Thursday, December 31, 2020

Exasperated?

God's response to sin on the earth after much patience and opportunity for repentance was to end life on earth. Everything destroyed except for Noah, his family and some of his animal creation. 

It’s a difficult thing to imagine.

Sin does not happen overnight. A quick action can turn us from light to darkness in a flash of a moment.

Imagine God had preserved you. What if God called you righteous and preserved you as everything around you died.  

I don't believe Noah was just resting in the Ark.

As the waters are coming down and rising all around him, I wonder what Noah was feeling?

I'm sure the vibrations on the ark walls were frightening. Rain coming down and waters coming up. Debris, trees, animals, Noah’s friends, his neighbors, and enemies all in the midst of the turbulent waters.

His eyes would witness this. Lifeless bodies surrounding the Ark. That which was once rooted now floating all around him.

The same ears that heard the words Noah build an Ark are now flooded with thunder, lightning and the howling of the wind. The silence of the tongues of men coming to and eerie silence.

If his senses were on high alert, did he smell the salt in the water? Was there acidity in the air? Or was it the smell of death that his nostrils inhaled.

Even the odor from a floating zoo was probably better than the smell on the outside. The inside reminded him that there was still life; that God had preserved him.

Holy fear in the midst of the storm! A sovereign God whose mercy had preserved Noah, his family, and a few creatures.

God closes the Ark’s door.

Scripture clearly displays that Noah was in no rush to get out of the Ark.

In Genesis chapter 8, we see that God sent the wind and the waters receded. Noah remained inside.

The floodgates of the heavens were closed. The rain stopped falling from the sky. At the end of 150 days the waters had gone down.

Noah remained inside.

I'm listening Lord.

On the 7th month the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The doors remained closed. Slowly the tops of the mountains became visible. 

Can you see the HOPE on the horizon?

After 40 days Noah opened a window.

It's a slow progression with no urgency to go out into a world that had just been judged.

He sent out a raven. He sent out a dove and the dove returned.

He waited 7 more days and He sent out a dove again and this time the bird came back with a freshly plucked olive branch.

Perhaps at this time Noah would be ready to exit the Ark but scripture says he waited 7 more days and sent out the dove again and this time the dove did not return.

This timeline that seems forever reflects Noah’s dependency on God Almighty.

Noah wasn't rushing into anything. He would not move unless he heard God speak.

Too bad we can’t say the same thing universally today about us. Sometimes we cry out to God and we think that God is taking too long.

Our two-minute prayer is expected to return a quick result and in our favor nonetheless. Oh yes, God can answer quickly. But the lesson here is to WAIT on God!


Exasperated in our current situation? It's best to wait until we hear God say, “come out.”

Scripture says that Noah then removed the covering from the Ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.

What a great time to get out and stretch his legs after all it's been a long stretch, right?

Noah waited for God's direction.

All these long days that turned into weeks and months. Here is Noah inside the Ark.

Countless hours in the presence of God crying out to him and waiting on him to respond.

Exasperated?

That's the position of the believer!  That's the place of the child of God. 

On our face crying out to Almighty God!

When the rain is coming down and the child of God sees no way out, we must remain in prayer submitted to him with a song of praise on our lips.

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.” (Genesis 8:15-17)

And there it is! 

Be still and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Jeremiah 55:9)

The long wait brought forth the answer from God.

Come out of the Ark!  Yes, you, your family and the creatures I preserved.

That's the answer we wait on.  

My ears are attentive to the Lord.  Speak, Lord.

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

King of kings and Lord of lords!

The Book of Revelation, how fascinating!  I wish I can say that I fully understand it all, but I do not.

But once again I have been reminded of God’s Love for me! The book opens up stating “blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Praise the Lord!

At the end of the book a description of the Holy City is given. Read with me.

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:10-14)

Do you see what I see? His story written all over it!

Here we are at the end of the Book and the Lord has us looking backwards.  Just in case we have forgotten how we got here; “the twelve tribes of Israel” written on the gates, “the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” written on the foundations.

We cannot read the end of the book without acknowledging the beginning. God remembers the 12 tribes he remembers the 12 apostles throughout the New Testament, he remembers me!

I know he recalls when I bowed the knee and said yes to him. He remembers my fragile state, my rebellious disposition before I acknowledged that I needed him.

It was his call for me his daughter that changed my life.  A blind woman now with sight! Like the blind man from birth, my mouth and heart exclaim, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25b)

God knows my trials and the victories he has brought me through. We all come to a crossroad.  He calls and then waits for us to answer. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Our story unfolds. Our lives on the stage of history.  Will you run to the arms of Jesus? God himself waiting for us to acknowledge his great love and mercy toward us.

What will history say about me?  What will it say about you? 

All I have is Jesus!

“Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)

He is the baby born in a manger.

He is the man on the cross.

He is the one seated at the right hand of the Father. 

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Revelation 19:6-8)

Check you pulse!  Hear the heart of the Father toward us.  He is coming back!

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.” “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11, 16)

Yes, he is the victorious One coming back for his bride!  The redeemed of God. The multitudes in robes of white waiting for his return!

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10)

Fully understand the book of Revelation. No.  But I do see my Savior coming back for me! 

Will you acknowledge his love and sacrifice for you?

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

My soul will magnify your Name!

God bless you!~Liz