HEY SISTER!! Or brother, whoever is reading this, and Happy Tuesday! As I feel like I’ve been surrounded by summer rain and breathtaking rainbows that follow them these past few weeks, I couldn’t help but feel reminded of God’s promise to Noah, God’s promise to us. Never again will He flood the earth. I’ve been completely hung up on this — the obedience of one man changed everything for everyone to come. Sounds a lot like Jesus, huh? YES, but I’m going to talk about Noah here for a second.
It’s so crazy to me how the Bible stories we read growing up in church can become so engraved in our minds that we miss the WOW factor of what had actually happened. Noah had never seen rain before, God told him to build an ark (what’s an ark?), and he did. All it took was one man’s YES to God the Father…
I don’t know about you, but more often than I would like to admit, I find myself making up excuses and giving God reasons why I can’t do something. Sometimes not even that, just dismissing that still small voice of the Holy Spirit within me, marking it as a good thought instead of taking it as a command. Oh, God! That I would not be found like this!! That my heart’s natural inclination would be this — living in response to the Father. Not in response to the natural, to the facts, to our reasons, to anything other than Him. Not in response to the fact that nothing has ever fallen from the sky before, but to the every word that comes from His mouth. He moves, I move. He speaks, I listen. He says, I do.
I want to encourage you in this today — whatever God is asking you to do, whatever prompting you feel on your heart, whatever nudge you feel in your spirit, big or small, matters. Your yes to God matters. Your obedience to the Father matters. You matter and everything God asks of you is significant to Him. Could I dare to say that if it wasn’t, He wouldn’t ask? Because don’t we know, God wastes nothing. Just a thought.
Maybe you don’t have the exact directions laid out in front of you just yet. Maybe God’s told you to start building and you’ve never seen anything like what you’re preparing for, what’s rain to a man who’s never seen it? Maybe all you have is a gut feeling to do a thing that feels like maybe it could be God but at the same time, maybe you could be crazy? Haha! I’m sure that thought crossed Noah’s mind, but ohhh did his faith pave the way. For years, Noah faithfully got up and put his hands to God’s words.
Noah did everything God commanded him to do.
Maybe you’ve been obedient. Maybe you’re on the boat and 40 days have felt like 40 years and you’re wishing and waiting and wanting for the rains to stop, for your feet to finally touch the ground again. Maybe you feel like the waters keep rising and the dove you sent isn’t coming around back and maybe all you have is a ‘feeling’ that the flood is almost over but you’re still stuck in the obedience boat of waiting? Hey, God sees YOU. But I would also like to propose this. Maybe, just like on the ark, everything around you needed to die in order for new life to be found? Pride. Judgement. Selfishness. Jealousy. Lust. False gods. Idols. Greed. Anything that separates you from Him, needs to die. So that when you step out, when it’s finally time and God says to come out, that you come out with a heart even more like his. Tender, tended to, lovely. A trusting heart that knows ‘only God’ could have done something like this. Only God could be so kind.
Noah only came out after God spoke to him and told him to come out of the ark. His whole life, dependent on the word of God. And in that place, Noah built an altar to God. He sacrificed perhaps what Noah might once have held onto so dearly. His sacrifices, his heart, his open hands, his obedience, a sweet fragrance to the heart of the Father.
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all the living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on earth.” Genesis 9:12-16. NIV
God sent a rainbow to be a reminder of His faithfulness. His promise. His goodness and His kindness. Obedience and faith move the heart of God. To jump back up to all of my what if’s and maybe’s that I stated above, don’t we know that the rainbow always comes after the storm? He is faithful to complete what it is He’s started in you. For His glory, because it’s WHO He is. Faithful.
Noah obviously didn’t live to see the fulfillment of the covenant God made with him all the way through. He only lived to see the tiniest glimpse of it, but Noah was faithful to God for no other reason than because God said so. I’m sure when Noah spent years and years sweating, building, laboring in the heat of the sun, he wasn’t thinking that the livelihood of his family fell on him every day even though he knew it was going to change everything. What if you knew that your yes to God would change lives for generations to come? I believe it does. That our lives, our marriages or future marriages, our friendships, our kids, their kids, their friends, their teachers, our parents even? Friends, we’re living in the faithfulness of one man. Our faith, being built by the faith of Noah. The faith of others, building on ours.. Laying the grounds for generations to come. Changing everything.
Now, we have the holy spirit as our guide, living inside of us as believers, leading us into EVEN MORE than this. How much more access to the Father and how much MORE will the Holy Spirit lead us into as we make Him our focus. Our one thing? I want my life to be built on yeses to the Father.
The other night at church, our pastor had prompted us to sit on and reflect on these three questions. What incredible thing do you feel God calling you to do? Are you going to do it? And what does it look like?
I would love to leave you with these same three questions today. Now friends, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy or super spiritual. I think it’s such a trick to think that everything God asks us to do is going to be something as extravagant as building an ark without any rain, although yeah, he does that!! However, it can be simple and sometimes simple can be just as extravagant. He’s in our every moment, or rather, we’re in His. I asked God these same questions and got the sweetest response. I felt this. Love, everything I invite you into is an incredible thing. This life I give you, is the literal life of Jesus. Taking His hand and walking into all the fullness of what Jesus died so that I could have. And that, that is incredible. Inviting Him into every moment and intentionally hosting the presence of God. What does it look like? Are you going to do it?
What if your story is this — “(your name here) did everything God commanded him to do.” Wouldn’t that be a good story? What a legacy!!!
I did everything God commanded me to do.
If you have your Bible handy, see Genesis 6-9 for the full story. If you enjoy reading different versions, I also encourage you to read it in the Message Translation! I encourage you to not skim through the parts you think you may know, but lean in. Let the Holy Spirit lead you, guide your heart and minds, show you things only He can. Chew on this story. Papa, what are you asking me to do? You’re my one thing. Help me to host your presence like a dove on my shoulders. Give me a new heart. A willing heart. A heart that’s first and most natural response to you is a resounding, faithful, and obedient yes to You.
Sarah Tucker is the owner of Imago Dei in Franklin and Nashville, TN, where the heart behind the shop is to point people back to Jesus and serve as a reminder to everyone who visits that they are made in the image of God. She loves drinking coffee, long country drives, and spending time with her friends and family! Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarahatucker
**We at Live Original absolutely LOVE Imago Dei. Everything from the clothes to the heart behind the store is dear to our hearts. Check out their website HERE!