From Resolution to Revelation
When my guys were little, one of our favorite book series was called “The Adventures of Adam Raccoon.” There is one story in particular however, Lost Woods that was our favorite. Adam was invited to go on an adventure with King Aren, a stately lion who is the visual of Jesus. Adam is so excited for the adventure that he begins packing all of the things he would like to take with him. He packs his fishing pole, a tiny red ball, a tennis racket and even a television among many other things! King Aren lets him know that he does not need these items for the journey ahead but Adam insists on bringing them. I won’t spoil the story, but the short of it is that he ends up losing most of the items along the way, items that became distractions and burdens. Towards the end, he still has his tiny red ball. In fact he doesn’t just have it, he clings to it, withholding it instead of releasing it as King Aren encouraged. Eventually this tiny red ball leads him off the path of following the King and directly into a dark place of trouble.
Aside from sharing the link to the book with y’all (as this series is an incredible resource for parents - lots of helpful hints and questions in the back of the book that lead to great discussion as a fam), I am sharing it because the story popped in my head after I read about Abraham and Isaac in my one year Bible this morning. I mean I have read the one year Bible for the past 22 years, so I KNOW the story of Abraham and Isaac, however this morning, the word, “withheld” caught my eye.
Genesis 22:1 says that God tested Abraham’s faith. That sentence alone can be fodder for a lengthy discussion, however, what was so winsome to me was Abraham’s immediate response. God called to him, “Abraham!” and Abraham replied, “Yes, here I am.” God then told him to, “Take your son - yes Isaac, the one whom you love so much…go and sacrifice him on one of the mountains which I will show you.” I mean the Lord knew Abraham, he knew how priceless Isaac was to him and thus…
The Bible doesn’t record any further conversation or capture the feelings that must have been swirling within Abraham’s heart, all it states in the next verse is that Abraham arose the very next morning, gathering everything he needed, including his ONLY son, and set out for the place that God showed him. Most of us know the story…three days into the journey they arrive at the mountain and Abraham places the wood on Isaac’s shoulders and he himself takes the fire and knife and, together, they make way to the mountain where the sacrifice will take place. My mama’s heart cannot fathom how Abraham obeyed to the very point of tying up his son, placing him on the altar and raising his knife in obedience to the Lord’s bidding…and yet at that very moment, an angel of the Lord appears to him and says his name twice, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Don’t hurt him in any way for now I know that you truly fear God for you have not withheld your son, your only son.” Abraham then finds a ram caught in a thicket and sacrifices the ram and calls the place, “Yahweh Yireh ” which means, “The Lord Will Provide”.
Did you catch the word like I did? Now the Lord knew that Abraham truly feared God for he had not WITHHELD his only son… It caused me to question myself, “What am I withholding?” Not "if", but "what", as I feel that this side of heaven, I will always have an area that could use some refinement or release!
So back to, “withheld”. When I looked up the word it means:
Withheld => Hebrew word, chasak – to hold back, refrain, reserve, to hinder, to keep back or keep for oneself
The root of chasak is chashak - it means to darken
Much like Adam Raccoon, when we withhold something from the Lord, keeping something for ourselves, it eventually becomes a hindrance and can so easily lead us to a place of darkness.
As the new year began to unfold, the Lord gave me a revelation of something new and it was this: “Rather than approaching this new year with pull-up-the-bootstraps, git-r-dun resolutions, ask Me for a new revelation of upgrade in your thoughts, words or actions that would result in a resolution in your heart to follow My lead.”
Anytime I make a decision out of what I desire or what I want to see happen, I pretty consistently let myself down. However the moments in my life where I have chosen to follow the bidding of our Father God through some sort of revelation He gives (i.e. realizing that my body is literally the residing temple of the Holy Spirit and because it is such, I want to create a healthy place for Him to reside and a strong vehicle through which He can orchestrate ministry!), I then receive an upgrade. In this example, the bottom line is that the REVELATION that my body is not my own, results in the RESOLUTION to take better care of myself! The resolution, then, is not of my own doing, it is simply a response to revelation that causes me to want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, rather than following the rules I put in place for myself – like it’s a Divine upgrade in thinking and motivation!
I am praying for all of us that this would be year marked by revelation…that 2019 would become a year of upgrade – trading out and releasing the unessential distractions of this world for an upgrade of essential tools and priority that will allow us to live the most fulfilling and faithful life possible!