Let it Rain
Let it Rain
Today I am going to be talking about the life of Noah, and the title of this message is called: “Let it Rain” - Though it may be a little different than what you are expecting. As I was praying about what to speak on this week, I began to sense “Nothing is happening, why is it taking so long?” I saw an image of a snail slowly crawling along a path. I kept coming across the word “Perspective.”
Now as always, this message is meant for me as much as anyone else, and I feel that the Lord wants to encourage us and give us hope. We are all waiting on something, there is a lot of that in this life, but we need to keep a proper perspective while we are waiting.
Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the earth had reached a point where all flesh had corrupted themselves and that the thoughts of men were only evil, continually. It was time for a reboot, this was a lost harvest, except for Noah.
Genesis 6:9–14 (NKJV) This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.
So God told Noah to build an ark. He gave him all of the details, how long that it should be, how high, how wide, the windows and doors, how many decks it should have, the type of wood to use, and how to waterproof it.
Hebrews 11:7 tells us that through faith, Noah felt that God had told him to build an ark, and so he began. This was a huge undertaking and the years ticked by slowly while he continued to work on this project. As Noah worked on the ark, life continued on around him.
Jesus told us in Luke 17:26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
The people all around Noah were carrying on with their lives, marrying, eating, drinking, it all sounds as if it were a time of plenty and self-absorption.
While hammering away at the ark, Noah may have felt like he was missing out. It may have seemed that this “God thing” was costing him a lot of fun in his life. Day after day, its the same old thing, and there is no sign of any rain coming…
Now I am just preaching to myself, but maybe you can relate. We keep our head down, nose to the grind stone so to speak, trying to do what we feel that the Lord has told us. Yet things seem to be moving at a snails pace. We just want the rain to come, but our ark is not ready yet, and it would destroy us if it came too soon.
Noah could have completed the first deck, and then asked God to send the rain, but He wasn’t ready for it. He could have completed the second deck and asked God to send the rain, but God would refuse. Noah had to complete the ark before the rain came.
Some of us are praying for the rain to come while our boat is only a stack of lumber, and it is not ready.
We need to keep the big picture in mind. See God is working on a much bigger plan than ours, and we have to sync with His. For thousands of years His plan has been in motion, and we are here for such a time as this. Nothing is wasted along the way. The things that you are doing now, are preparing you for what is coming.
When I was young, I really wanted to be in ministry, to serve God with all of my heart, and I knew that I had a calling on my life. The Lord told me to prepare myself, so I worked my way through Bible college at night, after working all day. It was a long, arduous task, but after three and a half years, I had earned a bachelors of theology.
Now I know that God is the Almighty and when He tells you that He will do something, you can take that to the bank, but after graduation every door into ministry was closed. I was not even allowed to speak anywhere. If a church did invite me to speak, they would call by Saturday night to cancel.
I ended up working everywhere except in ministry for the next twenty years. I built houses, was an auto mechanic, a musician, eventually I ended up working on computers, a lot of them. During this time, I was usually the technical director at whatever church that we were attending.
I learned a lot of things along the way. I loved the word of God and during seasons of my life, I would listen to it 24 hours a day. I tried to memorize chapters of it. In time, I forgot about the ministry altogether. I just figured that I had missed God somehow, or messed up enough that He had gotten someone else. I planned to retire working on computers.
Then suddenly like cattle being herded through a loading chute, our computer business dried up, the bills piled up around us, we couldn’t find a job anywhere, and the week that we were packing to move our of our home - a job came open as a pastor - and here I am.
Now you could have peeked in on me in any week of my past life and I would have been praying: “Lord Have I heard You right? Why is it taking so long? Lord let the rain come!” but the ark was not yet ready. I did not yet know what I needed to know, and the timing was not right.
See twenty years ago, we could not have built an online church. Hardly anyone had a computer anyway, much less the Internet, at least in South Carolina. We used dial up modems and there was no video streaming like today. It would have taken 80 days to download a 1 Gigabyte video file using a 1200 baud modem. That is almost three months…
No, we have not missed God. His timeline is intact, and we are here for such a time as this. Never before was an online church even possible, and He spent the time teaching me what I needed to know, years before I even knew that I would need it.
