Week of June 4
Faith in Action
Are you currently in a state of turmoil, believing that God is leading you in a direction that you are reluctant to follow? Perhaps God is asking you to lead a Bible study, but you feel that your schedule is too busy. Or maybe God is leading you to witness to a co-worker, but you are anxious about bringing up your faith. You do not intentionally want to disobey God, but you are feeling reluctant and hesitant about the work He is calling you to do.
Sometimes God calls us to work which forces us to give up something precious to us. Other times He asks us to step out of our comfort zones in order to share His Gospel with others, whether one-on-one with a neighbor or by speaking to a large group. It is natural to feel some resistance to difficult and self-sacrificing tasks which God calls us to, but in the end we must act in obedience to God.
Read Genesis 6 and 7. Can you imagine the concerns and questions that Noah had when God told him to build the ark? Regardless of any misgivings Noah may have felt, Scripture clearly tells us that, "Noah did all that the LORD commanded him" (Genesis 7:5). Genuine faith can only be demonstrated by obedient action. If we truly trust in God and His Word and promises, then we will fully obey Him. Anyone can say they have faith, but the people who actually live by faith will act in obedience to God, no matter where God leads them. Noah's faith led him to obey God, even in a task that seemed overwhelming and perplexing.
For 120 years, Noah followed God's command to build the ark. This boat was no small project—it was longer than a football field, four stories tall and contained multiple decks. Noah must have been perplexed at the thought of building a large boat in the middle of a land-locked region. For more than one hundred years he would have experienced scorn and mocking from neighbors who thought he was insane and delusional. Noah must have spent countless hours and resources in building the ark year after year. Yet he continued to follow God's plan despite the ridicule and toil.
Noah had no ship-building experience. He was not a mariner or even a coastland dweller. Noah seemed the least qualified to build the ark; yet God chose Him, not because God was looking for an expert craftsman, but because He wanted someone faithful and obedient. The Scripture describes Noah as "a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God" (Genesis 6:9). God was less concerned with skill and more concerned with obedience. Today, God is still calling those of us who will act in faith and bring glory to His kingdom, even if we feel unqualified for the job.
Whenever God calls us to a task, He will equip us and enable us to complete that task. God did not give Noah the ark project without any aid. Noah had no ship-building experience, but God gave him the necessary instructions: "So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks" (Genesis 6:14-16). Many experts consider the ark the most stable ship in all of history. When God gives us a plan, He will only give us the best plans that lead to the greatest glory for Him.
God may be calling you to a task that seems insurmountable. You may feel like Noah - trying to build an ark in the middle of the desert, with no ship-building experience and little support from others. If God has directed you toward a certain project or action, you can trust that God will give you everything you need to complete the task. Spend time in prayer today asking for God to share His vision for your life and the work He wants you to do for Him. Pray that He molds your heart into that of a willing servant. Ask Him to show you the resources and people and spiritual gifts He has made available to you as you set out to do His work.
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Today, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical values. It takes great courage and faith to live as a follower of Christ in a world characterized by moral depravity, injustice, idolatry, and more…but it is possible!
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Like Daniel, we are living by faith in a faithless culture. Leading The Way Through Daniel equips you to stand for God’s truth despite great opposition. This timely devotional book is ideal for personal or group use.