The weather has been pretty terrible over the course of last week in particular parts of the country. In the south where my mom lives, she and my aunt were pretty much relegated to their home as a result of the storm. During the week while this was occurring, I found myself reading the seventh chapter of Genesis, whereby Noah was boarding the ark along with the animals. In verse 16, the Word of God reads, “Then the Lord shut him in.” It made me wonder about times when I’ve felt as though God has me on lock. When it feels like as opposed to being on display, the Lord has me in isolation. Almost likened unto being on punishment and watching your friends play outside from a lonely corner window (I’m not bitter at all)! God has made us intelligent, and its often our intellect that gets in the way. We are not, not matter how much we’d like to believe in charge. That position was filled before we were formed in our mother’s womb. So, when we find ourselves shut in as Noah and his family and the animals, its best to do what we were instructed as children during the storm, and that is to “sit down, be quiet and the let the Lord do his business.”
Noah was instructed to build the ark and in Genesis 6:22, the Word states, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” So perhaps a prerequisite for being protected by God is to follow his commandments, his voice and his instructions. Often times, my preferences may not align with God’s methodology, and in the end, I am the one who suffers when I fail to do what thus saith the Lord. Noah had already found favor with God before the flood came because he was a righteous man. Even amidst all the wickedness that was occurring, Noah followed God. Yet another lesson to ascertain is that we don’t have to follow the crowd no matter how compelling it may appear. Noah’s obedience became the paradigm for his safety, and the lives of his family. Is it fair to therefore consider that our family’s blessing is inextricably linked to our ability to follow what God instructs? A weighty consideration, but one that is not impossible as we yield not to our own will, but to that of the Father.
Often we may be determined to focus on the work that is required as well as the amount of energy when we purpose it in our heart to follow God. It ain’t easy, but its beneficial. The community by which Noah found himself residing questioned his effort to build an ark. Another lesson we gain from Noah is making preparation for what is to come even when we can’t see it! Imagine if Noah ignored the voice of God; even the life he’d lived as a righteous man may have gone unnoticed as a result of again, his disobedience.
It is a pleasure to be shut in – particularly by God; and we must jedi mind trick ourself into drinking the Kool-Aid and believing that if indeed He is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? We can’t treat God as the antagonist, when He’s been down for us since day 1. So what might God have you shut in about? Instead of believing that God has forgotten about us, it would be a greater use of our time to “build our ark” as we wait for the manifestation of God’s promises to come forth. Through listening prayer and seeking God through the Word, we learn what we need to spend our time and energy on. Just as was done with Noah, the same can and will occur with us. After the ark was completed, God shut Noah, his family and the animals in, and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The inhabitants of the entire earth were wiped out. What might God be eliminating in our lives if we simply operate in a spirit of obedience and trust God to take care of us amidst the storm?
As I matured, the punishment from being placed on lock in the house morphed into being locked out of the house if I weren’t in by a particular time or failed to follow the house rules. All I can say is that it is far better to be shut in than shut out! As we sometimes struggle with the “Lord doing his business,” let us pause and consider what it would feel like if we were banished from having relationship with God. Crazy right?! Suddenly being shut in, ain’t so bad!