Surrendered Obedience

Have you ever found yourself asking God what He was thinking, because you are in place in life you never expected or wanted to be? How do you live in those places? I am immensely excited about being back in the Word, studying our friend Noah. As we have talked about, Noah has found himself in one of these places in life; Somewhere he never expected to be. I learned some things from Him; I want to share with you.

Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth. Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood.” Genesis 7:6-7 (NASB)

Noah built the Ark and the time had come to enter into it. I wonder how Noah and his family were feeling. God has come to him and told him what His plan was. He gives Noah specific instructions to build this Ark. Everything was new. This Ark was nothing they had ever seen before. The rain had never poured out onto the earth, and they were going to be the only survivors.[bctt tweet=” Life was not the same for them anymore.” username=””]

“Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.” Genesis 7:17-24 (NASB)

Noah and his family were on the Ark for a long time. It rained for forty days and forty nights, and then the rain prevailed for one hundred and fifty days. It equals a little over six months. Most Americans have trouble being in a car with their family for six hours without getting all grumpy. Noah had his wife and his children as well as all those animals and creatures on there. He has no idea how this is all playing out or when he is going to be able to get out of there. I think I would be going a little crazy in different ways and I am not sure what my attitude would be at that point.

“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also, the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained, and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.” Genesis 8:1-3 (NASB)

I was reading this passage, and for a while, I could not get past the first sentence. “But God remembered Noah.” It had been months of rain, people and nature dying around them, without a glimpse of when this would end.

 [bctt tweet=”Did Noah feel as though God had forgotten him?” username=””]

Was Noah’s family looking at him, bothered about the situation they were in because He had been obedient to God’s instructions, as crazy as they seemed?

Have you found yourself in this place? That place where you have sought God listened to Him, and obeyed His call and HIs leading, and yet you find yourself feeling like He is nowhere to be found. Do you find yourself asking God why He led you where He did? I know I have. I know I ask the questions. I ask why. I ask if He has forgotten me. I ask if He leads me to these places so that He can leave me there.

[bctt tweet=”God remembered Noah, and He remembers us. It may seem as though He has left or He is not there, but He is always there. ” username=””]Sometimes, I find He is working the hardest for us, in us, and through us, when He seems the quietest.

 “Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;  and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.  Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;  but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark.” Genesis 8:1-10 (NASB)

Noah inspires me. He and his family have been in this Ark for months, living with a bunch of animals, birds, and bugs. He is waiting for the time they can be free to start life again. First, he sends a raven out. Then he sends out a dove, hoping it would find a resting place to land so they would know it was safe to go out of the ark. I would have been on the edge of my seat, squirming like a two-year-old, waiting for the ok from mom, to get down from their time-out seat. Noah waits on God. When the dove comes back, he reaches out his hand and takes her in. Then he waits another seven days before being able to send her out again. If it were me, I would be sending her back out the next day again and then the next.

[bctt tweet=”How do you wait when God asks you to?” username=””] Are you like Noah or more like me?

Waiting has always been a struggle for me. I want to fix things. I want to figure out how to make it better. Sometimes, I want to speed up the process because I want it now and not later[bctt tweet=”As I grow in the Lord, I learn that when I try to do God’s job and rush His timing, it causes destruction instead of victory.” username=””]

Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again. Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God spoke to Noah, saying,  “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.  Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar” Genesis 8:12-20 (NASB)

The dove doesn’t come back. The earth has dried up. God told Noah it was time to come out of the Ark. he gives them instruction to be fruitful and multiply the earth. Noah obeys, and the first thing He does is build an altar to the Lord, offering burnt offerings up to Him.

He takes time to worship God first. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t go and start figuring out this new life. He doesn’t start being fruitful and multiplying.  He worships God.

[bctt tweet=” Noah lived in obedience to God, out of a surrendered heart.” username=””]

When God gives us instructions, do we obey or do we sit there and see if it makes sense or fits our schedule?

When God asks us to wait, what is our attitude?

During the waiting time and after, do we complain or start thinking about what we need to do, or do we worship God?

Do we live in obedience with a surrendered heart or do we live doing what we think is best?

I want to live as Noah did. Noah’s surrendered heart and life of obedience are what made him stand out to God. It was what showed God there was still hope for mankind on earth. Let’s be people who are willing to do what God calls us to, even when we don’t understand, or it isn’t what we want. Let’s live in obedience with a surrendered heart to God as Noah did.

Heavenly Father, we ask that you align our hearts with Yours. We pray our hearts would be fully surrendered to you, so we may in obedience moment by moment. May we have the attitude of Christ Jesus. We pray we would worship You in the waiting and when You have brought us through the waiting. May we acknowledge You in everything. May we bring You glory and show this world who You are! In Jesus Name!