On Saying "Yes" and Saying "No" : A Lesson from Noah and the Ark

Has this ever happened to you? You are sitting there having your quite time, maybe you are reading your Bible, maybe it's a devotional, when all of the sudden a phrase lodges itself in your brain and won't budge. You go about your day, but that phrase or verse just stays there, stuck in your brain like an annoying commercial jingle playing over and over.

This happened to me the other day and, since I am trying to pay attention to the things that clearly stick with me, I took some time to sit down and do a art entry in my journaling Bible. A lot of times I will sit down and write out my thoughts on a verse that sticks with me, but this time I couldn't quite pin point what it was that drew me to the passage so I decided to just sit with a bit. I let my mind work the words over and over while I painted and created. I spent about 20 minutes with it and in the end felt like I had wrestled through some of the Lord was saying to me through these words.

The exact verse from the ESV Bible reads “And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.”

Clearly I took a little bit of license as I journaled, but I think I stayed pretty close to the translation.

Here is the interesting thing about the story of Noah and the Ark, his part of the story can be summed up in that one verse. Noah's story is covered in a a little less than four chapters and, with the exception of one incident, all of it falls under that one verse. Everything he did was in response to God's directions.

“And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.”

Not the easy parts.
Not the parts that he understood.
Not the parts that made sense.
Not the parts that lifted himself up.
Not the parts that lined up with his own plans.


And that's all.
He didn't do anything else.
He did his part, and that is it.

It had never rained before.
But Noah didn't question.

He didn't have a clear time line.
But Noah didn't rush.

The outcome was unknown.
But Noah didn't hesitate.

The task seemed impossible.
But Noah didn't hesitate.

God gave Noah a job.
And he did it.
And he didn't worry about anything else.

It is now just over one month into the new year. Maybe you are like me and you sat down in early January (or maybe even let December) and set out some dreams, goals, and plans for yourself or your family in 2016. Maybe you are nothing like me and tend to fly by the seat of your pants evaluating opportunities as the arise.

May I encourage you with this?
Are the things on your to-do list the things God is asking you to do?
Is there anything that needs to be added?
Are you holding back from saying “yes” to God because the outcome seems unclear?
Are there things that need to be taken off your list?
Have you said “yes” to things that aren't yours to do?
Be cautious.
Saying “yes” to tasks that aren't ours makes it harder to say “yes” to the things that are ours to do.
That is some a task for some one else.
When you say “yes” you are taking away their opportunity to say “yes.”

May we say “yes” to all the Lord has commanded us (and “no” to the things He has not.)