A little over a year ago we started a ministry for men called, Iron Man. It is taken from the scripture in Proverbs 27:17 [As] iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. We usually meet once a month here at the church. The Iron Man gathering includes dinner for the men,a time of worship, and a time in the Word, with a guest pastor from the area. When we started, we didn't have that many men attending. But over the last year more and more men have come out. What has been a tremendous encouragement, is men from other fellowships have been able to come and join us with there men. There is nothing like having a bunch of guys praying together, lifting their voices in song, and raising their hands, and worshipping the Lord. Its awesome!
Last night, Pastor Raul Ries came and shared with us. All I can say is it was "Amazing." He shared from Genesis 22. He looked at the life of Abraham, and one of the greatest tests that he ever had to face with His Son Isaac. God told Abraham to take his son Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and offer him up as a sacrifice. The test that came to Abrahams life was in order to see where Abrahams heart was. Among other things, Pastor Raul pointed out that we are all in the "school of faith." He shared that every one of us will go through testings and trials. Often it is within those testings, that the devil comes with a temptation. Yet the trials that we face are making us into the men that God desires us to be. He mentioned that the first 40 years of a godly mans life is the "text", and the next 40 years is the "commentary". He also pointed out the incredible typology of Abraham being like the Father, and Isaac being like the Son. As Isaac was a beloved son submitting to the will Father, so Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and was sacrificed for us.
Right before Abraham was going to follow through with Gods command, the Lord stopped Him. The Lord was only putting Abraham to the test, and Abraham passed. Then the Lord provided a sacrifice for them.
As I look at the story of Abraham, I recall that there have been many times in my own Christian experience where God has called me to place things on the Altar, so to speak. Things that I would normally hold on to. Furthermore I have seen God provide miraculously in many ways. Last night as we read that verse, "the Lord will provide" it burst off the page into my heart once again.