Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Somethin's Brewing Here

The last few Sundays our church has been in a series called "What's In a Name?" We're studying the attributes of God, using His covenant names as the starting point for each week's sermon. For those of you who have known me for a while, you know I love names and their meanings and I feel strongly about using names (as in your child's name) as a prayer tool and a resource in parenting. For this reason, and many others, I've been really pumped about this series.

Two weeks ago, our regional overseeing pastor, Pastor B spoke on Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Our Provider. It was probably one of the best teachings on this topic I've heard. I'm not sure why yet, but the words he shared have been brewing in my heart for this whole two weeks now. We are certainly going through a lot of things right now as a family where we need to see Our Provider come through for us, but I've never once doubted that He will do that. That He IS doing that. So that's not necessarily why it's percolating. But it's bubbling and brewing nonetheless, so I'm working through it here and trusting HIM to reveal what He's pouring in my cup. And maybe, in my process, you'll be blessed with a new cup of the strong, hearty brew too.

Pastor B spoke from the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:6-14), where God commands Abraham to sacrifice his only son in obedience. And Abraham sees the amazing provision of God as a result of his obedience. He said that this story represents the pinnacle of Abraham's faith and trust in his God. But then he posed the question: "how did this relationship of faith and trust come to this point of provision?" The following are the steps that Pastor B led us through in the story, as a model of all of Abraham's life. I paid a lot of attention, because Abraham is called a "friend of God." I've always loved that name for Abraham. And I want to place myself in the shadow of men (and women) like that: friends of GOD!
  • Revelation (vs. 1 &2) - God revealed to Abraham the task before him, the test or the trial that He was setting out to perfect Abraham
  • Preparation (vs. 3) - Abraham had things to do to prepare for the test of obedience. To hear and obey is the complete point of the Christian walk.
  • Separation (vs. 4&5) - Abraham and Isaac left the others behind to put themselves on the path of obedience.
  • Dedication - (vs. 8&9) - This is where the rubber met the road: Isaac was THE promise God had fulfilled in Abraham's life, and he was wholly dedicated to seeing this task through. Even though it meant the death of the promise.
  • Proclamation - (vs. 10-14) - When his obedience wrought the work of God's provision and the ram was caught in the thicket, Abraham renamed the mountain he was on. He said "God sees and attends to me. He is my Provision."
  • Restoration - (vs. 15&16) - God gives back to Abraham the fulfilled promise - his son, Isaac is his again
  • Confirmation - (vs. 17&18) - God reiterates the promise that Isaac represents and confirms the work of obedience in Abraham's life. It IS completed!
I'd like to say that I have enough clarity to know which step in the process I keep going back to, to mull over and think and pray over. But really, this whole story has captivated me anew. And I keep going over it and over it. It's as if there's something coming, like the smell in the air when the coffee maker goes on. The pot's not done yet and the smell is permeating the whole house. In fact, it drew me out of bed this a.m. It's steeping in the brew basket and I don't have the taste in my mouth yet. But, like any self-respecting coffee addict, I know it's coming. I can smell it and I know that this one will be brewed to perfection. It's coming and it won't be any old mini-mart brew. This one's gonna be the "good stuff."

I'll keep ya posted. In the meantime, what struck you about this view of Abraham's process?

P.S. Yes, I am now a coffee addict. Thank The Boss - I finally caved to his "come on honey, have a cup of coffee with me!" after 16 years. Now, I'm hopeless and completely embracing it! But I'll save my posts on that topic for another day. . .

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I love the way your word things. You have a real gift of writing. I love reading everything you write. I also have been brewing over the names of God as well. Thanks for the scriptures too. I missed that Sunday.