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This is a Test, Only a Test

“The surest evidence of our love to Christ is obedience to the laws of Christ. Love is the root, obedience is the fruit.”

Matthew Henry

On Valentine’s Day we express our love for others through cards, gifts, flowers and my favorite, chocolate. The best way we say, “I love you,” to God is through our obedience.

Last night our small group studied Genesis 22:1-18. This passage is about God testing Abraham when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his one and only son. The first time the word “worship” is used in the Bible is in verse 5. Worship is taken from the Hebrew word, shachah, meaning: “to bow down before someone as an act of submission or reverence.” Abraham’s willingness to obey God no matter what was asked, showed his depth of love for the lord. Obedience is a form of worship.

I’m amazed at how Abraham responded when God called his name in verses 1 and 11. Both times Abraham answered, “Here I am.” I don’t always reply back to God with the same enthusiasm Abraham displayed. Sometimes I ask God a bunch of questions. Other times I debate with God explaining all the reasons He asked the wrong gal to do whatever He asked me to do. Abraham, on the other hand, simply obeyed God immediately and explicitly. He did whatever God asked him to do, no matter how difficult the test.

At times God also tests us. He wants to see what is in our hearts as well as for us to realize our depth of love for Him. When God tests us He is really asking, “How much do you love me? Do you love me enough to give up______?” The Living Bible paraphrase of Genesis 22:12 states: “Lay down the knife; don’t hurt the lad in any way,” the Angel said, “for I know that God is first in your life–you have not withheld even your beloved son from me.” Does your love for God expressed through your obedience show that He takes first place in your life? Is there anything you’re withholding from God or does He have your whole heart?

God’s tests for us are always for our good. I must admit though, they are often hard and in the very least stretching. The purpose of His tests are to strengthen our character and deepen our commitment to God. Through these tests, “God is working in us to reach His highest goals until His purpose and our purpose become one.” (Oswald Chambers)

Even though it’s a few days late, for Valentine’s Day give God access to every room of your heart. The Lover of your soul wants us to show our love for Him through our obedience. Let’s pass His test and display our worship for God by having Him be our top priority.

“Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to him.”

Nathanael Emmons

Relevant Reflections:

1. What area of your life are you withholding from God?

2. Does God take first place, with everyone and all else taking subsequent places?

3. How have you recently shown your love for God through your obedience?

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