Now Lord, now!
(This article based on Noah in Genesis 8:11-17 which is included at the foot of the page)
Can you imagine being confined to a boat full of noisy, smelly animals for over twelve months, then finally the door is opened, and you look down at the dry ground.
But the Lord says nothing, nothing at all!
Not wait, but nothing!
Noah knows in his heart that it would be wrong to act now.
Perhaps you are in the situation that seems to be saying ‘OK’, but in your heart you’ve got a restraint.
Now, is the time to trust the Lord.
‘Does He really see me, in my situation?’
‘Is God really King of my life?’
Noah had to look at that dry ground for weeks, and weeks.
The animals were getting restless, but Noah had to wait for almost two months, before the Lord gave the command to leave the Ark.
That must have seemed cruel to wait for so long.
But God knew that the ground needed to get a lot drier.
So God may appear to be slow in His dealings, but He knows the best time.
We live in a now culture, where a person with patience is almost ridiculed, or at least looked down upon, as being weak.
It’s the tough, ‘I get what I want now’ type of image that seems to impress.
But that way of life only feeds the self-centred life.
It also provides no restraint for instant gratification, and erodes all Godly barriers and boundaries.
‘Instant credit’ is regularly used without much thought, but it’s root is greed.
Sex before marriage has it’s root in: ‘I want instant gratification, why should I have to wait?’
The reason for waiting is because God says so!
He has put a boundary line there for us not to cross over.
It will require patience, and self control, but that is where God‘s blessing’s are, within His boundaries. Paul wrote
Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”Colossians 3:5
The ‘I want it now’ culture, is far more corrupt than it first appears.
Patience may have gone out of vogue, but it is still high on God’s list of priorities.
Let’s look at Esau, (Genesis 25:29-34)
We may think: ‘So what, if Esau sold his birth right for food. It’s no big deal being born first.’
But the birthright carried spiritual blessings.
It was a total contempt of God’s order for his life.
And because of this, Esau is described as profane, or godless. (Hebrews 12:16)
He could have got a cheaper meal among the other tents, but he saw the colour of the stew, and he just couldn’t deny himself the satisfaction of eating that stew, which he had fallen in love with!
Whatever the cost, he just couldn’t deny himself.
He was a servant to his appetite.
Gratifying the sensual appetite, is the ruin of thousands of people.
I believe one key for Christians, in robbing the old self life of it’s power, is fasting.
It is good occasionally, to go a day without food.
You plan which day, and when it comes, you say to your stomach: ‘No, you are not going to have your way. I am master over you.’
I am not promoting anorexia, or undisciplined meal times.
Eating healthy food, regularly, is good discipline, which some people are prone to be slack in.
So, employ your willpower, and get regular good meals, then choose the occasional fast day!
You will find peace, and blessings when you do these things.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one get’s the prize?1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
The question to ask ourselves is: ‘Are we master of our appetites, or are our appetites master of us?’
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in it’s beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited 7 more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.
By the twenty seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark’”Genesis 8:11-17
First two images: thanks to Serif Art CD