The years that I spent networking servers, building websites, and serving as a technical director were all to prepare me for what we are doing now, and what we are doing today is preparing us for what is still to come. For we are only at the beginning of a new era. There are many things in my life that I am still not ready for, and there is much more still to come. Even if you are moving along at a snails pace, you are still moving.
Now, back to Noah. He was working on that ark every day just as God had told him, while life was happening all around him. I am sure that people mocked him. Imagine an old guy building a ship in his front yard. Every one would have thought that he was crazy talking the end of the world, and a coming flood. Noah kept on hammering.
I think that we skim over scripture sometimes and the true meaning does not really sink in. So lets slow down a moment: God told Noah to build an ark that would be a football field and a half in length, 450 feet long. It would be 75 feet wide, and 75 feet tall. It had over 100,000 square feet of floor space. That is equal to a train with 570 box cars. This was a serious undertaking.
All the while Noah is cutting wood, dragging logs, hammering, and wondering if he heard God correctly. No one could really say. It doesn’t say that God appeared to Noah. As far as I can tell, He was going on what he perceived God told him. That is the essence of faith isn’t it? You believe in what God told you enough to get out your tool box.
When we felt that the Lord wanted us to start an online church, we created a spread sheet and calculated what we would need to get started. If we reused the equipment that we had around from our computer business, we could start an online church for around $2,500. At the time, we had around $300 in the ministry account, and most of that was from Sylvia and me, because at the start, we were the only supporters RHM had.
We decided that if God wanted it to happen, that He would make a way and I drug an old server out of the closet and began formatting it. Within 30 minutes, someone donated exactly $2,500. It was from one person, and by far the largest donation that we had ever had.
I cannot stress how important it is to have enough faith in God that you will get out your tool box and start to work. See the provision, is in the vision.
When we get out and start what God has given us to do, then God provides what we need to do it. Noah didn’t need football fields full of lumber until he started building an ark. We didn’t need the $2,500 until we started building the online church. Oh sure, we could have always used the money somewhere else… but that is not what God provides for. He provides for HIS vision, we have to align ourselves with what He wants.
So Noah continued to build this ship that was so big that it would not fit in a modern day football field, purely on faith. Apparently God provided everything that he needed for he was successful. We are here, and we are all descended from Noah.
Decades went by and I am sure that Noah thought at times: “I know that I heard God, but what if the rain doesn’t come? I am going to be such a fool. Is this what I am supposed to be doing?” but the next day he managed to go back to work again, and he kept hammering.
Scholars believe that it took between 75 and 120 years to build the ark. God patiently waited until Noah had done all that He had told him. Then the day finally came.
In Genesis 7:1 The LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation”, and then God shut the door and sealed it behind them. Then it began to rain for forty days and nights. Again, lets stop and think on that:
Now our home is on high sandy ground here, but during the last hurricane, it rained for about three solid days and the water was over a foot deep in our yard and rising. We had lumber floating through our yard and struggled finding a place for our car so that the interior would not flood. If it had continued to rain here for forty days, I know that our house would have been underwater. It would have been terrible for those that missed the maiden voyage of the ark.
Will that happen again? No. In Genesis 9:11 God made a covenant with Noah and said: “Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Also 2nd Peter tells us in 3:7 “the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire.”
Summary: God gave Noah a word to build an ark and it was a long project that took decades. There were seasons where nothing seemed to be happening, and he had to wonder if he had heard God at all.
- It was just flat out hard work, day after day, after day, with little reward. The reward came at the very end of the project.
- The Provision is in the Vision. When you align your goals with His, then the provision comes along with it.
- God didn’t send the rain until Noah was ready for it, or it would have destroyed both him and the project.
Now this is a word as much for me as it is for you, but I hear the Lord saying this: “Stay the course. Ignore what is going on around you. You are not missing out on anything. You have heard Me correctly. The rain will come, when you are ready for it.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org