Hebrews 11:6-7 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. 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.
Living in Florida, one becomes accustomed to the humidity. When my sister moved to Nebraska many years ago, her body acclimated to the weather up there that is much drier than the tropical conditions of the south. On her visits, the intensity of the humidity was much worse because she isn’t used to it anymore. It doesn’t take very long. Our daughter moved to New Hampshire just over a year ago and feels the same way. The environment has changed and their bodies have adapted to the conditions around them. It is human nature to conform to the world in which we live as a means of survival. God didn’t create humanity to survive but made us to thrive.
Life is full of the unexpected. It has many twists and turns along the way, not to mention all of the distractions. Storms come and go. The road of life is filled with peaks and valleys – highs and lows. Yet in all the change there is one constant. God is constant. He is Sovereign. He does not lie or change His Mind. His Word for my life is relevant, true and enduring – no matter how many times I mess up. His Grace is always enough for me. It is sufficient in my failures. He is all that I need to successfully navigate this life and reach Eternity. Yet there are days when the rain drowns out the sound of His Voice because I am afraid to get wet. There are times when the conditions call my attention to my physical state rather than relying on the New Creation that I am becoming.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2) My life is not a call of conformity but a promise of transformation into a new person. I must change the way that I think and learn God’s Will for my life. His Will is pleasing and perfect. It is my belief and full expectation of God’s Faithfulness that allows me to endure the rain to see His Harvest in my life. It is my destiny. It is the covenant that I live in. Lord, I know the rain is coming. I can feel it in the air of my spirit. I can smell it all around me. Make me faithful like Noah. Lord, transform me.
“Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation. It is impossible to please God without faith. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Our faith in God allows us to be transformed by Him giving way for the substance of our life to be changed and reformed by His Love, Grace and Mercy. Faith makes my life pliant and compliant. It transfers my belief from what I can see to what I know is true. This is important. Why? Into each life some rain must fall. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Genesis 6:9 (NLT) This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.
The account of Noah begins in Genesis 6. Noah was righteous. He was the only blameless person living on the earth. Note: it refers directly to Noah and not his whole family. Your righteousness and faithfulness can be the salvation of your entire family. He walked in close fellowship with God. God was sorry that He ever created mankind and decided to flood the earth and rid it of people altogether. All except for Noah and his family. (vs 11-13) The Lord had already made the way for Noah and his family to be saved and recreate the world for their future. God told Noah what to do and Noah did it. The task was overwhelming. The Lord did not bring anyone alongside of Noah to assist and partner with him. It was all up to one man, God’s man to get the job done. Funny in the tests of faith – that we find ourselves all alone even when surrounded by many people. Noah had a relationship with the Lord long before the flood. His faith already evident so that when the Lord told him to build the ark in the sunshine of day – Noah did it.
Genesis 6:22 (NLT) So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
Genesis 7:5 (NLT) So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.
Genesis 8:15-20 (NLT) Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.
Noah was a faithful man. He did everything as the Lord God commanded him exactly as God indicated. His faith would be the vessel (or boat if you will) that saved his family. Noah’s faithfulness was not based on his current condition or the surrounding circumstances but consistent through every season and change in his life. He was 600 years old when he entered the ark and 601 when he exited. He did not complain of a year wasted but came prepared to worship God when he arrived.
Those who walk in close fellowship with the Lord cannot help but worship Him. Noah was that man. I want to be that woman. God’s Response is noted in verses 21 and 22. “And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Did you know that in every season, change, trial, hardship and pain that we endure faithfully that God will always release His Blessing? He cannot help Himself. Our faith opens the windows of Heaven. His Outpouring is the rain that washes us clean and prepares the way for us to not just survive but thrive on the earth. What is the blessing of the flood? Prosperity. God blessed the earth and commanded seedtime and harvest so that whatsoever we plant we will reap.
Isaiah 54:9-10 (NLT) “Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Could you really blame God if He went back on His Word and destroyed the earth today? The sick depravity of our culture and abased state of society even the tainted form called church could be easily destroyed in its utter demise. Sin is rampant and love is cold. We are living in the end days. The rain is coming. Are we building a life that will be a worthy vessel to crossover to the future found in Him? Thank you Jesus for the fact that you are constant, do not lie and never change your mind about us. I would. Your Faithful Love is forever. My faith in you must live as such.
Paul described the struggle best in Romans 7 when he wrote – “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” The struggle is real. My faith must be intact and worthy of sailing through the violent storms and torrential rain to carry me from everlasting to everlasting. But it is not about me, I cannot build anything worthwhile in my life because sin is always attacking it. I must rely on Jesus to become the vessel of my life that carries me through every trial and hardship. I must strive to do what He says when He says it in spite of me. The Word of God tells us that those who put their hand to the plow and look back are not fit for the Kingdom. I wonder if it is the same for those of us that hear the command to build a firm foundation of faith but choose to put our hand out to feel for rain first.
Luke 17:26-27 (NLT) “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
The isolation of obedience driven by a life of faith means ignoring what we see to act on what we know about God. It can sometimes make you feel a little crazy. Everyone else is doing their own thing, enjoying life but you are in a field alone hammering away at a boat to sail in a storm that is not yet seen. You feel conviction that compels you to press on obeying God’s Word and doing exactly as He commands yet the enemy taunts you from the sidelines. Faith seems so illogical sometimes and probably will right up until we meet Jesus face-to-face. It is still the only way to please God. What is the Lord telling you to do today? Is He telling you to do something crazy like build an ark for an imaginary flood? Faith is telling you to do but human nature is calling you a fool. Build the ark, my friend. The rain is coming. Keep pounding away at the foundation of your life until it is completely reliant on the Word, Will and Way of Jesus Christ. It not for you, do it for your family. God is faithful. Jesus is coming. The rest is up to you and me.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT) “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”