After grocery shopping in a crowded store, I stood at the checkout, trying to find the quickest line. I pushed my cart in line behind a young lady. Her little boy was with her and she had a very full cart. Immediately I heard the Holy Spirit say "Pay for her groceries". Now I looked more closely at her cart. It was overflowing, but nothing was extravagant. Generic foods, no alcohol or "extras". She had a notebook and pencil. This was a woman who was being careful with what she spent. I will admit, there was a debate going on in my mind. "That's going to be way over $100" "I can't afford that in my already strapped budget" "Was that really God?" "I am generous and always want to help people out. Maybe this is just ME thinking--my natural response". The cashier quickly rang up the full cart. The young lady reached for her notebook and flipped through the pages. Then panic filled her face. She patted her pockets, scanned the floor. "My card is missing!" She left all of us standing in line as she retraced her steps throughout the store for her EBT (food stamp) card. I told my husband what God had told me when I got in line. Now he also had to come to an internal decision. "Don't void the sale", he told the cashier. We had both settled in our minds that she was not leaving the store without her groceries. Just a few minutes after we had settled that in our minds, she came running back to the register with her EBT card!
But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
What we learned that day is that sometimes God wants us to be His hands, sometimes He wants to teach us something, and sometimes He is testing us. He will not promote you into a purpose without testing you first. Yes, your gift will make room for you, but not until your character can withstand the testing and opposition you will face in that purpose.
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
God wants to know that whatever He asks, you will do. It's not about the sacrifice, it is about knowing that you will obey. Then you will be tested and ready to be promoted into something far greater! “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
Genesis 22:11-13 I Samuel 15:22b Genesis 22:16-18