Uncharted Sacrifice & Surrender | Uncharted | Week 4
Pastor Dave Pretlove
Genesis 22 NIV
- God’s purpose in us is equally important to his purpose for us.
- Genesis 22:1-3 NIV
- We don’t know if something has become too important until we consider if God is calling us to surrender it.
- Genesis 22:4-10 NIV
- No matter how big our faith is, God’s faithfulness is always bigger.
- Genesis 22:11-18 NIV
- What’s something you would say you’ve sacrificed in your life? What did that mean for you?
- What’s something that would be very difficult to give up?
- Have you ever been changed by a sacrifice that you’ve made?
PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS
LifeGroup Leaders: Choose a few that would be best for your unique group!
- Abraham waits so long for a son and now God asks him this. How does this seem fair? This passage can bring up a lot of emotions. What is going through your head and heart as you process this passage? (God can handle all your feelings and thoughts!)
- It was tempting for Abraham to believe that anything given to him by God was actually his, not God’s. What are some things in your life that you view as “yours”, not God’s?
- How do you see God’s blessing working in this section of Scripture? Who does this blessing ultimately affect?
- Read Isaiah 61:1-3. Our God is a God of exchange! Even Jesus’ death and resurrection are referred to as “the great exchange”. At the beginning of our Uncharted journey together, we talked about releasing things back to God and that he may want to exchange things in our lives! As Abraham releases Isaac back to God, God gives him the blessing of Genesis 22:17-18. As you’ve been releasing things to God these past few weeks, what has God been exchanging in your life? What is God giving back to you?
- Both in Genesis 22 and Isaiah 61, what do you see happening with the things God gives back to us? What is the purpose of the sacrifice and the exchange?
- This Uncharted journey is about surrender and sacrifice. More than anything we do to expand the Kingdom and release people from darkness, we long for internal transformation where the Kingdom is being expanded in us. How do you think God wants to expand his Kingdom in you? How will you remind yourself of the great exchange – the gospel?
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Article | “10 Things You Should Know About The Cross” by Crossway and Patrick Schreiner
“The cross is for us, in our place, on our behalf. He laid down his life for His sheep. He is our sacrificial lamb. ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Just as Abraham raised his eyes and looked and saw a ram to offer as a burnt offering in the place of his son (Gen 22:13), so too we look up and see Jesus as our replacement.”
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TO TRY
This week, try the spiritual practice of fasting. In the Christian tradition, fasting has consisted of willingly abstaining from something normal, generally food, for the sake of our spiritual health. The heart of fasting is to eliminate distractions to fully focus on and draw closer to God.
Try abstaining from lunch at least one day this week, if you are able. Don’t just work through lunch or fill the time. Take the opportunity to pray (alone or with others) and talk to God about what he may be asking you to release. If fasting from food isn’t possible, what other good thing could you refrain from for a short time, to become more aware of your desire for God?
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Surrender is such a complex idea. Many of us have grown up in a culture that perceives surrender as a sign of weakness. One of my favorite scenes from the satirical sitcom 30 Rock involves the character Liz Lemon stumbling upon her boss’s video training sessions on negotiation. She then comically uses his negotiation techniques in her own dealings with him. Surrender seemed out of the question for them!
It’s easy to laugh at the scenario in a sitcom but the truth is that our world frequently operates on the idea that prioritizing our own desires over the good of others is the key to thriving. However, as Christ-followers, we’re called to a different approach – we align with God’s upside-down Kingdom strategy.
We live in a new Kingdom and worship King Jesus who, as the Scriptures tell us, “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
In our daily choices, we don’t strive to negotiate for our own privileges or rights. Instead, we follow the way of our King Jesus, surrendering for the sake of others and sacrificing for their well-being. Ask the Lord how you can follow his way and empty yourself today. Remember that Jesus knows what it means to surrender completely and you can bring before him all the complexities of your sacrifice.