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April 19, 2018

There were many days lived in the little blue house that felt like a prison. It is hard to explain. The crushing poverty kept us from being able to move about freely and we felt stuck. With no money for insurance or gas we could not drive. Dropped in the middle of nowhere with no friends and little contact with the outside world, it was no surprise that we saw our existence as a prison. That was how it felt. The only problem was that it really wasn’t a prison. God was simply teaching us something of His ways.

We don’t understand God. We don’t think like Him; and we most certainly don’t act like Him. However, He does call us to follow Him. Wherever and whenever He leads. He expects us to obey Him when He gives instructions. Noah was such a man. He took his obedience to God seriously. He listened to God when God called him to build an ark. We know from hindsight that God brought a vast flood on the earth. His purpose was to cleanse it and start fresh with Noah and his family. So before the flood occurred, Noah obeyed God to build the ark; even without full understanding. The ark was meant for the salvation of his family. God spoke and Noah acted. Noah and his family set to work and started building (Genesis 6:22).

Construction of the ark took some time. It was no small task. Years passed by of hard physical labor for Noah and his family. A lot of sweat was spent building that large ship. I can surmise that they did not have an easy time of it. There would have been derision and mocking from others. These attacks inevitably come when you follow the lead of God and those around you do not understand. So along with physical hardship, came emotional hardship as well. It goes with the territory. Hardship notwithstanding, Noah and his family persevered; until the ark was complete.

Perseverance is necessary when you love God. Following Him is a life long journey. Easy “believism” and “name it and claim it” theologies will eventually cross the Christian’s path; along with the favorite child of the health and wealth preachers – prosperity only and not poverty. These are attractive doctrines; but very dangerous. Dangerous because they appeal to our ‘self’ nature. They set up within us false expectations of who God is and what He really wants from us. We are told to deny and repudiate that which we are called to endure; for the sake of rock-solid faith. These lies dismiss the path of spiritual maturity outright for the sake of ‘self’ fueled expedience; which is the more well-traveled path. Many Christians are entangled in this thinking and then spread that lie to others; like an infection. Noah is a hero of the faith and a good example for us to imitate. He was called by God to follow in complete obedience; no matter what the cost. And, like Noah’s perseverance, we should follow God with the same devotion. Even if what He is calling us to do makes absolutely no sense in the natural world.

The days on this planet are getting darker; and evil is encroaching and spreading across this earth in more and greater degrees of maturity. As people voraciously feed their ‘self’ nature, their love is growing increasingly colder. We are truly living in days much like Noah did. God is calling His people to follow Him into the ark of His holy presence. He is calling us to endure the hardship now; to build that ark of His presence in our own souls. We are to work with Him to clean out and prepare our spirit core for the indwelling of the Father; this is Tabernacles. Once that work is complete, like Noah and his family, we will be protected and safe. The ark of God’s presence is a place of security (Psalms 91). Once we are safely ensconced therein, like Noah and his family, God will close the door behind us.

Now it is of no small consequence that God closed the door. Noah did not. When we follow Jesus, He undertakes to care for us and keep us safe. His enduring promise to us is the same as He gave to His first disciples. “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.” John 14:18. He will not allow you to be destroyed; if you truly follow Him. We witnessed that “caring“ many times in our wilderness journey; and can testify of His great faithfulness in this regard. It is important to note though that we can remove ourselves from His care; if we pursue ‘self’ and become disobedient. This is always our free will; to choose obedience or disobedience. Noah and his family stayed faithful to the end. After they entered the ark, God closed the door behind them to keep them safe from the storm.

Keep in mind that every closed door has two sides. For Noah and his family, it was a matter of life or death as to what side of the door they were on. Noah and his family chose life; and therefore were saved. In our present time, we too face such a stark choice; and must choose wisely. If we wish to be on the right side of the closed door, we must be determined to follow Him. Complete obedience to His perfect will is the only way to stay safe in the forthcoming days. No one can make that choice for you. Being on the right side of the closed door is a very important decision.

After God closes the door, the inevitable waiting begins. For Noah and his family there were many days of rain; followed by many months of endless drifting on the water. There was a year of waiting ahead of them, after God closed the door behind them. On a boat for days, with nothing but surrounding water, would begin to feel like prison; with no escape. After spending many years in the little blue house, we could understand and sympathize with those feelings of confinement that Noah and his family would have had; especially when Noah sent out birds to look for dry land. The loneliness, deprivation and limited space is hard on a family. That place of shelter can too often feel more like a prison than a safe haven. Particularly when the world ‘seems’ to be so peaceful on the other side of the closed door. This is the mind trick satan will play on those that are safe behind God’s closed door.

The dilemma with God’s closed door is that we often do not understand what He is doing with us; and inadvertently we fight against His will. We want out. We feel trapped and in prison. We feel abandoned and let down. Instead of thanking Him for keeping us safe from the storm, we rail at Him that life is passing us by. These are all very real feelings. And we experienced them in the little blue house just as we have experienced them here in this small motel room. This is the reality of waiting behind closed doors with God. It isn’t easy.

What Wanda and I have been learning lately, behind the safety of these closed doors, is the reality of the orphan spirit. Something we had never seen before; but Jesus is opening our eyes to it. We are seeing just how much we need the Father, as all of us do, to help heal the wounding we experienced as children. The faults and flaws of our earthly fathers and their deep imprint on our spirit, caused us, like many others, to have misperceptions of our Heavenly Father. He has closed us in to correct these harms. To help us see that His great love for us is truly what is keeping us safe behind these closed doors.

In hindsight, our time in the little blue house, which seemed like a prison to us, was the demonstration of the Father’s great love. Keeping us safe just like He did for Noah and his family. After a long season of preparing us behind that closed door, God unleashed our little troop into the storms of homelessness; but we were able to withstand the winds and waves that came against us. Not because we were strong; but because we had learned we were weak and needed to lean completely on the Father to provide for us. Our little blue house and now this small motel room, are not prisons. They were, and are, safe havens provided for us by a loving Father. They are preparing times, quiet times, and times of reflection and growth. Whatever happens next will only occur when we are ready and God opens the door.

Today you may find yourself frustrated and more than a little weary at the closed door God has put before you. I challenge you to see beyond the door to a Father that cares for you deeply. A Father that would hem you in to keep you safe from the storms that may rage around you; until it is your time to face them. We stand with you as does Noah to let you know you are not alone, nor have you been abandoned. For in this season, God has put you behind these closed doors to wait upon Him. See His great love towards you in this place; and praise Him for His great love and provision. You won’t be disappointed.


Homer and Wanda