DO IT BEFORE IT GETS MORE DIFFICULT
When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. Genesis 17:22-23
As soon as Abraham watched God ascend from his presence, he went to circumcise himself and every other male in his family. What a difficult act of obedience yet he didn’t put it off and spend the next days and weeks in dread. Sometimes, the more difficult the command, the longer it takes to get up the nerve to do it. I have found that to be a grave mistake.
Anytime God has asked something of me, there were risks. Others being angry with me. Risking a loss of respect. Putting my life on the line. Introducing conflict into a relationship I valued. Going somewhere that held bad memories for me. Taking on a job I didn’t feel qualified for.
The last thing difficult thing God asked of me was on a November day. I wrestled badly with Him and didn’t obey until the end of February. The outcome was a miraculous one and if only I had spared myself the three months of misery.
I forgot that when God gives a command, there is empowerment to do it. God’s Spirit goes with me when I engage in that difficult thing. When I envision the pain of it, I misjudge how it will be because I don’t put God’s grace and blessing in the midst of it.
So, Abraham circumcised adult men and boys far beyond infant stage. How excited were they about God’s command! Yet we do not know how God’s gracious hand was manifested during those painful moments. Perhaps he gave spiritual anesthesia. He is the divine Physician, after all. The text doesn’t reveal that there was bedlam, or sickness, or even weakness. There may have been but I do know something about the nature of God. He blesses obedience and we need to factor that in ahead of time.
Whatever it is you’re putting off, take this devotional as the gentle wind that will propel you into action.
You are with me; Your influence changes everything I do. Amen