Laying My Plans and Desires on the Altar

Up until the last few weeks, I thought I knew what God’s will was for my life. I had been confirmed, affirmed, and I was heading into North Greenville confident of the plan God had for my life. In the last few weeks though, I have begun to question these things and plans and wonder if they were truly my desires or were they God’s. I’m at a point right now where I know God has called me to ministry but I am not sure of what venue this will take place in or what it even looks like. Right now though, I come before the altar of God and lay down my plans and desires, and ask for His will and plan to become evident in my life.

Laying things down and saying, “God, here are my plans and desires. I give them to You,” is hard. I don’t want to give up my dreams and I don’t want to give up my plans. God, I would rather do this, not that. God, I would rather talk to college kids about Christ, than go on mission trips and live in a foreign country. Maybe this sounds like you today. Take heart though, I have a story for you.

“After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
“Take your son,” He said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac.In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife,[a] and the two of them walked on together.
Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.”
And he replied, “Here I am, my son.”
Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide[b] the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together.
When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac[c] and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He replied, “Here I am.”

12 Then He said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” 13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram[d]caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. ” (Genesis 22:1-13; http://www.biblegateway.com)

Let me give you a little background to this story. Abraham and Sarah had been told by the Lord God that they would have many descendants. The only problem was that they had no children and they were both old, past child bearing, child making age. Actually they both laughed at the idea of them having a kid. They waited a long time but finally God brought the promise into sight and Abraham and Sarah had a son named Isaac. Crazy huh? Well, what if God told you then to take your son, the son that you had waited and prayed for, a miracle baby, what if God told you to kill that son? Oh and by the way, this was supposed to be the son that this amazing line of descendants was supposed to come from. How would you respond? Would you trust Him completely? Abraham did and obeyed. He was giving up everything: the promise, the hope of descendants, everything. And through that amazing obedience, God saved his son. He saw the heart of Abraham, a heart that “feared God” and not only spared his son, but one day the Son of God would be born from his line of descendants. And that Son would be sacrificed for the sins of all, becoming the spotless lamb that we desperately needed. 
What does it mean to follow God completely? Jesus says what it means in Luke 14. 
“Now great crowds were traveling with Him. So He turned and said to them: 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, 30 saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? 32 If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to[f] all his possessions cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:25-33; http://www.biblegateway.com).
Do you have faith that even if God told you to go somewhere you had never been, that you would go? Do you believe that God will provide for you if you are obedient, even when it makes no sense to you or to anyone else? Some of you God will call to do crazy things. He might call some of you to be missionaries or He may call some of you to go into places where no one else will go. Will you go? If God told you, like He told Jonah, to go to a godless city like Nineveh and preach His gospel, would you do it? If God told you to go to a place like Sodom and Gomorrah and get on your hands and knees everyday and pray for these people’s eyes to be opened, would you do it? 
I’m not sure what God’s plan for my life is yet. I know one thing for sure though. When I graduate from this university God is sending me somewhere to preach his gospel, whether formally or informally. I may go to a church and be a college pastor or youth pastor to minister to the next generation of youth and college kids that are dying without the love of Jesus Christ and raising up leaders to take the gospel to the nations. God may send me across the globe to be servant to those who are dying of hunger and thirst. He may send me to foreign country to share the gospel with a group of people that have never heard the gospel. He may send me to be a Christian counselor and pray over bondage in people’s lives, strongholds and addictions that will never be overcome without the power and love of Jesus Christ. I may work with families or work with married couples. Or, something completely outside of all of that, like showing the love of God to men and women struggling with homosexuality. God has allowed me to go through everything in my life for a purpose, even right now, as I struggle with being in a new place and in a new community. God has placed me here for a purpose. 
I may not know where God is sending me, but I have faith and trust completely that whatever He deems right for me, I will follow completely. It may be scary, but today, I am laying down all of my plans and desires at the foot of the cross. Jesus lead me where you may. 
Have a blessed day ya’ll,
Joseph. 

One thought on “Laying My Plans and Desires on the Altar

  1. Great thought Joseph. Laying my own desires down at the altar has been something working deep in my spirit the past couple of years. And several of my own blog posts have reflected this. I hope I am learning to die to myself. What we find is that when we die to our self, God has something so much greater than we thought.

    Stay strong on your journey. God often only reveals little pieces at a time. We have to step out in faith and trust. If we knew the full journey we would not need faith.

    Like

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