When God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac to the mountain and “sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2), he meant that Abraham should take Isaac now. God’s commands to us are always meant for right now. Climbing to the height God shows us can never be done later.

It’s extraordinary how we debate and procrastinate. We know that what God wants us to do is right, but we find excuses for not doing it. Where we should be resolved, we have a failure of will. The sacrifice must be made in our will before we do it in actuality.

“Early the next morning Abraham got up and . . . set out for the place God had told him about” (v. 3). The wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, Abraham didn’t debate or “consult any human being” (Galatians 1:16). Beware if, when God tells you to do something, you find yourself consulting another person—especially if that person is yourself. Your own sympathies and insight will compete with your obedience to God, as will anything that isn’t based in your personal relationship with him.

Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if he has made it bitter, drink it in communion with him. When the providential order of God for you is a time of hardship, go through it. But never choose the scene of your martyrdom. Abraham didn’t choose the sacrifice he would make; God chose for him. And Abraham did not protest. He simply went through it.

If you aren’t living in touch with God, it’s easy to pass a rash verdict on him. You must go through the crucible before you have any right to issue a verdict, because in the crucible you learn to know God better. Once you do know God, you recognize that he is working toward his highest ends and will continue to do so until his purpose and humanity’s purpose become one.

Wisdom from Oswald

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord”;…  The Highest Good—The Pilgrim’s Song Book, 537 L