Prophetic Momentum

Jon Cressey writing mostly about church, prophets and prophecy...

7 very long days


In the powerful and inspiring tale of Noah and the Ark, especially in those tension-laden seven days before the heavens opened, we find a challenging reflection of our own lives.

Noah’s days were not merely a countdown; they were a profound journey of faith, a testament to unshakable belief amidst doubt and ridicule. Chopping down trees left right and centre, Noah had built the Ark under the scornful watch of his peers. It’s been a number of years for the massive, first-of-its-kind project and now finally nestled within its timber embrace alongside a vast audience of animals Noah and his family settle down to see what happens.

 “For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights,
and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” Genesis 7:4

There’s a heavy “clunk” and the door, divinely sealed, shut them away from the world outside.

There’s a heavy “clunk” and the door, divinely sealed, shut them away from the world outside. In this hush, they waited, and waited. Noah and everyone with him are in unprecedented times, governed by Noah’s careful, deliberate act of obedience.  Outside, life unsuspectingly carried on, everyone oblivious to the looming cataclysm. This awkward interlude, these seven days, starkly contrast the years of toil and mockery Noah faced. It was a moment of stillness, a silent prelude to the storm, heavy with expectation and perhaps a whisper of uncertainty. It certainly wasn’t something taken lightly and the family had taken some convincing and persuasion-still, they were had finally joined him, and now they sat with him, wondering… and there was much to wonder about.

We walk by faith not by sight but obedience and faith is the best and most rewarding way.

These days encapsulate those moments in our lives when we step out in faith, adhering to what we believe is God’s guidance, only to find ourselves in a period of anticipation. This is where our faith is truly refined. Just like Noah might have pondered in those quiet hours, we too grapple with doubts: Have I discerned God’s voice correctly? Will His promises unfold as told? We walk by faith not by sight but obedience and faith is the best and most rewarding way.

Our modern lives are often caught in this rhythm of action and pause. We make decisions, influenced by our faith or our understanding of God’s will, and then, we wait. We await affirmation, for signs, for the symbolic ‘rain’ to start, validating our actions. These times can be riddled with anxiety and doubt, yet they are also ripe for spiritual maturation and deepening reliance on God. We’re not the first to face these challenges, but it may feel that way, which is why the testimonies, stories and biographies of those who have gone before us are infinitely of value.

Genuine faith sometimes demands that we endure periods of uncertainty

Noah’s experience during these seven days teaches us that obedience to God isn’t always instantly rewarded or confirmed through external signs. Genuine faith sometimes demands that we endure periods of uncertainty, clinging to God’s promises even when they seem remote or improbable.

It’s a much needed reminder that our journey with God isn’t always marked by quick gratification or clear, palpable signs of His presence and approval. In our fast-paced, results-driven society, the lesson of these seven days resonates deeply. We learn that patience and unyielding faith are virtues. Noah’s narrative encourages us to trust in God’s timing, to stay faithful even when His work in our lives isn’t immediately evident. God will come through for us, but not always the way we anticipate or desire.  It’s a call to deeply trust in the character and faithfulness of God, believing that He is at work even in the silence, even in the waiting; that long, long waiting.

Like Noah, we are called to believe in God’s promises

The story of Noah, particularly those days of waiting, holds up a silver mirror to our lives. It challenges us to scrutinize our faith: Can we trust God even when we can’t see immediate results of our obedience? Can we maintain hope and faith in the calm, in the waiting periods of our lives? As we ponder this, we realize these moments of waiting are not just intermissions; they are critical to our spiritual growth. These are the times when our faith is purified, our trust in God deepened, and our commitment to His path cemented. Like Noah, we are called to believe in God’s promises, trusting that in His perfect timing, the rains will come, affirming His steadfastness and fulfilling His word.

Reflecting on Biblical characters and historical figures like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we see a recurring theme of challenging obedience and deliberate faith, with a steadfast focus on God despite daunting circumstances. These individuals exemplify perseverance and unwavering trust in God, often in the face of overwhelming odds. Consider Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 50:20). Despite being sold into slavery, falsely accused, and imprisoned, Joseph’s unshakeable faith in God’s sovereignty is evident. His ability to forgive his brothers and recognize God’s hand in his suffering showcases a faith that acknowledges God’s grander design.

Then there’s Daniel, whose life in Babylonian captivity (Daniel 6) is a testament to faithfulness. His defiance of the king’s decree, risking death in the lion’s den, underscores his unwavering commitment to God, teaching us about the power of faithfulness and prayer in the face of opposition. Other Biblical characters like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3), who faced the fiery furnace rather than bow to an idol, illustrate faith that doesn’t falter, even when deliverance is uncertain. Their declaration in Daniel 3:17-18 is a powerful testament to their belief in God, even in the most dire circumstances.

More closer to us in history, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian during the Nazi regime, stood against evil rooted in deep Christian faith. His involvement in the resistance against Hitler, as reflected in his writings like “The Cost of Discipleship,” exemplifies “costly grace” – true faith often requires significant personal sacrifice and unwavering obedience to God’s will.

In each of these stories, perseverance is key. Whether it’s Joseph enduring years of suffering, Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace, or Bonhoeffer opposing Nazism, each narrative reflects a profound commitment to God that transcends personal safety and comfort. These figures teach us that true faith often involves walking a difficult path, marked by trials and opposition, yet it is through these experiences that faith is refined and God’s power and faithfulness are vividly displayed.

And then there’s YOUR story. What is it?

Their lives inspire us to persevere in our faith, keeping our focus on God, especially during trials.

They remind us that obedience to God’s will may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is always worth it.

As James 1:12 affirms, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” It’s a reminder of  the eternal reward and recognition awaiting those who persevere in faith and remain obedient to God, even in the face of great difficulties.

Seven days is a long time when you are sat waiting. But the adventure is worth it.

7 very long days
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