Wednesday, January 28, 2004
For many years, J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, Lord of The Rings, has fascinated thoughtful readers. Like C.S. Lewis (who was helped to Christ by Tolkien actually), Tolkien communicated spiritual truths through allegorical myths in a world called "Middle Earth." His works have now captured the imagination of people who had never heard of his books through three epic motion pictures based on them. At the heart of Lord of The Rings and its epic battles is the ring. It's a gold ring that is the key to enormous power - but a power that inevitably addicts the possessor to its power. That power ultimately corrupts and destroys the one who holds it so tenaciously. It is, in fact, called by one main character, not the ring, but "The Precious."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Battle over 'The Precious.'"
The ring in Lord of the Rings is fantasy. The battle over "The Precious" is not. Because we all have something or someone in our life that is, for us, "The Precious." We can't let go of it. And like the ring in Tolkien's stories, the longer and more tightly we hold onto it, the more it slowly destroys us.
Nowhere in Scripture is the battle over "The Precious" more graphically portrayed than in Abraham's march up the mountain to obey God's command: "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, who you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there..." (Genesis 22:3). This was the son God had promised Abraham and Sarah. The one that they would have miraculously in their later years. The son Abraham had longed and waited for. The son through whom God had promised to make of Abraham a great nation. Surely, for Abraham, Isaac was, of all the things in his life, "The Precious."
Yet, Abraham takes his "Precious" up that mountain and prepares to sacrifice him - until, at the last moment, God intervenes by supplying a ram in a thicket to be the sacrifice. And in Genesis 22, beginning with verse 15, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible says: "The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven, and said, 'Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me."
The blessing of God is for those who release their "Precious" to Him. Recently, after a meeting where I spoke, a lady came to me and said, "You may not remember speaking here about ten years ago, but I've never forgotten. You talked about relinquishing control to Jesus of the thing we held dearest. For me, that was my daughter - and I thought I had to keep my hands on her. But that night I ended up kneeling at the altar, tearfully releasing my daughter to the Lord." Then she told me what happened next. "The next day - the next day - my nine-year-old daughter came to me and said, 'Mom, I think God wants me to spend my life serving Him.'" The lady said, "I broke down in tears. Today, she's in a Christian college, preparing to serve God with her life. But it didn't happen, it couldn't happen, until I let go of what I cherished most."
So what is that for you? What - or who - is your "Isaac," your "Precious"? You've been afraid what might happen to it if you released it to Jesus. The real issue is, "Can Jesus be trusted?" Answer: Someone who loved you enough to die for you will never do you wrong. And your surrender of your "Precious" will do what your control of it could never do.
You've held onto your "Precious" too long. It's not yours to hold. Whatever or whoever it is that you've thought you had to control, let it go. And see what can happen when you surrender your "Precious" to the Most Precious, Jesus - who loved you and gave Himself for you.