Let us go back. Way back to a time and place we can visualize through the Word of God. Noah is the headline. He is center stage. He has a mission. A job to preform that isn't easy. But then again, God doesn't give us easy assignments. He creates monstrous opportunities for us to be the vessel and He the light which shines forth.
Okay, so things are not going as planned. God created man for His glorious pleasure. What many can't wrap their head around is the fact that God gave us a choice. It couldn't have been pure love without a choice. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, had a choice. Even though there was way of sin through Satan, there too was a way out with redemption. After the garden people kind of..well..left God for the world and what it offered. They left the Creator for the creation. Sin increased, but there was one. One who stood out among the others. Noah.
So, Noah gets the call from God. "You want me to do what?" I can see Noah asking that question a few times to make sure he gets it right. I know I would have been making sure. I can even see Noah wrestling with this mission. Noah didn't foresee what was coming. Noah did have faith. His faith had to be strong. After all, this ark wasn't built over night. I imagine people thinking Noah was a kook. But one thing we see, his family stood by him. Sure, they may have questioned him. They may have even had an intervention, but throughout all, Noah knew his direction was clear. Noah led his family through the building of the ark, the boarding of the ark and the opening of the doors for the first time since the rains began.
I can imagine it wasn't all grace and smiles upon the ark. I mean, all those animals. That was a job in itself to care for just them. Who got to sweep out the stalls of the pigs? Who got to feed the crocs? The rains poured and I am sure at some point someone questioned what was going on. They saw the entire world wiped out. They remained. They were chosen by God for this mission.
In reading Genesis today I read over the life and times of Noah. Life wasn't easy. Is it really so hard for us to imagine what was taking place in the towns of these people? People who God created. People who had turned wicked. Nothing much mattered to them except having a good time and well..having a good time. Noah and his family lived among these folks. Folks who I am sure looked upon them as if they were the ones in need of help. I can envision Noah building and a friend from yesteryear's coming up and saying, "Noah, buddy, why don't you just put down those tools and come into the city with me? Your taking this God thing way to serious. You need some time away. You, my friend, need to have yourself a good time." Sound like anything you have come across? Our Christian walk is not without temptation.
So, here's what I have pondered all morning. Things could have gone totally different. I mean after all, we have a choice in everything. Noah could have gotten himself a big head. He could have looked at the job and said, "I can do better. I can do different." Think about it. God gave Noah exact instructions and measurements. Noah followed every single one. What would have happened if he hadn't? What would have happened if Noah would have decided on his own that he could make something grandeur. Noah could have seen this as an opportunity to set himself at center stage and say, "Look at me, y'all. Look at what God has asked me to do. Take a look at the magnificent work I can do. Look at all my hard work. My family, well, we are better than the rest." Know anyone with similar characteristics? If we are not careful we can all be right where Noah could have been. We get the call and the head seems to increase in size. We become pious and proud. We begin to look at those around us as if they are just a little bit less.
We can learn so much from Noah and his family. They were faithful followers. They served. They followed instruction. They were meek and humble. Where would we be if Noah had made a different choice that day? God uses His people as vessels for encouragement and inspiration for our journey with Him. He moves through people as He places them in areas where He can benefit from the gifts He has bestowed in each of us.
He doesn't need people on stage making a show of things. He doesn't need people changing the mission. He needs us to stay true to who we are and be ready and willing when we receive the call. He isn't asking us for our opinion. He isn't asking us to jump ahead. He is asking us to simply follow Him. Noah made the choice to obey God and to follow every instruction He gave. He led his family in faith. He was the guy in town who was busy in God's work.
This brings me to ask myself, "Am I listening for the call? Am I ready to receive the call and follow God in faith?" Noah wasn't just building an ark. He was building faith. This wasn't just an ark to carry them through the storm. Was this a test? God was preparing Noah. He was teaching him and molding him. God knew He would use Noah before Noah ever had the notion to follow God. God was using Noah for greater things than Noah could imagine. He didn't ask Noah what measurements He should use. He gave Noah instruction. So, why do we always try to tell God we can do it better? We know the problem and we know how to fix it. Oh, that is laughable isn't it? Mercy, the things I have tried to fix have always blown up in my face. It's not for me to fix the world. I'm not the band aid. I am a vessel for God to use for His will. He sees the bigger picture.
Is the rain falling today where you are? Does it seem like everything is out of sorts? Here is the big question. Is God calling you to build an ark? Is He calling you to faith? Building an ark takes great faith, doesn't it? Sure, Noah could have turned it around and made himself to be the center stage, but he didn't. He opened the curtain and allowed the light to shine on the One who had called him.
Is God calling to you service? If your breathing and you are a child of the King, you betcha, He is calling you to use the gifts He has given you for His glory. Friends, those flood waters may not be rushing back, but He is returning and we need to be ready and willing. What is our example saying to the world?
Noah didn't yell from the ark, "I tried to tell ya fools, but you didn't listen." Noah boarded that ark with His family in faith. I can see them praying for those left behind. During their time in the ark was another time of growth for them. Life is a journey. We are to be busy in the Lord's work. Whatever is taking place in your life today is preparation for what is to come tomorrow. Those trials are not always because of sin. Those very trials we face today is creating in us the very people God created us to be.
On this journey we are going to come in contact with those who try to catch us off balance. We are going to face those who laugh at us as we walk in faith. We too will face those who will try to cause us to stumble. This world is not our home. We must keep the faith and stay on guard. Yes, that means guarding our heart, soul and mind. We don't have an ark to carry us off to a land with a new beginning. God is wanting to use us right here and now. Just one person can make a difference. One person can touch the heart and soul of many. What are we waiting for? Don't let fear and doubt hold you back.
Look at the ark God is asking you to build today and stand in faith knowing He has called you for a distinct purpose. You can reach people I will never meet. I can reach people you will never see face to face. Bloom where you are planted. Folks, until He calls us home we have a mission and our mission is to share the love of Christ. Don't be in a hurry to board that ark just yet. Listen to instruction. Pray over the mission and heed God's wisdom. Ask God for strength and courage. He isn't asking anything of you, He cannot complete through you.
Be the one. Be the vessel God needs you to be today. Let your faith be seen and walk humbly among others who are trying to find their way. Don't shout from the ark that your better. Stand ready and willing and remember who you are and where you came from.