I am."

2 He said, Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."

3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

1 The word of the LORD which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

2 Hear, O peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple.

3 For behold, the LORD is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.

4 The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split, Like wax before the fire, Like water poured down a steep place.

5 All this is for the rebellion of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?

6 For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country, Planting places for a vineyard. I will pour her stones down into the valley And will lay bare her foundations.

7 All of her idols will be smashed, All of her earnings will be burned with fire And all of her images I will make desolate, For she collected them from a harlot's earnings, And to the earnings of a harlot they will return.

8 Because of this I must lament and wail, I must go barefoot and naked; I must make a lament like the jackals And a mourning like the ostriches.

9 For her wound is incurable, For it has come to Judah; It has reached the gate of my people, Even to Jerusalem.

10 Tell it not in Gath, Weep not at all. At Beth-le-aphrah roll yourself in the dust.

11 Go on your way, inhabitant of Shaphir, in shameful nakedness. The inhabitant of Zaanan does not escape. The lamentation of Beth-ezel: He will take from you its support."

12 For the inhabitant of Maroth Becomes weak waiting for good, Because a calamity has come down from the LORD To the gate of Jerusalem.

13 Harness the chariot to the team of horses, O inhabitant of Lachish-- She was the beginning of sin To the daughter of Zion-- Because in you were found The rebellious acts of Israel.

14 Therefore you will give parting gifts On behalf of Moresheth-gath; The houses of Achzib will become a deception To the kings of Israel.

15 Moreover, I will bring on you The one who takes possession, O inhabitant of Mareshah. The glory of Israel will enter Adullam.

16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair, Because of the children of your delight; Extend your baldness like the eagle, For they will go from you into exile.

1 Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands.

2 They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.

3 Therefore thus says the LORD, Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity From which you cannot remove your necks; And you will not walk haughtily, For it will be an evil time.

4 On that day they will take up against you a taunt And utter a bitter lamentation and say, `We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.'

5 Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the LORD.

6 Do not speak out,' so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, Reproaches will not be turned back.

7 Is it being said, O house of Jacob: `Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings?' Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly?

8 Recently My people have arisen as an enemy-- You strip the robe off the garment From unsuspecting passers-by, From those returned from war.

9 The women of My people you evict, Each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever.

10 Arise and go, For this is no place of rest Because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction, A painful destruction.

11 If a man walking after wind and falsehood Had told lies and said, `I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor,' He would be spokesman to this people.

12 I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men.

13 The breaker goes up before them; They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it. So their king goes on before them, And the LORD at their head."

1 And I said, Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice?

2 You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones,

3 Who eat the flesh of my people, Strip off their skin from them, Break their bones And chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle."

4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.

5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, Peace," But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war.

6 Therefore it will be night for you--without vision, And darkness for you--without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them.

7 The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God.

8 On the other hand I am filled with power-- With the Spirit of the LORD-- And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin.

9 Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And twist everything that is straight,

10 Who build Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with violent injustice.

11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD saying, Is not the LORD in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us."

12 Therefore, on account of you Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.

1 And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it.

2 Many nations will come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3 And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war.

4 Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

5 Though all the peoples walk Each in the name of his god, As for us, we will walk In the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.

6 In that day," declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts, Even those whom I have afflicted.

7 I will make the lame a remnant And the outcasts a strong nation, And the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever.

8 As for you, tower of the flock, Hill of the daughter of Zion, To you it will come-- Even the former dominion will come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.

9 Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth?

10 Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.

11 And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, `Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.'

12 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.

13 Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

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