How many years of faith?

How many years of faith?

I woke up in the middle of the night, as many people do, and Noah's Ark popped in my head. Why? I'm not sure but I have a feeling it had to do with faith and patience. So I did some research. 

Noah was told by God to build a boat 450 ft long, 75 ft wide, and 45 ft high.  That's roughly the length of a cargo ship, or a cruise ship but also a 3 floor Holiday Inn high. So this is a MASSIVE boat, that requires a ton of materials and skills to build.  The bible isn't clear how many worked on the boat, but it was more than just Noah himself. Imagine being given this task?

What is God calling you to do? What kind of faith does it require to accomplish your task? I guess for starters you'd need to make sure you were reading Gods word, absorbed in Gods presence so you are able to HEAR what God is asking to begin with.  For many, that's where it stops.  We are so consumed with this world, and the noise it has to offer, that we aren't even trying to listen.  And make no mistake. That is by design. The earth is the devils playground as they say, and he wants you distracted.  Its fun! The more people obsess over self and money and power in this world, the farther they get from God.  God never leaves us.  The Holy Spirit is there.  We just aren't listening to the right messages. So start there.  Refocus and align yourself with God and HIS purpose for you.  And that looks different for everyone, but make no mistake, no matter what it is, it requires ACTION and it requires faith. And because it runs counter to THIS worlds messaging, it often requires sacrifice.  But once you are all in, the best part is you don't SEE it as suffering or sacrifice.  God gives PEACE, no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Back to Noah. So, here is a faithful man, apparently the only one left at the time, which that ALONE requires enormous strength.  Imagine going up against the entire world, not just your friends and family, or your coworkers, but everyone you know doesn't believe you.  Now, assuming Noah was a good person, he probably had friends that would have helped him build, or could hire people to help him, and they would.  His sons grew up and they helped build. So there were a few hands on deck, but no big machinery, or power tools.  Some technology could have been lost in the flood, but nothing like we have today. So God asked Noah to build this enormous boat to save his family and the animals and plants. But that's not all Noah knew.  Noah was told by God that he was going to destroy the earth.  Imagine knowing what was going to happen, but no one has faith and won't listen and you know what will happen to them.  That is an incredible burden.  A burden that Christians today also bear with their unbelieving friends and family. We understand what will happen and those who refuse to heed the warning.  Once you realize the finality of it all, you should be compelled to do what you can to help the most people.  Jesus himself said to go and preach the gospel.  So once we understand, and our eyes have been opened, we have a duty to warn others and share the light.  I imagine this is what Noah tried to do, but not one listened.  

Still, he went about building his ark as God instructed him to do.  Now the scope of this project is hard to grasp.  But it is estimated to have taken between 25 and 50 years.  YES, I said YEARS.  So now put that in the context of your life and your faith.  Are you doing Gods work, waiting for Him to move? Are you wondering if what you're doing is ever going anywhere? Has it been years and your STILL not where you want to be? Well take a lesson from Noah.  Noah worked faithfully for decades on the SAME PROJECT! Did he ever lose faith in what he was doing? Especially under the scrutiny and ridicule of, oh I don't know, the entire world! Maybe? I'm sure he was tired. I mean rounding year 5, looking at the progress.  You have got to be kidding me.  20 more years of this? 30? 40!!?? This family kept going.  He built one piece at a time, one beam at a time, one stall at a time, all under criticisms, and in heat, in rain, in smaller storms, all in anticipation of the larger storm that was "to come".  

When it was finally finished, when he finally boarded all the animals, and the food, and his family- What last preparations did he make? I will assume he wasn't scared of the flood, or nervous about it, why? Because by the time the flood was here, Noah had spent 30 some odd years with his sons and wives, working together, building this massive boat, and by then his faith in God was as massive as the boat he just built.  The journey to get to the flood created an unshakable faith that was passed down for generations.  All these little storms, and little battles we face, should only be making us stronger and more faithful.  Our "flood" would be on a much smaller scale then Noah's, although still has the potential to be devastating on our lives, but we should strive to have the same faith and share it with others. 

Ironically, there is no negative drawback to believing in God except what the devil makes us THINK there is. Which is HIS plan. There is nothing we miss out on, except the self centered nature the devil enjoys. Ask yourself why?  If you don't believe in the devil, or God, then it still benefits others on the earth for you to not be self centered. When we put others first, society as a whole thrives.  When people want MORE for themselves at the expense of others, we see them fall. Just look around. Every problem we face, when traced backwards, is almost certainly someone's selfishness. Most reasons people don't want to believe in God, is because they don't want any authority over them. Again, all about self, and me, and my thoughts and feelings.  From a logical stand point, believing in Jesus, who historically was a real person and is mentioned by all the other religions as  person,  and his love for others, and a God that created all can't hurt you.  Everyone sins. Humans are human and it is impossible to be perfect here.  Even God doesn't expect that.  Which is why we are allowed to ask for forgiveness as any child should be able to do with a parent.  But he does expect you to learn from mistakes you've made, teach others about your mistakes, and strive to be better.  And when you put others first, and want what is best for others VS what YOU desire and YOU want, the whole world could see peace. Unfortunately, the more sin you allow, the more sin and evil is allowed to take over. And anyone who has gone down a destructive path understands this. Even Christians these days aren't putting God first in their lives. That is why, especially now, it is very important to not fall into the traps, not be lured in by the temptations and pleasures of this world, because eternity is a very long time and if you are living for this world, you may miss out on a heavenly eternity.  Its very clear, know Jesus.  Not know OF Jesus, KNOW Jesus.  I can promise you, the peace and strength the Holy Spirit can give you daily is the same peace and strength God gave Noah when he was slowly, ever so slowly, making progress on his giant boat.  You just need to listen. 

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