Over the years, we have seen different individuals who have accomplished great strides in their fields of endeavor because of their dedication or determination to succeed. Books have been written and conferences have been held to challenge us to make the most of our lives. We have been told to harness our untapped potentials, go the extra mile, set goals, among other counsel.
Although none of these is wrong in itself; God doesn’t choose those He uses because they are stronger, wiser or more intelligent than others. Many of the people God uses are not those that would ordinarily be on our own shortlists. ‘Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?’ (1 Corinthians 1.27 MSG).
David had no previous experience on the battlefield but when he killed the leader of the Philistines, it became conclusive proof that one smooth stone in the hand of a mighty God is worth more than the sophisticated weaponry any world army possesses. Jesus chose twelve ordinary men as His disciples but by the supernatural power of God’s Spirit, these fearful men who abandoned Him while He hung on the cross became fearless after His resurrection and turned the world upside for His glory.
And God is still doing the impossible through ordinary people, although it is only those who fear Him and have a pure heart. At a time when the whole earth was corrupt and filled with violence, and the wickedness was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of everyone’s heart was only evil continually, one man stood out. While God contemplated the destruction of all mankind and beast on the earth, God found one man who was righteous and perfect in all the earth. God found Noah.
“As long as we remain trapped in cycles of sin and ungodliness, God cannot use us.”
The Lord says, “Let not the one who is wise and skillful boast in his insight; let not the one who is mighty and powerful boast in his strength; let not the one who is rich boast in his temporal satisfactions and earthly abundance but let the one who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me and acknowledges Me and honours Me as God and recognizes without any doubt, that I am the Lord who practices lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these things I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 AMP).
There was nothing extraordinary about Noah except that he was righteous before God. He had no executive positions or fancy titles. His parents were not in the clergy and his pedigree wasn’t outstanding. He had no educational or vocational qualifications in architecture, engineering or wildlife management.
Building an ark was neither a part of his previous work experience nor was it a plan on his ten-year outlook. Yet, Noah was handpicked by God for such a great and defining task only because he was righteous. Noah did what would have taken at least a team of managers and other people working under them to accomplish.
Designing and building an ark to the detail God had instructed with no architectural or engineering background could only have been done because of the empowering of God’s Spirit. Then the search for all the animals and birds from the mountains, valleys, forests and caves would have otherwise required some experience in wildlife management. But Noah did not need all that experience because God enables ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
And finally, providing the leadership for his family and the animals for an entire year while the ark floated till it came to its final rest had to be because of God’s unusual grace and uncommon wisdom. And Noah had that privilege because he had a pure heart. God is still seeking for righteous men and women through whom He can display His power and glory.
“Only those who are patient can work with God. When we run ahead of God, we will pay a huge price for our impatience.”
If only one man could accomplish so much, how much more could an army of godly men and women accomplish? How many ‘arks’ could have been built to save this world from collapsing under the weight of its own sins? But because of a dwindling number of righteous people, the intense battle between good and evil rages on.
The secrets of the Lord belong to them that fear Him. (Psalm 25.14). God has great plans and His timeline of events that will take place in this world is moving along. He’s seeking for men and women He can use to carry out His plan. God won’t share or entrust His plans to just anyone – He works with only those who fear Him. Do you fear God? What is God’s assessment about you? Can God attest to the fact that you fear Him?
Some divine ideas will not be available to just anyone. Two people could be involved in the same project. While one may be pursuing fame and the applause of people; the other person – empowered by God’s Spirit – may not even expend as much effort but a lot more lives would be changed, and communities would be transformed.
There are many people doing things they neither learnt from college nor from sermons they listened to. Only God could have dropped those ideas in their hearts. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We can’t say that we fear God until we intentionally and consistently walk away from every opportunity to sin.
Noah’s friends and family may have teased and mocked him for missing out on all the fun in town. They may have thought that he had lost his mind when he told them about God’s plan to send a flood on the earth. They had no clue that Noah was the only man in his generation who had found grace before God.
As long as we remain trapped in cycles of sin and ungodliness, God cannot use us. As long as we remain slaves of sin, we certainly will be bereft of the supernatural power to accomplish great exploits for God’s kingdom.
While many of us are complaining of the chaos in this world, God is looking for righteous men and women He can use to ‘build arks’ and save lives. Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah are Bible characters whose names are not only mentioned but their right standings with God are also emphasized.
There are assignments that God will not entrust to just anyone. Only those whose hearts and hands have not been defiled will God give such assignments. While many of us may be restless and confused about God’s purpose for us; God is waiting on us to be set free from the shackles of the enemy so He can pour out His Spirit on us to accomplish great exploits.
Noah had attended no church events. He hadn’t been to any monastery. He didn’t even have a Bible. He couldn’t speak in tongues or Christianese. Noah had a personal relationship with God. He was aware that He was not in control of his life; he walked with God and his heart sought to please the Lord in all he did.
Something in Noah didn’t quite resonate with the ungodliness and immorality all around him. He was unashamed and unafraid to stand out in the crowd. He was the only person left that reminded everyone else about God.
Sometimes, we watch in amazement how ordinary people we know or may have heard about are able to accomplish great feats for God’s kingdom. Unknown to us, God may have chosen them because they have been found righteous before Him. Across the generations and even up till today, God continues to empower men and women who are set apart for Him to display His glory and power. And you can join this shortlist of God’s messengers. You can begin the process today by retreating to God’s presence and doing that regularly.
