The key word here is “withheld” here. Abraham obeyed God even to the point of sacrificing the promise so dear to him. He reckoned that in obedience even God could cause his son to arise. The thing that must catch our attention is the depth of obedience followed to the point of loss. This is the entry point to a new level in relationship to God and the covenant from God.
Jesus said he that would follow Him must “lose” his life first so that he would find life. Loss is the entry point of our new walk in God. I am certain that God ordains the losses in our lives to be the very gateways into new dimensions in our relationship to God and with God. For Abraham obedience is akin to love and faith in God’s eyes.
In the beginning of 2019 the Lord gave me a word on my journey to Mount St. Bernards. He said “I am taking you to the high calling “.
What I did not know was that the high calling cannot be assumed, cannot be entered into by our own account or effort. It is an invitation. It was the start of a walk of discovery. What I discovered that the only Scripture that explicitly points us to the high calling is Phillipians 3.
Verse 7 says ” Howbeit what things were gain to these have I counted loss for Christ” and that is Paul telling us where the entry point is for entering the High Calling.
In 2020 what losses have you experienced? Have you discerned the divine invitation to the high calling?
The greatest loss of all time was the Cross of Calvary where Christ did not withhold anything from God the Father in terms of obedience and nor from us in terms of salvation or covenant. There Christ enabled us through loss and sacrifice which Genesis 22 was a shadow of this. It challenges us to transform our losses into eternal gain. They are a currency to use in Kingdom terms.
2 Corinthians 4:17 says; “for our light and momentary affliction works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory” spells out the vision we need to have in terms of our losses. It is working for us! If you then compare Romans 8.28 that all things work together for good. We get a picture that as we shed the right for anger and bitterness for our losses we will enter into the realm of our High Calling.
Philippians 2:5-10 gives first a list of Jesus’ losses and then what God the Father did to turn those into gains.
All this to say that God is speaking to us as a Church worldwide in a context of losses and crises that it is this panorama where the power of Christ is made manifest. In Acts 1 the disciples see Jesus taken up from them.
They “lose” His Physical Presence but 10 days later they gain His Spirit and live as He did. So as the Church has lost what it has known because of the pandemic is time to discern our high calling turning our losses as entry points to our calling. What the disciples gained in the Holy Spirit was the “martureo” which makes them witnesses in speech and deeds, this power also leading them to their ultimate sacrifice, martyrdom.
I believe the Church to complete its mission must take on the “martureo” and this will provoke persecution and eventual sacrifice but in it the reality of Christ will be seen. We may spend a life of losses to find in eternity that we gain eternal life and bliss.
What is the depth of your obedience? Are you willing to sacrifice that which is dear to you so that you gain eternally? Abraham became the father of all who believe, and according to Jesus’ parable of the Rich man and Lazarus,Abraham has a special place in eternity.
Unless we see past losses as bitter experiences we will never enter God’s best. We will be in self preservation and our faith will be just words not a demonstration of power. The focus has to be Christ alone, and even if we have to sacrifice our own life we will live for Him.
I believe this autumn and the years up to 2030 are key for the Church to prepare for the Coming of Christ. There are very difficult times ahead. As we are stretched in our faith so we will see miracles. As we focus in His vision for us as a collective so we will not fall into fear.
These messages are written with this vision in mind and personally in some areas I am paying the highest price. We have yet to “resist” with our own blood (Hebrews 12) but we have to face these challenges so that we may walk in the high calling.
How we proceed is to let go of our lives so that we may grasp His. Let go of our losses so that we may receive His Gains.