What would you do if God asked you to do something that you knew you might get made fun of for doing? What would you do if you felt the Holy Spirit prompting you to speak up in an uncomfortable situation? What would you tell your child if you found out she was embarrassed to admit she serves God?
It’s easy to tell our children that they shouldn’t be ashamed of God, right? But then we don’t recognize the things we do that show them otherwise. Because we’ve all done it at some point. We laughed off that friend’s inappropriate comment. We pretended we didn’t hear that family member use a scripture out of context. We didn’t pray for the man in the grocery store when we really felt like we should.
In Hebrews 11, we read the story of Noah. God warned Noah of what was coming and Noah listened. He obeyed God and he built an ark. He obeyed God and saved his family. He changed people’s lives. He advanced the Kingdom. He changed generations to come. He changed the destiny of the world – just by obeying.
So much depends on you and I obeying God. We weren’t called to be here just to skate through. Every single one of us has been called to do something for God. He calls us a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people called by His name.
When you’re a peculiar people you don’t look and act like the world. Jesus said if you’re a friend of the world, you’re no friend of His. Noah didn’t care what the world thought. You can bet he got laughed at. You can bet his kids even thought the whole ark idea was a little nuts. But Noah was listening to God. He believed God. He had made a commitment to God.
When we believed God was calling us to pastor, we wanted to obey, but I was concerned about our kids. We were in a great church. They were in the choir. They had friends. They were in a home school group. But God had begun to deal with us about pastoring, so we knew we needed to talk to our kids.
We brought them together and we prayed. Then our son said to me, “Mom, we have to obey God.” And there it was – out of the mouths of babes. Here I had been counting all the costs our kids were going to have to pay to follow God. I was focusing on what I thought they were going to have to give up. Sometimes as parents we love our kids more than we love the Word. And, sometimes we don’t see it.
It’s easy to do. It’s easy to put things, people, the security of a job, the comfort of a relationship, above God. But, if you love anyone or anything more than God, at some point, you will deny Him. You’ll end up compromising. You’ll disobey Him.
Sure, when you choose to obey God there’s always a risk that you’ll lose those things that you’re trying so hard to hold onto. Some people will definitely think you’re foolish. People said that to us. They said we were taking things too far – with the debt freedom stuff, with the pastoring stuff. Christians even said that to us. I’m not saying everything we did was right, but we were trying our best to obey God. I’m just glad He didn’t tell us to build an ark.
Noah said yes even though he knew he was going to look foolish. He decided to be accountable to God no matter what it might have meant. In the end that’s all that matters. God is going to hold you accountable for your part. Are you going to tell God that you didn’t pray for your friend because you were embarrassed? Or, that you didn’t confront your child because you didn’t want her to get mad at you? Or, that you didn’t honor your commitment to your spouse because he never did what you wanted him to do? God’s not going to say, “Yeah, I see. He’s a loser. That’s okay.” He’s going to say, “Did you do the ministry that I called you to do? Where was your commitment in this relationship? Did you follow through?”
That day is coming. Jesus compared the day leading up to the second coming to the days before the flood. The people then ignored the times. Evil was everywhere, but they didn’t care. They lived their lives to the fullest right up to the moment. Look around you. Look at what is happening in the world. Kids are being sold for sex. Homosexuals are parading around in the streets. People are blowing themselves up in order to kill as many people as they can simply because they don’t agree with them. Evil is everywhere.
But we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus said He will acknowledge you before His Father if you acknowledge Him before men. So stay on fire for God! Don’t become like the world. Don’t be afraid if someone makes fun of you because of Christ. Don’t ever be ashamed of Him.
Put God above everything else in your life and your kids’ lives. Elevate the Word. Believe it and speak it. Don’t just give the easy message. Tell the truth. Make right choices. Line your will up with His will.
Then, when the flood comes in your life – when the flood of darkness comes to the world around us – you’ll have built your ark.