Noah didn’t become righteous overnight. Step by step, he made intentional and consistent decisions to spend quality time in God’s presence. He stayed away from anyone and anything that would draw him away from the Lord.
Something happens to your heart the longer you linger in God’s presence. Either sin keeps you away from God’s presence or the fire from God’s presence keeps you away from sin. We can’t claim to fear God but also celebrate people who don’t fear God.
When we rely on our own strength, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task that God has entrusted to you. Take courage. He will grant you unusual grace to keep going and He will not give you more than you can bear. Since there was no one else, God empowered Noah to do so much more than was humanly possible.
With a dwindling number of men and women available to be used by God, the few who are available receive unusual grace to carry the burden. The harvest is plentiful; many people are yet to hear the gospel and many territories are yet to be conquered. Will you be counted as one of God’s vessels that are willing and available to be actively involved in the end time harvest?
Noah didn’t appeal to anyone for help to build the ark. Everything he needed was supernaturally provided. When your life aligns with God’s purpose for you, He has promised to provide all that you will need. It’s God’s purpose, not yours. He will not leave you stranded and confused. You will be amazed how God will send the people and the resources you need to complete that assignment.
Building the ark wasn’t about Noah. In fact, he refused to make a monument for himself or draw any attention to himself. When you begin to brag about why or what God has chosen us to do or begin to seek the applause of people, God is no longer a part of what you are doing. You have missed it altogether. God won’t share His glory with anyone. And if you’re struggling with your motives for service, it’s time to step back and allow God use someone else.
Noah was such a patient man. Who spends so much time building a gigantic and monstrous edifice like an ark? Who counts every specie of animal and bird and hoists them into the ark and spends another year enduring life on a floating vessel?
Only those who are patient can work with God. When we run ahead of God, we will pay a huge price for our impatience. When we think that God is too slow, then we don’t understand His heart. God is patient; He does not want anyone should perish.
Instead of an ark magically appearing, and the animals getting in by themselves, God allowed everyone watch Noah build the ark, one beam at a time. He allowed them to watch the animals enter the ark, one pair at a time till the day the door was finally shut.
Many people could have entered the ark. There was adequate room and provision for many more. But they chose not to get in. God is patient but His offer of salvation will not be available forever. And those who reject Him will spend eternity without Him.
For His divine power has bestowed on us absolutely everything necessary for a dynamic spiritual life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1.3. AMP). Everything we need or will need to be and do all God has called us to do is available in Jesus. The unusual grace, the uncommon wisdom, the abundant strength is available but are we taking advantage of all this?
Recently, I’ve been trying to reduce the screen time for our kids. So, I hid the chargers of their devices. When they were looking for them, I joined in the frantic search. After a few days, everyone forgot about the ‘missing’ chargers. A few weeks later, I ‘found’ the chargers and they couldn’t wait to have their devices back on. But then, they couldn’t remember their passwords.
Are you struggling with cycles of sin and ungodliness? Then, stop ‘charging’ what God wants turned off in your life such as ungodly relationships, bad habits and unhealthy emotions. If you do, you’d notice that over time, these addictions will become unattractive and begin to lose their hold on you.
Have you also noticed that whenever you’re charging your phone but continue to use it to play a game or receive a call, it doesn’t recharge as fast as it should have had you left it alone. God’s power is abundant, and His grace is available but many times, we are stuck in unhealthy relationships and on journeys God never approved of. These distractions and diversions continue to drain God’s power in us, leaving us neither effective nor fruitful.
It’s not enough to pray and fast against the ungodliness and the immorality that’s surrounding us. God wants us to get off our knees and take drastic actions. He wants us to stay away from anyone and anything that will drain His power in us.
Noah wasn’t confused or overwhelmed about God’s instructions to him. He was in touch with God. If we are struggling to hear from God or confused about what to do, it’s time we checked the conditions of our hearts: Are we still connected to God or have we strayed?
Noah wasn’t even fasting and praying to be used mightily by God like many do these days. His focus was on pleasing the Lord in his words, thoughts and deeds. It’s not how much you want to do for God but what God desires to do through you.
“Either sin keeps you away from God’s presence or the fire from God’s presence keeps you away from sin.”
Many of us are knee-deep in sin and wondering why nothing much is happening in our lives. Noah’s should be a source of encouragement to those who have made decisions to remain pure and be set apart for God. The last chapter of your life hasn’t been written yet; stand back and see what great things God will do in and through you.
When you live to please the Lord, your spirit is connected with God’s spirit and you are able to hear Him and see things from His perspective. The cry of your heart will resonate with the heartbeat of heaven. God can reveal anything and at any time to your spirit.
But when you remain slaves to sin, you allow the enemy to insert a barrier between God’s Spirit and yours. You end up merely existing, instead of living the abundant life that Jesus promised.
You may be wondering if God can or will ever use you because of your past. None of us is perfect. Jesus didn’t die for only the pastors, the Popes or the perfect people. He came to rescue us all from the bondage of sin. Liars, thieves, pimps and drug mules, we all, can stand forgiven at the cross.
You can decide today to surrender your life to Jesus and spend the rest of your life living to please Him. Living a godly and righteous life won’t be a result of your effort but it would be by the enablement of God’s Spirit.