This morning I felt like I needed a little “faith building”. So I turned to Hebrews 11 figuring I would surely find it in the faith chapter. What I discovered was that people of faith most often did things they really did not want to do. Seriously, think about this….
Noah surely could not have wanted to build an ark when it had never rained on the planet before. He didn’t know what a flood could possibly look like. Throw in everyone making fun of him & surely this was not what he had aspired to do with his life. But he did.
Abraham could not have desired to sacrifice his only son that he had waited FOR YEARS to be born. But he did obey.
Moses could not have wanted to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. This was something he tried to avoid, making excuses to God. Yet he did it & led a grumbling people through the wilderness for 40 years.
The Israelites must have found it a little strange to be told to march around Jericho for seven days in order to defeat their enemies. But they did it.
Paul surely could not have wanted to be stoned, shipwrecked, beat, imprisoned in order to establish churches & preach the gospel. But he did it. John could not have wanted to be the last of the disciples alive when all in his close band of brothers were dead. He could not have wanted to be exiled to the island of Patmos.As I thought on this today, I realized that God often asks us to do things we may not want to do or even feel like doing. But we need to do them anyway. We need to obey out of our love & devotion to God. And that is for our own good.We cannot be divided in our loyalty. We cannot waver. In writing about prayer, James tells us what happens when we are divided or waver:
Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1: 6b-8 NLT
Having a divided loyalty to God costs us. Our lives become marked by an unsettledness. We are tossed around by every opinion & trend. We don’t receive anything from the Lord. We become unstable in all that we do in life.At times, we are going to be called to do things we just do not feel like doing. It is then we will decide if we are going to obey or go our own way. Are we going to follow Him not knowing the outcome but believing that He does?
A funny thing happened to those that chose to do what they did not want to do….
Noah & his family were saved when the flood came as they entered the very thing he probably did not want to build.
Abraham received back his son & went on to become the father of many.
Moses led God’s people to the Promised Land.
Paul went on to establish many churches & write much of our New Testament.
John, last disciple standing, received a vision which was recorded & became the last book of our Bibles, Revelation.
In an odd way, I did find my faith built up this morning. My faith found a rest in Him. May He align my “want to’s” with His will & purposes. For often the greatest outcome is achieved in that moment when we don’t want to but do it anyway.