Monday, August 27, 2007

Tension and Faith at Imago Dei

Yesterday, we woke up early to attend the 11 am gathering at Imago Dei. It was one of the most timely and encouraging messages I have heard in a long time. Rick McKinley, lead pastor of Imago and influential author in my life, spoke about Abraham's faith in Genesis 22. Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac--the very son that God had promised would be the blessing of all nations. There is a tension between God's promises and present circumstances, and Abraham has to wrestle with obedience to God in this painful testing of his faith. Why would a good God seem to go back on His promise? Why would God ask anyone to kill their son as a test of faith? Will God come through in the end? Where is God in all this? These are the kinds of questions Abraham was likely asking. They are the same questions we tend to ask today.

Katie and I feel a lot like Abraham right now (we even blogged about it here and here), with our lives in a place of tension between where God seems to have called us and our very unknown future. It is extremely hard to stick with God through the testing of faith, but Rick reminded me of James 1:2-4. God calls us to persevere, because it produces maturity in our lives. Testing somehow helps me become more like Jesus. Out of my love for Jesus and desire to be like Him, I am learning to be patient and to persevere, knowing that God comes through with His promises. James 1:12 reminds me that God has a "crown of life" waiting for those who push through the trial until the end. This time of life--when I am jobless and question my own adequacy--is a time of testing, a time when I can struggle to hold onto God's promises in my life, even when my future is unsure.

It seem trite to compare my current situation with being asked to sacrifice my son. Nonetheless, Abraham's story continually encourages me, because he is a broken and confused man who strives to be faithful and obedient to the God who has called him.

Way to go God, using Rick to speak truth into our lives! A lot more happened on Sunday, including traveling up to Washington for a baptism. I'll post pictures and more on that later today!

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