Obedience Brings Protection
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I will never forget a day several years ago when I was asked to take on a monumental new ministry task. I’ll spare you the details, but it was one of those jobs that made you think, “Why in the world would anyone agree to do this?”
As I pondered the job to be done, my mind was flooded with thoughts. I wonder if Noah had a similar experience when he first received his assignment.
My first thought was, “What will people think? Surely if I agree to this, everyone will think I’ve taken leave of my senses.” Like Noah’s call to build the ark, sometimes the Lord calls us to do things that just don’t make much sense!
Second, I began to count the cost of taking on this project, including long hours of preparation and execution. No, I wasn’t going to build an ark, but this task felt just as huge!
Finally, I knew that saying “yes” meant agreeing to subject myself to endless criticism by people who would want me to do the project their way.
When I sized up the situation, there were quite a few items in the negative column and only one in the positive—which was, “I think God is calling me to do this.”
Like Noah, I had a sense that this was an assignment from God.
While I was still considering my decision, a dear friend gave me a devotional book. When I opened it, my eyes fell to these words, “The safest path is dangerous if it is outside of God’s will. The most dangerous path is safe if He is calling you to walk that way.”
Suddenly, I saw myself suspended high above the ground on a very narrow bridge. There was danger of falling on either side, but I knew I could cross safely. Then I saw myself walking on a smooth path, stumbling and tripping and injuring myself.
A strange image, but it helped me realize what the Lord was trying to tell me: with obedience comes the promise of protection.
Noah certainly experienced that truth. Because He obeyed the Lord, he was safe and secure when the floodwaters came.
When I said “yes” to the Lord in taking on the new ministry project, I too found myself safe in His arms. It was not always easy. And I’m sure Noah didn’t always have a fun time living in the ark with a bunch of smelly animals. But, like Noah, I always knew I was safe in His care and would emerge from the venture unharmed.
I learned quite a lot from that experience, mostly about how much the Lord can be trusted. He always, always has our best interests at heart, even when the way is tough.
"If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the LORD." (NLT)
So, what is the Lord calling you to do today? And what obstacles make you want to say “no?” Is it fear of rejection or ridicule? Fear of failure? Fear of loss?
Whatever the concern, I challenge you to take that leap of faith—and know that you will find shelter and safety in the Lord’s loving arms. The deeper knowledge and trust of the Savior will bring you great joy and peace. And that gift is worth the difficulties you may face along the way.
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