Pastor Brian K. Brown, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church
Scripture Reference: Genesis 8:13 -19
Continuing to unpack the theme of how to successfully face forward and face it with faith, we journey through the chronicling of Noah’s narrative, verse 13. This scripture allows us to examine the exodus from the ark and embrace certain revelations. At this point, the waters have dried up, and now dry land is again, reality, but it is still not quite time to walk out of the boat.
Anchoring to the idea that change can happen, we must be willing to do the work, just as Noah did while on the ark. Importantly enough, in order to pursue God’s pure, positive, and productive change while we work towards Facing What’s Forward, we must be patient! As we matriculate through this series, we can pose the following question: What is needed to keep change from remaining the same?
Point 1: Wait for change! (Genesis 8:13) Waiting for change is not easy; however, you and I cannot rush God; He knows what is best for our forward-moving lives! The inhabitants, Noah, and family, along with the animals, had been aboard the ark for 377 days, they were awaiting change. Similarly, we must wait too, and in waiting, contemplate the idea that to perceive change, we must know what change “looks” like. We can agree, change is a break in “same.” Further, change is the “something” that is different when it breaks the pattern of normalcy. Subsequently, when things that used to bother you, don’t bother you anymore…that is CHANGE!
Point 2: Work on Change! (Gen. 8:14) Noah was working on change while he was STILL aboard the ark. To add, this is not necessarily where WE want the change to occur, but rather where God is desiring change for us. To add relevance and insight, some people will only follow God when the destination is uncertain, we do not know where we are going, but once we “think” we have it covered, we leave God to do the rest on our own. This is a great place to insert a question: How do you prepare for change? Interestingly enough, consider the idea that working on change IS preparing for change because if this step is skipped, and preparation has not been handled correctly, it will be difficult to produce what is needed at the time it is needed in your change. Moving forward, there are four key elements on How to Prepare for Change:
- We should prepare mentally – Noah started his preparation by understanding that living on a boat is quite different from living on dry land. A plan, a mental reconfiguration of your thoughts and approaches is required at this point.
- We should prepare emotionally – refrain from bringing old emotional baggage into a new situation. Note: Actions are connected to emotions.
- We should prepare physically – Consider how others who are with us are going to live? Reflecting on Noah’s example, he sat in the ark for two months thinking about his next steps, including living arrangements for his family and the animals.
- We should prepare logistically – there is an orderly fashion on how forward movement should go. Thinking logistically gives way to reflecting and strategizing to identify what will everyone on “your” team need for survival. Literally, considering and analyzing what should logically come next in an orderly thought process. Again, being sensitive to others and what will be needed to move forward.
Point 3: Walk to Change! (Gen. 15 – 19) This is directional; everyone wants out, but you cannot get out until we do the work within. So the question may be asked, What must I do to produce change? First, it is important to internalize the thought, God is the only one who can show you the change He is ordering for your life. Again, the mission is not just to change because of an emotion, but rather to get closer to God, to impact your relationship with God, and then bring others into a relationship with God.
Noteworthy, fulfilling the purpose of change requires two components, change in content (physical; behavior; outward change) and in character (spiritual; belief; inward). If the goal is, and it should be, working towards change is knowing its purpose. To be clear, the only purpose for change is to get closer to God so that our relationship with God can then be used to impact others in providing hope and help. In doing so, it is imperative that we are exercising discipline and avoiding bringing the sameness of what was formerly can now be a purposeful change.
To close the conversation, we revisit how to maximize change, good, positive change that is productive and pleasant. We are highly encouraged to consider the facets of waiting for change, working on change, and walking to change. Understanding that facing forward from water, representation of the same ole same, to dry ground, representation of change, we can easily find ourselves in the middle of things.
Nevertheless, we can be triumphant in facing forward if we remain committed to trusting God and not becoming frustrated, impatient, or overly confident in ourselves. Trust and having faith that God will indeed do it! Lastly, avoid the middle ground, it is muddy and messy, your blessing is waiting for you on dry land!
You’re invited to experience the full sermon is on YouTube and join us Sunday mornings in the sanctuary or via live stream on YouTube @ St Mark MBC at 10:20 for Sunday School, worship service at 10:45 a.m., and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.