Roots grow deeper, but all is grey. Ground, skies, and leaves brittle and blowing in the winter wind. Roots grow deeper, but nothing is green. Only in our dreams and imagination are plants flourishing and lush. Roots grow deeper, but how can we know? There is no sign up here of life down there. Roots grow deeper, so faith presses on. From the winter of faith-sowing comes the summer of sight-reaping.
Week 5 Day 1
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
When hurricanes form out in the ocean, officials warn coastal residents of what they believe is to come. Many pack their cars and flee inland to safety; some ignore the warnings and stay. Why do the ones who stay, do so? They do not trust the officials because they are often wrong. The location of where the storm will hit is hard to predict. The severity of what the storm will be is hard to estimate. Some people, after being warned several times and finding the warning to be false or only partially true, become jaded to the predictions. They stop believing. They have lost faith in the weatherman. Noah was given a storm warning. A flood unlike anyone had ever seen was coming. He believed the warning and made preparations. Imagine if the weatherman giving the weather report was actually in charge of the weather. It would not be a prediction of what might happen; it would be a description of what will happen. Why did Noah believe and others did not? Faith. He believed God while others did not. His fear was “holy” because it was not primarily fear of the water; it was awe of God. His fear would not be called “holy” if it were a fear of drowning. He knew that when God said he was going to bring judgment, it was a decided fact. So in “holy fear” he set out to make preparations to escape the coming judgment. God still speaks of a coming judgment. Some believe, others do not. The preparations are not to build a boat but to believe the gospel. Jesus rescues from the coming flood. This rescue is ultimately a future reality. It is fully experienced when we die. But it is also present in its application. As we believe God now by living in line with his loving “warning,” we experience the “undoing” of Adam’s judgment in our lives. Our lives are changed for the better when we live believing God when he warns us that to live apart from him is to experience emptiness. To live to know and love him and to make his love known is to experience increasing fullness. Close the gap today. Learn to live in “holy fear.” Our only fear need be a heart that does not love and obey God.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.