The Bible tells us that Enoch walked with God (Gen. 5:24), and it says, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God” (Gen. 6:9, NIV). Noah and Enoch are the only two men about whom this is said. Walking with God means moving in the same direction in which He is moving. It's not moving ahead of God or lagging behind Him; it means keeping in step with God. Both Noah and Enoch had amazing intimacy with God.
Noah lived ten long generations after Adam and Eve. He was declared righteous in God's sight because he was a consistent believer even though the world around him thought he was crazy. Noah was called "blameless," which doesn't mean he was literally perfect but that he was not contaminated. Noah was not contaminated by the wickedness of his day, and the wickedness was great. The Bible tells us that "every imagination of the thoughts of [mankind's] heart was evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). It was so bad the Lord was sorry He had made man.
But Noah "found grace in the eyes of the Lord" because he was "a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:8-9). Noah was different from those around him, and he didn't try to change to fit in. He embraced his difference and moved with God. And because Noah moved with God against the odds, he accomplished a seemingly impossible feat.
Noah is an incredible example for us to follow. Philippians 2:14-15 says if we live out our faith, we will shine as the stars in the universe amid a crooked and depraved generation. Noah's life reminds us that being different, having an unusual assignment, or feeling lonely doesn't give us permission not to move with God.
One of the biggest causes of my discouragement was the fact that I lost so much in such a short period of time. After my divorce I lost my home and the ministry I had cofounded and served in for nearly fifteen years. After the death of my ex-husband I felt that my children and I lost the ability to mourn Zachery's death privately and manage our legacy without interference. Honestly, it would have been easier for me just to stop and not move forward. I had to teach my children how to move forward, which took years of walking them through the grief of our broken marriage and then the grief of their father's death while I myself was still grieving.
Genesis 6:22 tells us that "Noah did everything just as God commanded him" (NIV; see also Genesis 7:5). When you choose to do what you know is right or to obey a specific command the Lord has given you, you inevitably will move forward.
A lot of people try to blame others for the fact that they are motionless. They think that because they have been wronged, they have a valid excuse to stop moving toward their purpose. Well, in Noah's day human beings had become so corrupt the Lord "regretted that he had made [them]" (Gen. 6:6, NIV), and He decided to wipe them from the face of the earth and start over. You can't get much more evil than that. Yet God called Noah in the midst of the evil. Your job is not to focus on the injustice you have experienced (or are experiencing). Instead you are to focus on the God who is our solution. Let me tell you, it is not an easy task to walk by faith and not by sight. But obedience is the first step.
Hear more of Riva Tims' story this Thursday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from When It All Comes Together by Riva Tims. Copyright ©2017 by Riva Tims. Published by Charisma House. Used by permission.