Give Up the Promise–You Want the Promiser!

God has great plans for you. 

The Bible says so. I happen to believe the Bible is true.

Have you ever felt like you KNEW what God’s plans for you were? Perhaps even that He had told you, vaguely at least, how He was going to use you?

Grab your Bible or YouVersion, whichever translation you prefer, and take a look at what Abraham knew. Genesis 12:2– God told Abram that he was going to make him into a great nation at the ripe ole age of 75.

Genesis 12:7–but Abram had no descendant. 

Genesis 13:15-16–Still Abram had no descendants, only servants.

Genesis 15:5–More than dust, more than stars, yet still none.

Sarai convinced Abram to bear a child with one of her servants. Ishmael was his illegitimate child. They took God’s plan into their own hands, and it didn’t work out the way they had hoped. It caused pain and heartache for all involved. (Genesis 16)

After their plans failed, God changed Abram and Sarai’s names, made a covenant with them that would carry down through the generations, and reminded Abraham that his descendants would be many and a lineage full of nations and kings. Abraham assumed all of this would come from his son, Ishmael. However, that was never God’s plan. (Genesis 17:1-18)

At the time God appointed, Sarah gave birth to Abraham’s son, Isaac.

God had a plan, and He followed through with His plan even when Abraham and Sarah deviated. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem like the timing was right. It seemed impossible.

That’s where we should get “and they all lived happily ever after”, but we don’t.

In Genesis 22 God instructs Abraham to take Isaac, his only son, and offer him as a burnt sacrifice to God.

Ok, God. Isn’t Abraham supposed to be the father of many nations? Through his descendants? And isn’t Isaac the only legitimate descendant?

Why in the world would God ask Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice?

This is where many of us get stuck.

But Abraham didn’t. He wasn’t so focused on God’s promise that He took his focus off of God, the giver of the promise. 

Look at Abraham’s response.

In verse 3, he rose early. No wasting time, dragging his feet, or procrastinating, hoping the Lord would change his mind. He got up at the crack of down and headed out with all the necessary supplies to get the job done.

In verse 5 Abraham tells his servants something very interesting. WE will come back. Now, only he and Isaac were going on from that point, and he was supposed to be offering Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham had faith that God was going to do something amazing on that mountain.

In verse 8 Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the sacrificial lamb. Isaac knew they should have taken a lamb with them. Abraham knew Isaac was supposed to be the lamb, but he had faith God would supply the sacrificial lamb.

And then, after Isaac is bound, lying on the altar, and Abraham is poised to slay him, God shows up.

A ram was found in the thicket to be offered as a sacrifice. Provided by the Lord.

See, Isaac was never going to be sacrificed.

Abraham either wouldn’t have taken him up the mountain to do it, or God would provide a sacrifice in his place since Abraham demonstrate such faith in God.

Abraham knew God’s promise–more descendants than he could ever number. He’d already tried to jump-start the plan once before. God asked him to give up the one thing that would bring God’s promise to fruition.

No, that’s not exactly what God asked Abraham to do.

God asked Abraham to give God the one thing that would bring His promise to fruition.

I feel like God wants me to ______________. 

You fill in the blank. 

Are you frustrated because you know what goes in that blank but no matter what you do, how hard you try, where you look, it all leads to pain and heartache for all involved? 

Have you laid the gift on the altar? The one thing. The sure thing. The item, the gift, the person, the feeling, the calling, that is the promise, have you offered it back to God?

This morning as I read, I realized how stuck I often feel. However, if I’m following God’s lead, there will always be a ram in the thicket. 

He will provide. 

My calling isn’t being fulfilled because I’m too busy trying to plan it out, force it to happen, and figure it out. God has already done all of that. I just need to lay it back at His feet and let Him have it.

What will God do through His promise “When I lay My Isaac Down”?
Please take time to join the conversation under this post if you’ve taken the time to read it! I love to chat and I especially love to learn from others! I do try to respond personally to every comment, and I have tried to make commenting as user friendly as possible! I appreciate you being part of my community!!!!

Other posts in this series:
Sparing the City by Shining the Light
Back in My Day is Today


8 responses to this post.

  1. Great story. Sometimes our greatest tragedies lead to us fulfilling God's plan for us. I believe that is what happened to me. I could never understand how a person could divorce after 20 years. This led me to where I am now. Helping women as they are in emotional turmoil due to a divorce and feel as if no one understands. My goal is to help them find the Peace that surpasses all understanding that Christ offers.


  2. I can't imagine what it took for him to bring his promised son up that mountain!! Yikes… I'd like to get to that point in my faith! I also wonder if God felt like Abraham was putting Issac in a place higher than HIm which is why He had him do it (or be willing to do it)? Crazy!


  3. I have always found this passage very difficult to understand. Thank you for providing a new perspective for me to reflect on! Your question, “Have you laid your sacrifice on the altar?” particularly struck a chord with me.


  4. Enjoyed your post and your insight. When I was in my mid twenties, I was told I had two years to live — cancer. My choices were hysterectomy or death. Faith welled up inside of me and I stood up and said to the doctor “I don't accept those choices and will walk in here pregnant one day.” He stood up, pointed his finger in my face and said “Then lady, go home, suffer, and die.” Within 3 weeks I was introduced to food supplements and begin my journey, not only to health but to become a health coach for the past 40 years. Fourteen years after that doc told me that I walked into his office – pregnant. Anyway, it is a long story and I released my memoir last summer because I knew there were so many women out there that felt hopeless and had to be given hope — hence, the title is Battered Hope. So when I read posts like yours, that old feeling that welled up inside of me all those years ago is raging strong. I have made it my mission in life to help women get pregnant that have given up hope. The story of Abraham and Sara was a great inspiration to me. Thank you.


  5. Carol, I just downloaded the sample chapter of your book to my Kindle. I'm out of book buying money until the middle of the month. 🙂

    Our God is in the miracle business!!! He will provide. I hope others will read your comment here, and hop over to your blog!!!!


  6. Cindy, Yes, I believe you are correct. We can allow our circumstances to defeat us or to declare Him. It seems you allowed Him to work through you to serve others. He can take our broken pieces and turn them in to the most beautiful mosaics ever!!!

    Please stop in to chat again!!!!


  7. Kristin,

    I'm right there with you. The Bible says “Faith the size of a mustard seed.” but I'm certain Abraham's faith was grander than the mountains. I'm not certain my typically-less-than-a-mustard-seed faith would of made the cut. But I'm seeking that kind of faith!

    Which would Abraham choose: his son or God? Yes. There is a question of loyalty there. However, by choosing God Abraham got to keep them both. Seek ye first…

    Thank you so much for joining our conversation!!! Please drop in to chat again!!!


  8. Sonya, Yep. Many of us struggle with this one. It seems so wrong. So unfair. And yet the outcome was to be the same no matter what decision Abraham made. Isaac would survive and would be his first of many descendants. I'm struggling with that line. But that's why I write it. So that I can face it.

    Thanks for dropping in again!!!


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