It's Time For One-Against-The-World Type Faith
The other night, while walking through a crowded area, I came upon a lady passed out on the ground as others stood around. In disbelief, I jumped in the circle and tried to seek help.
Sometimes in life, we have tendency to watch those around us suffer while we sit back. From the needy in our midst to the refugees on the other side of the world, apathy consumes us, developing an unwillingness to take action.
Have we become complacent? Are we too comfortable? Is it fear that holds us back?
What if you were called to a mission that involved great sacrifice and the need to stand out against the mainstream of society? Would you step in? Would you go for it?
In the Old Testament of the Bible, there was a man named Noah, called to take on a significant risk- to go against the cultural norm and do something significant. Hebrews 11:7 describes Noah in this way: “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith."
Greatness in faith involves seizing the opportunity- to stand out against the crowd, potentially taking on a significant risk that will succeed only if God shows up. This is the legacy that Noah left, revealing that it was God who he aimed to please. This belief and desire led him towards action.
Faith is more than a simple belief. It is action based on the hope of what is true. A journey that guides us from what we believe into a lifestyle founded on those principles. Noah’s faith moved him into action, even when no warning signs were evident. Though he was one-against-the-world, Noah stood strong in what he believed to be true. Unwilling to back down, an ark was built.
God’s grace ignited a faith that created a movement. If our faith does not move us towards action, then what we believe needs to be examined. If we claim Jesus as Lord, shouldn’t this be apparent in the normalcy of our lives? If God’s principles are not regularly evident in our choices, is it safe to assume that our belief should be in question?
Oftentimes, our faith becomes a partial effort. We give God just enough to get by or just enough to make us feel better about ourselves. Figuratively speaking, while the opportunities exist to build an ark, we just don’t even gather our supplies. Noah’s faith stood out. Despite his surroundings, he chose to pursue God.
Real faith pushes us towards total obedience. This truth is revealed many times in the New Testament. With Jesus, you are either all in or all out. A middle ground does not exist.
Look what Jesus says: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:15-17)
Noah was anything but lukewarm. This guy went all out. He didn't run to Craigslist to find a skimpy rowboat. He didn’t cut corners. He built an amazing structure in the ark, in the desert, with no rain in the weekly forecast. He was sold out, not lukewarm.
No one can say for certain how long it took to build the ark, but safe estimations reveal that it took anywhere from 55 to 75 years for Noah to complete this project. Just imagine spending your entire existence on this one project, in complete faith that God will come through in the end.
Oftentimes, our faith dwindles when we don’t experience instant gratification. Yet, in these moments, when it seems we are one-against-the-world, our faith must stand out. What we believe must lead towards a lifestyle commitment - taking action that will only succeed if God shows up.
Consider yourself: Cold? Lukewarm? Or are you ready to gather your needed building supplies?