When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham! And he said, Here am I. He said, Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.
Over the weekend, I have been transferring my extensive library of family videos over to a digital format. I intend to archive these so that my kids and grandkids will have access to them in the decades to come. Watching videos brings back so many memories and aspirations of success, achievement, love, family……It’s all too easy to allow these to become what A.W. Tozer describes as “toys” to take root in our hearts in his book, The Pursuit of God.
Tozer recognized the temptations of things and used the story of Abraham and Isaac to illustrate how Abraham grew in his faith by surrendering the child of promise, his only son, and choosing to serve God no matter what the cost.
At the end of the chapter entitled The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing, A.W. Tozer wrote this personal prayer:
Father, I want to know you, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival. Then You shall make the place of Your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for You will be the light of it and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As I read through the prayer I recognized my own heart and those I cherish. I am familiar with the trembling and the dread of having those things pulled up by the roots.
Am I willing to be obedient?