And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
If all teaching professionals were surveyed as to the most common flaw with an amateur’s golf swing, having too tight of a grip would be listed high on every list. We all tend to “white knuckle” our driver, fairway metals, hybrids, irons, wedges and even putter. We feel the tight grip gives us more control and the ability to generate a more powerful swing. In reality, this tendency is doing the complete opposite. This habit hinders the fluidity of the swing due to the involuntary increase of grip pressure as we begin our downswing. If we start with a 8/10 grip, the action part of the swing turns the grip into a pressure of 9/10 or 10/10. Having too tight of a grip greatly affects the golf club’s ability to get into the proper position. Our hands have too much control.
Similarly, we find ourselves discontent because we have “too tight of a grip” on the things and people in our life. Our things and secular relationships retard our ability to fully depend upon our relationship with Christ. When we place dependence upon our Savior and His faithfulness, we realize none of our “things” or accumulations produce long lasting contentment.
We love our families and count their presence as a blessing from above, but holding onto them with a fear of never letting go creates problems. We must be careful not to place the blessing as a higher priority than the one who bestowed the blessing. Parents are guilty of holding onto their children with too tight of a grip as are husbands with wives and grandparents with grandchildren.
In Genesis 22:2, Abraham was tasked with the command from God to take his promised son Isaac onto a mountain and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Abraham loved his son dearly, but he loved God more. Without hesitation, Abraham made the journey into Moriah and prepped the altar for his son. There are so many key aspects to this story, but when we read this chapter, we can see the willingness of both parties to abide by the command. At the last second, an angel of the Lord alerted Abraham and told him, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” God had seen enough!
Both Abraham and Isaac were forever changed after this act of obedience. Abraham fully realized his own faithfulness toward God and Isaac saw first hand the testimony of faithfulness of his father. God already knew the degree of Abraham’s obedience and the fact Isaac was not going to be sacrificed. However, it was necessary for Isaac to see that God was indeed his father’s God. Abraham was totally dedicated and his hands were free from the constraints of any worldly device or relationship.
How guilty are we of holding onto our “things” too tightly? It’s difficult to praise God with hands full of “stuff.” We have to be willing to place all of our possessions and all of our relationships upon the altar. It’s a difficult proposition, but is necessary for us if we are to have God in his proper position in our life. God gives us children, cars, houses and other necessities which are blessings. Yet, we must be cognizant to never place these blessings above the one who bestowed the blessing. We must loosen our grip!