Some of you may have heard of the song “Nothing I Hold On To” by United Pursuit. It’s a great song, with easy to remember words. The bridge of the song is really simple, it just says, “I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open”
These lyrics remind me of in Genesis, when God told Abraham to go up to the top of Mt. Moriah, and sacrifice his son Isaac. God asked Abraham to do this to test his faith. God had it all planned out ahead of time that a ram would be caught in a bush at just the right time, and an angel showed up to stop him from sacrificing Isaac. But Abraham didn’t know all of this up front.
Mt. Moriah was a few days away. So they packed everything up, the wood, the oil, all the supplies, and they got some of their servants together and they went off on this trip.
When they get near Mt. Moriah, Abraham tells the servants to wait for them while they go and sacrifice. In Genesis 22:6, Abraham says, “I and the boy will go and sacrifice, and we will return to you.”
Check out Abraham’s faith here. Even though God told him to sacrifice his son, and he’s ready to do it if that’s what God wants, Abraham knows that they’re coming back. You see a few chapters earlier, God promised that through Abraham’s seed (Isaac), God would raise up a nation. Abraham knows that God isn’t done with Isaac yet.
So they are walking up the mountain, and Isaac asks, “Hey dad, where’s the sacrifice?” Awkward question at that moment… Well, Isaac…. you’re the sacrifice… Probably wouldn’t be the most fun trip. But that isn’t what Abraham says. In Genesis 22:8, Abraham tells Isaac, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
So they went up the mountain, with no offering but Isaac.
What a picture. Abraham is letting go of everything that he holds dear. Isaac is the son that he was promised in his old age. It isn’t like he has a bunch of other kids at home, or can have more kids. Isaac is their only shot. But Abraham walked in obedience.
Is God calling you to let go of some things like He did to Abraham? It would have been really easy for Abraham to get defensive, and say something like, “No, God! Not Isaac! YOU gave me Isaac!”
But Abraham didn’t say that. If he had said that, he would have been elevating Isaac higher than God in his heart.
You see, God wants our hearts to Himself. He’ll give us blessings, and He’ll put people in our lives that He allows us to share this life with, but ultimately, we are His. We’ve been bought at the price of the blood of a Lamb.
All of this was a beautiful picture, because a few thousand years later, God would give His own Son as a sacrifice. God did provide the lamb, not only for Abraham and Isaac, but later for the whole world. Jesus’ blood that He shed on the cross, and His death were the payment for our sins. The price that we owed was put on Him. He has purchased us with His blood, and that is why He can ask us to let go of these things.
Ask God today, “Is there anything in my heart that I’ve put higher than You? What changes do I need to make to keep You as the Lord of my life? Please give me Your Holy Spirit to walk in, so that I will have Your strength to let go of these things, and to follow You will all of my heart. Amen.”