I GUESS EVERY TRUE Jesus follower goes through his own Isaac test. The Isaac test is when you face the ugly reality that there might be something you adore more than God.
It comes with a great deal of pain when the Lord whispers to us that we cannot serve two masters, whether it be a person, place, or thing in which we desire more than him.
It would not hurt so much except that he requires us to make a choice between him and the object of our desire.
In the beginning of my journey when I first met Jesus, I learned that I was a slave to many things common to most human beings;
I also learned the intoxicating freedom that comes when I passed the tests when they were presented to me. After working diligently for so many years to make sure I had no secret idols, I thought I was done with that lesson.
One day I heard the Lord whisper, Do you love me?
With pride I smiled and answered him in my thoughts.
You have been faithful to bring me out of the ashes, Lord, from the despair I suffered from divorce and the bankruptcy that followed, and you restored me with plenty of money and this beautiful home. Of course I love you.
Some months later, he whispered again. Do you love me?
How sweet it was to hear from my Lord and what joy it was to answer. You gave me two beautiful children and a career in which I could support them and be at home to enjoy them. You knew the deepest desire of my heart and made the impossible a reality for me. How could I not love you, Lord Jesus?
Meanwhile, my teenaged son sprouted wings and with the help of his own car, he needed my assistance less and less. I was proud to see that he had learned to be a responsible person, even out of my presence, but I began to notice our conversations dwindling down to nothing more than what I call housekeeping.
One day, while sitting on the sofa reading, he came barreling in from school and passed by me like I was nothing more than a piece of furniture; always in the expected spot in case he needed something.
I asked him to join me.
“Sure,” he said as he plopped down. “What’s up?”
“I just wanted to visit, son. I feel like we don’t even know each other anymore. How are you?” I asked.
He jumped up, probably glad that I didn’t really need anything of him. He turned to leave, smiled and said, “I’m fine mom, and everything’s good, but I can’t talk right now. I’ve got to go.”
He then told me just how busy he was and how little time he had to “do this right now”.
“Son,” I said. “Please sit down a minute.”
And he did.
I explained to him that I miss him and I said, “You are not wrong to want to grow up and move on, but I am always going to want to be a part of your life.
“I miss the relationship we once had where you talked to me and I knew your thoughts and feelings.
“I’m getting the impression that I am only needed for the things I can do for you. I know you love me, but it feels as if you don’t anymore.”
He answered, “Of course I love you mom. How can you think I don’t? Do I not seem grateful for all you’ve given me and all you’ve done for me?”
He obliged me with a short conversation, and then he took off, leaving me with the impression that he didn’t understand what I was really asking of him.
Spending time with me was not something I wanted to make him do against his will.
It took the Lord’s persistence in gently asking his question, ‘Do you love me?’ and the very normal and natural behavior of my dear son for me to understand what he was really asking:
Do you really love ME or do you love everything I have given you more? In other words, would you love me even if you did not have this life that has become so precious to you?
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil….But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.—Jesus (Revelation 2)
As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.
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If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.--Jesus (Mark 4:23)