“Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark….
And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh….
But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark — you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you….”
Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did,” Genesis 6:13-14,17-19,22.
The Lord’s patience is beyond comprehension. In Revelation 2:20-21, we see that the Lord even gave Jezebel “time to repent.” However, the very patience of the Lord is in itself a type of judgment. As Ecclesiastes 8:11 says, “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.” The wicked will interpret the delay of God’s discipline as evidence that He does not really care about the evil they do. Therefore, they will fall into increasing depravity. Only the truly righteous, or those who have righteousness in their hearts, will understand that His patience is indeed His grace.
His patience is there so we can repent. As we are told in 1 Corinthians 11:31, “But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged.” As the Lord said in Matthew 21:44, “And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” It is better to fall on the rock and be broken than to have it fall on us. It is better to humble ourselves and repent than to have Him judge us.
The Lord will give us time to repent and discipline ourselves so that He does not have to do it. Even so, the patience of the Lord does have its limit. There is a point when He will bring swift judgment to our sin. It is a tragic mistake to ever presume upon His grace because for a time we were able to get away with something.
The Lord beheld the corruption that was on the earth and He determined to wipe out all living flesh and begin again with a remnant that He preserved. This is a precedent that we see repeated at times in the Scripture and in history. Mankind had a great calling, to be the habitation of the Lord Himself, and Satan was able to corrupt and pervert this calling, forcing God to destroy men whom He had created. However, there has always been a remnant that Satan was unable to corrupt, who the Lord could use to continue moving men toward His ultimate purpose.
There are many individuals, families, churches, and movements that have had a high calling which the enemy has likewise been able to corrupt. The Lord Himself has had to remove many whom He called. Even so, there is usually a remnant that He can use as seed to continue His purposes in another place or time. For this reason, many of the greatest leaders who accomplish great advances for the kingdom have come out of previous movements or churches that have failed.
Many who experience the terrible disappointment of church splits or failures allow this to neutralize them so that they are never effectively used again for the kingdom. Others build an ark by which they are able to rise above the flood of judgment, preserving a remnant for the future accomplishment of their purposes.
As stated, everything that has happened to us was allowed by God for our maturity. These things will either make us bitter or make us better. Christ is the Ark into which we may enter to rise above any situations or problems that come upon the earth. If we abide in Him, there is no flood that can overcome us. In Him, there is a peace that no storm can penetrate. He is the Fortress that no enemy can ever conquer. When you are confronted by situations where you know that destruction is coming, do not just run from the situation, but run into the Ark.
If we are abiding in Christ, we are abiding in His Spirit. His Spirit is manifested by “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…,” Galatians 5:22-23. When we are fully abiding in Him, nothing can penetrate this fruit in our lives. No onslaught will cause us to stop loving, stop having the joy of the Lord, stop having patience with those who assail us, or stop showing kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The attacks of the enemy are intended to make us compromise the fruit of the Spirit, which is to get us out of our place of abiding in the Ark, so that we will also go down with the flood.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|