Encountering the Wall
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” – Genesis 22:9-12
We encounter the wall when a crisis turns our world upside down. These walls are not simply one-time events that we pass through and get beyond. They are issues we return to as a part of our ongoing relationship with God.
We see this in Abraham, waiting at the wall of infertility for twenty-five years before the birth of his first child with his wife, Sarah. Ten to thirteen years later, God led him to another wall – the separation from Ishmael, his eldest son (conceived with Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar). Abraham encountered a third wall a few years later, when God commanded him to sacrifice his long-awaited, beloved son Isaac on the altar.
Abraham appears to have gone through the wall numerous times in his journey with God. Why? Thomas Merton explains, “Unintentionally and unknowingly we fall back into imperfections. Bad habits are like living roots that return. These roots must be dug away and cleared from the garden of our soul… This requires the direct intervention of God.”
Abba Father, I open my clenched fists to surrender everything You have given to me. Reestablish my identity in You – not in my family, my work, my accomplishments, or what others think of me. Cleanse the things in me that are not conformed to Your will. By faith I unite my will to Yours so that the likeness of Jesus Christ may be formed in me. In His name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day by Peter Scazzero, copyright Zondervan, 2014.
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What things or people are you rooting your identity in that God may want to dig up so that your identity might be replanted in Him? What areas of your life do you need to surrender to God? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily