He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. Genesis 8:10-11
Our new devotional guide has a picture of Noah in the Ark on the front cover, letting the dove go to see if there was dry ground. How they got such a photo of Noah I’ll never know, but that moment was a big one for him and for us as well.
He had already obeyed God by building the ark on dry ground, taking all the animals in and riding out the great flood. This was another moment of faith, of hope, of taking action, praying that God would act.
We all need those moments of letting the dove go, of risking it may fly away and trusting God to do good things.
This is one of the wonderful things about being a Christian. Many people who don’t know God have to depend on their own strength, and when they reach their limit, that is the end for them.
For Christians this is the beginning. This is the moment where faith takes flight. Like the dove in Noah’s hand, faith goes out to see what is there and gives us God’s message.
Let’s take the dove as a plan for action and see where we can go.
Do not try to handle this yourself. It could explode in your face.
Dare to risk for God, no matter what people may say.
Doves are symbols of peace and so should we be.
Drink of the water of Christ, and no flood can hurt you.
Lean out the window to let the dove go and see what happens.
Don’t wait your whole life to place your future in the capable, miraculous hands of God.
Often, we don’t build arks, we make fun of the one who does.
Over the horizon is the place God leads us to look.
Outside the ark is the place we eventually need to go to live abundant lives.
Oddballs like Noah sometimes turn out to be the ones who speak with God.
Offer moments of risk and set that dove free to see what is out there for you and God.
Open the window of faith and don’t stay in the ark your whole life.
Jesus, who saves us from our sins, and the ark, who saved the world, quite a pair.
Very soon God is ready to speak to you. Are you ready for that moment?
Verify that God is waiting to tell you things by tossing out a dove, putting out a fleece. This is taking a step forward to see what God is ready to say.
Visit places where God is known to act. A church, a missionary camp, the place where a Bible is sitting, the home of someone you know is close to God.
Vary the way you pray. Pray in different places, home, work or eyes open prayer as you travel. Use different postures. Hands raised, kneeling, lying down, etc.
Value the faith your parents and grandparents entrusted to you. Don’t waste your life never knowing it.
Enter into a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t be satisfied with just knowing about Him. Know Him, walk with Him, and find a God who speaks, loves and acts.
Echo the actions that God takes. Be a reflection and amplification of what God is doing in your life and the world. When you speak, expect another dimension to continue like the echo in a cave or an empty room.
Educate yourself and others about God. Take yourself and others to Sunday school, to church, to Bible study on a regular basis. If you think you have learned enough, you haven’t learned anything about faith.
Elevate the way you live. Rather than living for yourself, live for others and for God. Think higher, broader and include the welfare of others in your thoughts and actions.
Engage with others who are seeking to worship and know God better. No man is an island, even though we often pretend we are. There is no substitute for engagement with God and others. We could watch from a distance, but what fun is that?
Enjoy your life as a Christian. While there are certain things we should not do, there are many we can. Joy is one of the greatest gifts that God gives us. It is not happiness, that is a limited thing that depends on the world. Joy is a gift of God.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of home fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
Find those dove - release moments, dear reader, as you are saved by the arks of God. Look for those olive leaf moments that will never happen until we send out the dove. This is who we are. This is what we do.