As I was preparing to share a devotional, two occurrences came to mind:
1. Abraham uprooting his family
2. Noah building the ark
In both instances, the actions of each man were the response to a direction from God. Up to this point, that is the only commonality I attributed to their experiences. They heard God and chose to do what He said. Despite the fact that onlookers might have considered them to be crazy, impulsive, or unstable, Abraham and Noah chose obedience to God over acceptance from man. I’ve always stopped there. That’s enough right?
Well, apparently not today. There’s another connection that I believe the Lord wants us to embrace in the stories of these two men.
Note the role God assumed in each instance:
“So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 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 three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.” (Genesis 6:13-16 NIV)
God gave Noah specific instructions, but in order to survive the flood Noah had to build the ark himself. God was the architect. He prepared the blueprint, but Noah was the builder.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV)
God gave Abraham ONE specific instruction – Go! There was no planning, no discussion, and no measuring. God simply called Abraham to remain in a state of forward progression. God had promised to be both architect and builder for him.
So, what’s the significance?
There will be times when God will give you a plan, but it will be the intermingling of His direction and your blood, sweat, and tears that will bring it to fruition. You must not only believe God’s promise, but also commit to the work you’ll have to do to experience it.
There will be other times that God will simply make you aware of what is to come and will only tell you to move toward that goal. You will see nothing concrete, and you may even think the promise is impossible. In those times your belief in God’s word probably won’t be enough. It will be your resilience and commitment to not “jumping the gun” or devising your own plan that will get you to the promise.
We must be willing in both cases to do exactly what God says in order to reach the goal. Let us be diligent about identifying and embracing God’s promises. Let us also be committed to accepting the manner He chooses to bring them to fruition.
God’s plan + Our obedience = Promise & Favor