It is walking in close fellowship with God (see Noah’s story from my last post!) that leads to joyful obedience, but even more than that-its what leads to an EFFORTLESS trust!
In the last post, I shared a little of what God has been showing me on my journey to intimacy and what it looks like to walk in obedience like Noah. But it doesn’t just end with Noah doing “everything exactly as God had commanded him.” That was just part 1-walking in close fellowship with God that leads to obedience. After that, there comes a point where God also steps in to meet us in our obedience and do what only he can do!
In Genesis 7 Noah has followed all of God’s instructions. He’s built the boat, stored the food, brought in the animals and his family, and then in verse 16 there’s this one short little line that is easy to overlook… “Then the Lord closed the door behind them.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve read the story of Noah and skimmed past that line. Until now.
After everything God told Noah to do (which he obeyed), now there’s this point where God closes the door behind them? What’s up with that? In all the detailed plans that God gave Noah for the construction of the ark was there not a handle included on the inside of the door where Noah could have closed it himself? What is so significant about this little detail-that God closed the door behind them?
And in that one simple line lies incredible truth. True obedience, stemming from trust and intimacy, doesn’t rush ahead. It doesn’t add to the plan or take away from it. It doesn’t try to play God. It simply obeys, and then waits for God to reveal what’s next.
In the first half of chapter 6 God lays out all these plans for Noah, and then at the end of the chapter we see that “Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.”
Then in the beginning of chapter 7 God lays out more instructions, and verse 5 tells us again- “So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.”
Finally in verse 16- God closes the door behind them. This is what it looks like to have trust in our perfect Father from a place of intimacy!
Listen, obey, wait for further instructions. Rinse and repeat. And at a certain point, God steps in and does what only He can do.
You see I believe that there are some things that God will naturally ask us to do and be obedient to, but when He then steps in and plays His supernatural role- nothing can stop His plan!
A door closed by the hand of God cannot be opened by the hand of man, and a door opened by the hand of God cannot be closed by the hand of man.
Noah is obedient to the letter, doing everything exactly as God commands, following each set of instructions as He receives them. And then the God factor shows up.
Out of intimacy, trust flows! We too can listen and obey, do what God tells us to do-no more no less-and then trust that God will close and open the necessary doors! His timing is perfect! Even when we’ve been obedient and we’re thinking “ok now what?”-we can trust Him to do what only He can do at just the right moment. We do what only we can do-obey God’s instructions-and at just the right time, God will step in and do what ONLY He can do.
What doors are you waiting to have opened in your life?
What things are you hoping God will close the door on?
Can I encourage you to trust in the Lord! Don’t try to force that door to open or close. Instead walk in close fellowship with God and listen to his gentle leading. What has he asked you to do right now? Out of intimacy, let us obediently do everything as He asks us to! And know that at just the right moment, He will step in and do what we could never do-opening and closing doors.
Most importantly, know that the doors opened by the hand of God-no man can close.
And the doors closed by the hand of God-no man can open.
He truly is a wise and good Father, and our intimacy with him leads to effortless trust.