Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Crazies

We all know the story of Noah. Some of us may have even had the picture represented on our nursery walls or bedding as infants. We tend to think of this story as a children's story. We have little rhymes to sing about it. My son even has toy figurines of Noah and all his animals. My questions is this: When did the story of Noah stop being a story of absolute tragedy and despair? As I reread the story of Noah the past couple of mornings, I realized that there are several parallels we can make to that story - and that is terrifying!

The Hearts of Man Broke the Heart of God

Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6

How far are we from being able to say that every intent of the thought of man's heart today is only evil continually? When we read or watch the news, when we look what is happening in the homes of so many families, when we see the trouble in the schools, how can we say that we are not breaking God's heart? And we are the fortunate ones living in the US, how much worse is going on in so many other parts of the world today! I will not get into more, for I feel that you, my friend, can fill in with your own experiences the corrupt actions that take place in the society around us. Let me make one thing clear: It is breaking God's heart. Are we in on this? Are we breaking God's heart by going along with what is happening in the world?

It's Always the Crazy Ones

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. -Hebrews 11:7

Can you imagine how it felt to be Noah at that time? In a desert saturated with nothing but corrupt values, one man was "walking with God" and builing a giant boat. He was one of those "crazies." He would have been labeled as "extremist." I am sure that there would have been those around him who would have said, "I believe in God, but that is taking it too far." Have you ever heard those words said about you? I certainly hope so! Do you know why? Because it is always the crazy ones that God uses for incredible things. It is always the crazy ones that witness the miracles. It is always the crazy ones that get their reward in the end. The average person is always the one who wishes he had listened. Don't believe me? Read Hebrews 11. It is referred to sometimes as the "Hall of Faith." Every individual listed is someone who did great things through faith. Every individual listed was probably considered crazy. Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Joshua, David. Think about their stories. Were they not crazy? Crazy about following God with everything they had! I love the following passage at the end of this chapter:

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted,[f] were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

God is Crazy About You

Another amazing thing about this whole story is that God gave mankind another chance. And then another. And then another. Then he loved us so much, that as he looked down and saw all of our wickedness and corruption, instead of finally giving up, he sent his son to this earth, to pay the penalty for all that we had done. Talk about crazy! How can we ever love or serve him enough to show our thanks for such an incredible act of love?!

Dear friend, you have to be crazy to believe that God would love us that much. You have to be crazy to stand against the flow of society and live your life the way God has desired you to live, despite the consequences. It may cost you your job, your family, your wealth, your reputation, and they may call you crazy. Don't blend in with the world. God is calling you to be crazy.

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