When my children were young, they would randomly come up to me and ask, “How much do you love me?” I would tell them something like, “I love you more than ice cream.” Then we would go back and forth answering that question; each trying to top the other.
In Genesis chapter 22, God wants to find out how much Abraham loves Him. God asks Abraham if he loves Him enough to sacrifice his son Isaac.
This is a radical request in and of itself, but it’s especially strange when you look at Abraham’s track record. Abraham left his home and relatives at God’s command. He wandered as a vagabond in a strange land, just because God told him to. He regularly built altars, worshipping and praying to God. With very few exceptions, Abraham was obedient to God at every turn.
Hadn’t Abraham proven himself? Didn’t all this show how much he loved God? Why would God put Abraham’s love to the test by asking Him to sacrifice his son?
The real test of how much we love God is not found in our worship, words or work. The real test of how much we love God comes down to this…what are we holding onto and what is it we don’t want to give up? This is the true and undeniable gauge of how much we love God.
What about you? Is there something in your life you hope God doesn’t request of you? What would be hard for you to give up, and could you do it if God asked you to?
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.