Directions – Genesis 7:2-5

29 03 2012

Regina’s Note: A few years ago, Shannan wanted to go on a missions trip to Guatemala. Given my financial situation, I told her there was no way that would happen, and the discussion was over.  However, all of her friends did go on the trip. Although she feigned acceptance of her situation, I saw the disappointment. The following year, the trip was being planned for Nicaragua. My financial situation was no different, but my understanding of God’s ways and faithfulness had grown exponentially. We signed her up for the trip in complete faith that God would provide for the calling He had placed on her. The trip not only was paid in full, but I was able to provide necessary funds for other kids to go as well.

Since that time I have seen many people step out in faith to do God’s work, even though there seems to be no way it can be accomplished. I have not seen God fail to come through. Not even once.

Lord, I pray You will use me to impart knowledge and revelation, not in my words but Yours.
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2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”  5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

Noah had to be the one of the bravest men in the Bible. And the loneliest.

Let’s be honest – what Noah heard what was an outlandish command from God. Sitting in the middle of a landlocked country, no water anywhere, he is told to build a boat. And not just any boat, mind you – a massive ark, with exact specifications to house every living creature on the Earth. What he is told to prepare for is something completely foreign – there was no precedent for it anywhere in history. The people surrounding him had to have considered him crazy. Not only because he was building a boat in the middle of a desert, but because he said “God told him to”.

Build an ark.  It made no earthly sense whatsoever.

The Hebrew word used in verse 5 for “did” can be translated as “prepared, as an offering; observed or celebrated”.  Noah did what God said, as an offering – he knew who God was , he knew what God said, and although he surely did not understand it, it was an act of sacrifice to obey. He also knew that God would be faithful to His own Word.  1 Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.   Ultimately it was Noah’s faith and his obedience that saved his family; and by comparison to Noah’s actions, the rest of humanity’s disobedience condemned them . Hebrews 11:7  It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

The Hebrew translation in this passage is rich. The word “commanded” in verse 5 denotes that Noah did the things that “God had given him charge over”. In other words, this was not a random command from God. This was a job that God had selected for Noah to do. It was his calling. While I have noted several times that Noah must have faced external ridicule, I am sure he also had an internal struggle. I can hear him now  - “What God is asking me to do makes no sense, and I see no evidence that these things will ever take place.” I know these are words I hear in my own mind all the time. But to be a true follower of God , we are required to suspend temporal viewpoints in favor of His promises. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  God has given each of us a destiny. There is a purpose and a work that He has chosen for us, but often because of internal doubt and external pressures, we choose to ignore His Words. We think we are not capable, or that we will be ridiculed, or that the resources necessary are beyond our reach. But that is just the point. God asks us to do things that we are wholly incapable of – to prove that He is mighty and capable when we actually accomplish them. Psalm 106:8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.  When we choose not to walk out God’s commands in our lives, we are declaring more faith in the world’s views than in God’s capabilities. But all that is required for success is God’s Word and promise. Psalm 33:9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

It is also important to point out that God provided everything that Noah needed to accomplish his task. Did you ever think about how Noah gathered the animals? Did he spend months with butterfly nets to catch each bird, or lure lions to the ark with a thick steak? No, when Noah acted out God’s command in obedience and faith, God simply had everything that Noah needed come to him. This is so contrary to what our world teaches us, as we struggle day to day to control every part of our lives and accomplish everything for ourselves. God’s message is counter-intuitive – “listen to Me, and I will bring everything you need to accomplish My purposes.”  Isaiah 55:11 “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ”  Notice it is God’s purposes fulfilled – not yours. I am sure Noah would have preferred an easier life, one of ease and popularity. But he understood that this was his special job, and God had specifically asked for his help. In sheer faith, he obeyed. And it is of paramount importance that we learn to do the same, because otherwise, we cannot ever reach the level of intimacy with God which He determined to be ours.  Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Often, God places in our hearts a task that seems to make no sense. Every voice from the world and every doubting thought will come against it, and will try to persuade us that it is unreasonable, irrational, and flat-out impossible. When faced with these situations, we can take a page out of Noah’s story.

* Listen and obey – God will not ask you to do anything He is not committed to accomplish on your behalf

* Trust Him, not your eyes and ears – Our circumstances often lie to us about what God is actually doing

* Ignore the naysayers -When you step out for God, you will be called many things, ranging from imprudent to delusional. Expect it and remember God’s promise.

* Expect a great result – God will never bring you to something to leave it half-accomplished or ineffectual.

And finally, keep speaking the Truth, even if no one seems to be listening. Faith is being built with every syllable. Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


Today, Realize:  I want to speak with you on a much more personal level than usual. As I set out to write this blog this week, I was heading in a completely different direction. But the words just weren’t coming. Over the last 24 hours, three awesome spirit-filled friends have spoken clearly into my life, and the direction and purpose of the blog became clear. I wrote this one to exhort myself.

It is time for me to build my ark. The steps I am about to take may seem reckless by the world’s standards, but the Word that God placed in my heart nearly 5 years ago is burning at my very core. I need to walk it out in the trust and faith I proclaim so loudly. I also ask that you join me.  Honestly consider what it is that God is asking of you. What crazy dream, what seemingly impossible goal has He placed deep in your heart? I would love to hear about it, whether publicly or privately, and agree to pray with you that God will give you courage, strength and confidence to move forward, trusting His assurance of provision and support. Dont listen to the external naysayers, and certainly do not listen to the voices that would tell you that the vision He gave you doesn’t seem possible. Remember, if it were rational and attainable by practical standards, you wouldn’t need God!

This is the God who created the heavens and the Earth out of nothing; who parted a sea and walked on water; the God who turned water to wine and freed a nation from a pharaoh. This is a God who made a sterile womb bear life,  who raises the dead and forgives sins. This is a God who redeemed you; a God to whom absolutely nothing is impossible . And when you walk with Him, nothing is impossible to you.

So it’s time for me to allow Him to silence all the voices. It’s time to build, no matter how crazy it seems. Because when the flood comes, I plan on riding that wave.

 Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.”

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5 responses

29 03 2012
changedbyhim0510

Why is it so hard for us to follow directions Regina? It’s like we are hard-wired to do the opposite until Christ breaks that pattern with His Word in our hearts. Good stuff :)
David

29 03 2012
5 Minute Bible

Thanks! Been really enjoying your blog and appreciate your support…:)

31 03 2012
John H. Harbison

Thanks for your post, Regina. It’s a good reminder for me of how I need to look to the Lord when circumstances are hard to understand (where I am at this point).

31 03 2012
5 Minute Bible

So am I, John. I will believe with you that God is working and all things are being accomplished, even if we cannot see it :). Thank you so much for stopping by, grace and peace.

3 04 2012
changedbyhim0510

Btw that was an awesome testimony about your daughter’s missions trip!

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