Every single day we get up and face the unknown. There are so many “unknowns” in our lives yet some of them seem small and easy to deal with, while others can seem daunting. Every day, it is unknown what challenges we will face, what persons will cross our path, what opportunities will come our way. It is not guaranteed that we will have a heart beating in our chest and breath in our lungs each day. It is not guaranteed that we will make our drive to work without another car crossing those two, thin yellow lines and crashing into us.
Yet most people face those fairly serious unknowns without really thinking of their weight and potential impact. While those potentially devastating unknowns don’t seem to hinder us in our every day life, the unknowns we face in responding to God’s call is often the area that feels the most intimidating. In reality it should be the easiest area for us to exercise our faith.
One of the best stories that illustrates putting our faith and trust in God as He calls us into the unknown is the story of Noah. When God told Noah that He was going to flood the entire earth and instructed him to build the ark (Genesis 6:13-22), something that we often overlook is that before God flooded the earth it was watered from underneath the ground and it had never rained before! (Genesis 2:5-6) It wasn’t until Genesis 7:11-12, that the “windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.”
We can also deduce that Noah spent approximately 100 years building the ark before the floods came because Genesis 5:32 says he was 500 years old when he had his sons and Genesis 7:6 says he was 600 when the floodwaters were on the earth. This paints the picture that Noah spent about 100 years building this massive ark while preaching to the lost about the coming judgement through a great flood, to a bunch of heathens who had never even seen rain! The next time you feel bad for being told you are crazy for obeying the call God has put on your life, just remember that you are in good company!
Another interesting thing to take note of is God’s choice of words in the following verses:
“But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt COME into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” – Genesis 6:18 KJV (emphasis mine)
“And the Lord said unto Noah, COME thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” – Genesis 7:1 KJV (emphasis mine)
“GO forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” – Genesis 8:16 KJV (emphasis mine)
So here is a question for you, if God told Noah to COME into the ark and to GO out of the ark, where would God have to be for those instructions to make sense? God would have had to be INSIDE the ark with Noah and his family! God was with Noah and his family the entire time!
(It should be noted that many modern Bible versions say “Go” or “enter” the ark and “leave” the ark. Not all versions say “come.” I believe many of the subtle changes made in many modern Bible translations can drastically change the full impact God’s word really has!)
All too often we get so caught up in the work we are doing FOR God that we can forget we are doing it WITH God. We can also find ourselves paralyzed in fear by listening to the doubters, the naysayers, and the critics who want to voice every reason we shouldn’t do what God has called us to do. Many times those voices of doubt, fear and criticism are coming not just from outside but from inside. The bottom line is that we will always face unknowns in our life and God will always call us into the unknown.
Remember Noah’s story, just because something hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it won’t happen! When God speaks, we can rest assured it will come to pass if we are obedient!
If God has called you to bring Him glory in any way, big or small, as a writer, a musician or maybe just leading the youth at your church, rest assured He will be with you the entire time! If you haven’t seen something God’s called you to do in your past, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a part of your future! We can always have faith in God to keep us safe as we enter into the unknown.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Just remember, it is not our job to understand God’s call, and we should never forget that no matter how big the task at hand, no matter how daunting the outcome of the unknown God has called us to enter, our devotion and worship to God as we obey is the most important part of the process.
“We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ ” – Oswald Chamber
What task has God has placed before you that you struggle to surrender your wholehearted pursuit to? What is the fear contained in the “unknown” that you need to let go of to be in complete obedience to God?