Saying yes can be frightening, especially when you are moving out into uncharted waters. Don't allow the unknown to keep you from setting sail. Anchors aweigh!
Without a doubt, I can tell you that my greatest accomplishments and most rewarding achievements were a result of saying yes to something that I honestly would have liked to say no to. Over the years, God has asked me to say yes on more than one occasion. In everything from overseeing the construction of multimillion-dollar building programs to moving hundreds of miles to help struggling congregations, yes is the answer God was looking for.
In each case, I had no way of knowing what the outcome would be. I had to trust that where I was going would be better than where I had been. God doesn't always give us details concerning the future. We have to trust Him, and that can be difficult, especially when we are dabbling in the unknown. Experience has taught me that if God asks me to go somewhere or to complete an assignment, He pays more than minimum wage!
When Noah agreed to build the ark, the directive was clear: Gather your family along with the animals and stay alive.
"But I will establish My covenant with you; you must go into the ark—you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons' wives with you.19 Bring every living thing of all flesh, two of every kind, into the ark to keep them alive with you" (Gen. 6:18-19).
There is no mention of a reward. Survival was the only reward on the table at this moment. Noah would have to trust God to sweeten the deal once the work was done. It must have been difficult to say yes with only the promise of covenant, but Noah said yes anyway. There was no guarantee of what life would look like on the other side of the flood. Would it be better? Would it be worse? There was no way to tell. It was uncharted territory. In Noah's mind, it must have seemed like a gamble.
Noah had not yet seen the rainbow.
Remember, at this point, God had not shared His dream for the future with Noah. God could have said, "Look up, Noah. Do you see this colorful arch in the sky? It's called a rainbow. That is what will be waiting for you after this flood is over." God did not offer proof of a reward. On the contrary, He had only explained the nightmare that was to come. God spoke of death and drowning, not future blessing and abundance.
Noah was saying yes to an unknown future. He would maintain his relationship with his immediate family, but everything else familiar to him would be washed away. There was nothing easy about signing on to the plan.
After all was said and done and the new first family exited the ark, the reward of saying yes would be all around them. Now it would be easy to say, "That was worth it."
One yes to God can erase a thousand noes. The reward of saying yes will extend far beyond your current circumstances. Noah's entire family benefited from his willingness to say, "I don't know where You're taking me, Father, but I am in!" Noah realized where he was going would be better than where he was. He didn't have to know the future to start working toward it.
You may have no idea what your life will look like if you say yes to God. Maybe you are still holding on to the familiar devils of your past because outside of them all you can see is a meager existence. Like the drug addict who is only focused on the symptoms of withdrawal rather than the reward of getting clean, you see only consequences.
Noah would not be forced to live on a stinky ark for the rest of his life. No, the ark was the vehicle God used to carry him to the destination He had in mind. Noah said yes to temporary discomfort because he had a hope for better days. Saying yes doesn't mean there won't be consequences and temporary pain, because there will be. Saying yes, however, will cause you to eventually get to the end of the rainbow. Whatever God asks of you today, say yes!
The waters may be uncharted to you, but remember, they are not uncharted to God. He knew what He had in mind for both Noah and the earth before one drop of rain every fell from the sky. You can trust Him with your future.
Adapted from 40 Days to Defeat Your Past by Larry Dugger, copyright 2016, published by Charisma House.
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Prayer Power for the Week of Sept. 11, 2016
This week, no matter what your current situation looks like, resolve to follow Paul's admonition to give thanks in everything. Thank the Lord for His example when He endured the shame of the cross for the "joy set before Him." Say yes to God and thank Him again that even though you may go through uncharted waters, He knows the way and will remain with you as you travel. Continue to pray for our nation, especially as we remember the pain of 9/11. Continue to pray for the upcoming elections. Ask Him to send revival here and throughout the world and for more laborers. (1 Thess. 5:18; Heb. 12:2).
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