Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Obedience

Within the Ark
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”–Hebrews 11:7 (KJV) 

If winter did not have so few hours of sunlight, I would not dislike it as much as I do. I can handle the cold. I can handle the frost. I can even handle the snow. But I internally cringe every time I have to set my clock back and the sun sets in the late afternoon. 

As I was reading through Genesis earlier this year, the story of Noah stood out to me as I realized there was only one window in the entire ark (Genesis 6:16). There was only one way for sunlight to enter.

What was Noah feeling the moment that God shut the door to the ark (Genesis 7:16)? It was dark. It probably did not smell too pleasant because of the animals. Were the people outside taunting him, even after God shut the door? Could he hear them jeering about how crazy he was for building an ark?

Noah was in a difficult situation. I am certain he did not feel like spending weeks in an ark that had only one window and was filled with all kinds of insects, reptiles, and mammals. So, why did he do it? God told him it was the only way to live and Noah believed Him! But furthermore, Noah did not just believe what God told him, Noah acted upon what God told him. That is how the New Testament writer of Hebrews knew that Noah had faith—obedience is the action of faith.

We often view the truths and lessons in God’s Word (The Holy Bible) as suggestions. Sometimes we even consider the Ten Commandments to be “outdated” and that most of the commandments were meant for past generations instead of for every generation. But every command that God gives in the Bible is given so that we might obey them. How can we say that we have faith and that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives, but we do not believe that every command in the Bible should be followed and we do not live in obedience to His Word?

According to James 2:26 (KJV), “faith without works is dead”, which means that our faith must be evident in our lives. What better way could we live out our faith than by obeying God’s commands even though they lead us to dark and unpleasant places? God leads us to these places to strengthen our faith and to strengthen our relationship with Him. But the best part is that He never leads us to dark places and just leaves us there. God will stay with us—even if it is too dark to see Him—and He will bring us through the dark places.

How could you live out your faith today? What act of obedience is God calling you to?

God is looking to form a deeper relationship with you by bringing you through your dark moments. He is waiting for you to obey, to be willing to step into the ark and allow Him to shut the door. Remember, the ark was a vessel of salvation, not a prison.

Obedience, though it may not feel pleasant, just may be the vessel that will protect you from a storm that is coming in your life.

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word and the examples of the great men and women of faith in the Bible. Please grant us the courage to believe Your Word and be willing to do whatever you ask of us. You are the Lord of our lives, and we surrender our will to You. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” by CityAlight. Listen to it here.

Author Bio: 

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois. She was born to Christian parents and has known Jesus Christ personally since the age of five.

Currently, Tessa is attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school system, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

Tessa enjoys being active in her local church. She serves as a co-teacher for the two-to-five year old class where there is never a dull moment.

It is Tessa’s passion to be a girl after God’s own heart and through her studying of God’s Word, Tessa longs to draw closer to her Savior. Through her writing, she longs to take others with her on this journey of faith.

Tessa loves all things Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size.

When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, she can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

Connect with Tessa:

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