Hey y’all! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted due to moving back home and getting settled in, but I’m back! I must admit these past weeks have been exciting and confusing at the same time. I’m excited to be back with my family and watch my nephews grow taller every time I lay eyes on them. I’m also excited to have a fresh new start with the understanding that God is in control despite my circumstances. With the excitement also comes with nervousness because of the unknown about when and how things will get done. How does moving back home align with God’s will? (Read last post on why I moved back home). Even when I ask this question though, I laugh at myself because it is not my place and it’s beyond my comprehension to figure out everything God has set up for me.
This past Sunday, my friend invited me to her aunt’s church, The Citadel Church of Jacksonville, under the leadership of Bishop Terry Hill, Jr. It was my first time attending so I was pretty excited and praying that I would receive a right on time word.
Whew, I did.
Bishop Hill came from Genesis 22: 1-11 and the title of his message was, “This is a Test”, based on the story of Abraham. I love the story of Abraham because his faith was like no other. When I think of the word “faith”, I automatically think of Abraham and Joseph. I love how they remained faithful to God even when it didn’t make sense. They remained faithful even when all odds were against them.
In the message, Bishop Hill spoke on how God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac. Think about that for a moment. Here is Abraham enjoying his son that took so long for his wife Sarah to conceive and God requests that he sacrifices him. I’m sure Abraham was mad confused and sad, but he prepared to do it.
In the middle of him about to sacrifice Isaac, an angel appears to Abraham and says, “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22: 12).
Then Bishop Hill asked the congregation an important question:
How many of us can really give God everything?
When the bishop asked this question, I immediately thought about my return to Jacksonville. I couldn’t help but think wow God is this a test? Did you test me to see how much I really trust you? To see if I would give up the city I loved (Tampa) so much? To see what I would get rid of in order to fully receive what you have for me?
Abraham was asked to do something far out of this world. And here I was back in a city I had no desire to return to, but I chose to obey God rather than follow my own fleshy desires. If I had it my way, I would’ve still been in Tampa laughing it up with my friends, going to both of my jobs or just laying down in my bed watching Netflix.
But now I come back to Jacksonville with no job lined up, no way to really see how things are going to work out and having the feeling that I need to reestablish myself to get my career started.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The unknown is a scary place but knowing that I obeyed God, I can have peace knowing that everything will work out.
Can you love God when you feel like you’re losing? How obedient are you? Do you just want to hear God when it applies to something that you want to do? What about when it’s something you don’t want to do? Will you go out of your comfort zone? These were all questions that the bishop asked during his sermon that truly made me think.
In that moment I really had to reflect on my first few days living back in Jacksonville. I don’t like how it feels but I will not fail this test! I will put my trust in God.
That is my prayer for you all today. Whatever God has told you to do, do it. Understand that the sacrifice being made will later bring you a reward so big beyond your wildest dream. When God asks us to give up something, know in your heart he will bring you something better.
Be encouraged and never give up. I love you.