We’re excited today to welcome guest blogger Peyton Johnston! Enjoy her insightful devo about the beauty of blind obedience.
“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him,
‘Abraham!’ and Abraham said, ‘Behold, here I am!’ And God said, ‘Take now thy son, thine
only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a
burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of'” (Genesis 22:1-2).
God called out to Abraham and gave him a task. His instructions were clear: Abraham was to
surrender his son’s life back to God. There was no explanation of why. God didn’t provide any
further words or renewed promises.
What you have to understand is that Isaac was more than just an ordinary son to Abraham.
Isaac was the son he had waited for. No, not just waited for–Isaac was the son he had longed
for. He was the joy of Abraham’s life. He was the promise fulfilled from God to have a grand
lineage as countless as the stars. But this promise was coming to an abrupt halt. And his boy–
Abraham’s beloved child–was to be slaughtered on the top of Mount Moriah in just a few days
time by his own hand.
But Abraham had learned through the years not to question the ways of the Lord, so he didn’t.
The anguish, confusion, and frustration Abraham must have felt was never apparent in the
scripture. The only response to God that Abraham voiced was “Behold, here I am!” when the
Lord called out to him. And then nothing. Nothing but pure obedience and trust all the way
through the moment when the Angel of the Lord stopped him from sacrificing Isaac after he had
proven his faith.
And then there’s Isaac.
Isaac was not alarmed when his father, Abraham, instructed him to prepare to make a sacrifice.
Making a sacrificial offering to the Lord was nothing out of the ordinary. It was a custom that
Isaac’s family had practiced for generations in order to properly pay respect to God.
But this time was different. This time Abraham knew something Isaac did not. This time God had
instructed Abraham that the sacrifice was not to be of an animal, but of Isaac.
And at some point during the trek to the top of the mountain, Isaac probably started to get a little
suspicious. I mean, taking a three-day journey with your dad to make a sacrifice without having
anything to actually sacrifice, and then ditching the servants at the bottom of the mountain?
But the Bible never makes any note of Isaac doubting or complaining. It doesn’t even say
anything about him resisting his father when the moment came for Abraham to bind him up and
raise his knife to sacrifice him. It only tells of one moment at the beginning of the trip when Isaac
inquired about where the sheep for the sacrifice was. And he was content in Abraham’s simple
reply of, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” And that was that.
So what happens when the Lord requires the same of us?
No, God’s not going to ask you to physically sacrifice your family member, nor will He tell your
father to take you to the top of a literal mountain to use you as an offering. But He–as your
Heavenly Father–may lead you up a spiritual mountain where He asks you to make some
sacrifices yourself that you may not agree with or understand. He may take you to a place you
were not expecting to put you through a trial you cannot avoid and maybe feel you do not
deserve. At some point, He may even ask you to surrender something you thought was your
provided promise, but in fact is something that was only meant as a temporary blessing, or is
perhaps not ordained of God at all.
In any case, there will eventually be a moment in your life that challenges you in some way –
that costs you something. A moment where God is testing your faith as a way to deepen your
understanding of who He is–to bring you closer to Him so that you can become more like Him.
And as much as we may desire to show our devotion to our God, following through with a
sacrifice of self is much easier said than done. So how do we accept such heavy requests so
graciously like Abraham and Isaac did?
The answer is simple: through the pure surrender of blind obedience.
Blind obedience is commonly defined as “the unquestioning adherence to inherently imprecise
rules, even in the face of silly or adverse consequences.”
It is a choice made not out of fear, but of faith. It’s setting aside your need to know the next step.
It’s choosing to submit to a higher call without regard to where that call may take you. It’s letting
go of your will to follow the Lord’s. It’s an act of trust. It’s an attitude of humility. And it’s through
this blind obedience that you find the void of what you’ve sacrificed filled with a strength that can
only come from the Lord.
You see, Abraham was following voice of his Heavenly father, while Isaac was following his
earthly father. Neither understood why they were being guided in the direction that they were.
Neither could see past the confusing present. Their ending was uncertain. There was no hope
of a replacement promise. But they followed anyway without complaint. They chose to have
hope in their father’s guiding hand through the dark. And because of that, they found an
The reality is–nothing worth anything comes without sacrifice. So if we’re truly seeking to obtain
the higher plans from God, we have to be willing to lay some things at His feet. When we do
that, God will not forsake our actions. He will not abandon us. Think of Abraham–Did God not
prove greater when Abraham sacrificed his will in order to sacrifice his son? Did He not provide?
Did He not fulfill His promise at the perfect time and then also send blessings upon blessings?
Something beautifully miraculous happens when we choose blind obedience. It’s a sweet
exchange between us and the Lord–a declaration of faith and an open door to endless
possibilities. It’s a way of saying, “God, I put Your will above my own. I surrender everything I
am because I know You will provide.” The beauty of it is found in the selflessness of the giver,
returned with gracious blessings from God.
I want to honor my Heavenly Father through blind obedience. I want to be like Abraham and say
nothing but “Behold, here I am!” when God calls out to me. And I want to be able to take
whatever it is I treasure to the altar with a willing heart. I want to be like Isaac and be content in
not having all the answers. I want to have so much faith in my heavenly Father’s incomparable
wisdom that I simply do what he asks without a question or complaint. I want to fearlessly tackle
any radical request God gives me so I can take ahold of every blessing He has stored up for
me. I want to climb the mountain and make my life as an offering to become closer to my holy,
In Proverbs 20:24, it says, “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything
along the way?” His ways are higher. His thoughts are wiser. He is our Heavenly Father who
delights in giving us the very best of what He has to offer. He loves us. With a love more fierce
than we can fathom. We have to trust Him. In the good times. In the bad times. In the mediocre
times. For following the Lord with blinded eyes will always lead to better things than leading ourselves
with our eyes open.
Peyton Johnston is from Terre Haute, Indiana, where she works as the banquets and event coordinator at the local Hilton hotel. She attends the incredible New Life Fellowship church and is passionate about music, youth, and discipleship ministries. Peyton also has the privilege of writing devotionals for P7 Bible Clubs and is excited to be a 2018 AIMer to France!
Peyton is known for being an avid list-maker, drinking far too many hazelnut cappuccinos, taking spontaneous trips, and wearing all black more often than the norm. She’s in pursuit of living a life of passionate worship, gracious servanthood, and overflowing love in order to further God’s kingdom.