Everyday Expression header Receive Posts Archived Posts

Genesis 22: Leaning on my own understanding

Workplace Application:

This passage seems inconceivable to me in so many ways. How could Abraham even think of killing his own son? How could he really trust God that much? How could he put God’s command and his own obedience to it above the life of a child he and his wife had prayed desperately for? There are many answers I wish the scripture would give us: What was Abraham thinking as he trekked up that mountain for three days? Did he truly believe God would make him sacrifice Isaac or did he think it was just a test?

As myincredulous thoughts continued to build, I was struck by a deeper realization.  I am uncomfortable with this passage because of the lack of questions answered, the absence of context, the seeming nonexistence of logic. I am uncomfortable with the exorbitant, bigfaith God is asking of Abraham and also asking of me. Faith that is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). Faith that insists I “[t]rust in the LORD with all [my] heart, and do not lean on [my] own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 ESV). Faith of this kind is rare. It’s especially rare in the workplace, where leaning on your own understanding often proves your competence, skill and intelligence.

I’m not often looking for opportunities to exercise big faith in the workplace. Sure, I’m fine with trusting God on some things – that a project will come through at the deadline, that a conversation will allow me to show grace to another person. But many times, if I’m honest, I’ve already started leaning on my own understanding before I’ve gone to the Lord in prayer or asked Him to show me how He would have me handle a situation. I’ve gone ahead and answered the questions, provided the context and handled the logic. If God asked me to do something professionally unthinkable, logic-defying, terrifying, would I get up the next morning, “load my donkey,” so to speak, and begin heading up the mountain? Am I seeking to build our relationship daily, so when he calls my name, I hear it and respond, “Here I am”?

Most importantly, the passage prompted me to consider if I do trust Him with all of my heart, believing, like Abraham, that He is good and that He will provide, without knowing all the details or understanding the unseen. As I go into this week, I am praying that the Holy Spirit will help me to have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV), “so that [my] faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:5 NIV).

5 Questions to Ponder:

Monday: In which workplace situations can you ask God to provide you with a big faith opportunity and stop “leaning on your own understanding”?

Tuesday: What about Abraham’s faith in Genesis 22 makes you uncomfortable?

Wednesday: Read 1 Corinthians 2. What parallels do you see between Paul’s writings here and Abraham’s situation in Genesis 22?

Thursday: Do you truly believe that God is good and that He will provide? How does this belief (or unbelief) manifest itself in your day-to-day life?

Friday: Pray that God would open your heart and mind to trust Him fully.

Author Bio:Mackenzie Pierce

I am a senior communications coordinator at Ohio National Financial Services in Montgomery, working primarily in employee and corporate communications, and truly enjoy the challenge and puzzle of employee engagement … most of the time. I love writing, reading, trying new foods and theater (watching and participating!). My husband and I recently celebrated our five-year anniversary and are expecting a baby in May!

Random Fact: Two of my favorite Indian food restaurants recently burned down and I’m wondering if it’s a sign that I should reduce my curry consumption …