With strong warnings and great opposition from many Christian reviews, I managed to survive viewing the movie “Noah” this past weekend without losing my faith completely. If I have lost my faith completely, it certainly has nothing to do with this movie – or any other movie for that matter. My lack of faith exhibited in wrong actions is never due to outside forces or evil influence, says my one and only trusted friend – the Bible. No. My sin comes from the inside out. It comes from within.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” ~James 1:14
Now. I have a love for right doctrine. I have a keen and powerful kind of conscience. I hate falsehood and, most days, I love the truth. But, if we’re being honest, my days have been quite dark lately. My conscience has been quiet. My Bible has been closed. There’s really not much worse than being profusely angry at your Creator.
I started boxing because I am mad. No surprise there, huh? I imagine that’s what most fighters do. I mean, no one wakes up one day and says, “Wouldn’t it be relaxing and enjoyable to hit people?” Right.
Because I generally always spar with guys much taller and far stronger than I am, I have trouble landing any punches at all. I’m simply too far away. The best way to hit them is to get inside their range. I don’t get close enough because I’m afraid. Closer means I’m in an even more compromised and vulnerable position if I falter. And I don’t have enough skill to not falter.
So the movie. The outcast – the leader of the rebellious enemies of God on earth – speaks to God at one point. He calls out asking, “Why don’t you answer me? Why are you silent?” I thought of how many times I’ve called out those same words, desperate to hear him; desperate to know his mind; desperate to understand him and his doings. But he would not speak.
That rebellious leader was fighting outside. Perhaps I’ve been fighting outside, too. Maybe we cannot reach God from this position. Maybe one has to get a little closer.
Noah. Noah knew how to fight inside. He knew he heard God. He didn’t renege no matter how ridiculous and incomprehensible his instructions were. Noah wasn’t afraid to be afraid. Noah trusted God more than he feared fear. Rebels like me are cowards. We’d rather throw a hundred punches at the air than get inside on that giant and land one – or, in Noah’s case, get inside that boat and wait until God does the honors.
Some think Noah was a righteous man. Some know him as a drunk. I believe he was both. I imagine one would have to drink a bit knowing the whole world was going to be annihilated and then having to watch them all die. But Noah loved God. He loved truth. His only righteousness came from the same place our only righteousness comes from – Jesus Christ. God chose him because God loved him – not because he obeyed better than other people. If he did obey better than other people it was because God gave him that spirit.
God chooses us. So often though, we chose gods. Gods that don’t save. Idols. People, material things, pleasure, status – just to name a few. We chose gods in place of the one true God. We fight outside, mad as hell when they fail to save us from the devastating blows of the Enemy. But God chooses us despite all that. He chooses us because he loves us. He wants us to get inside. He is the ark. He is the shelter. He is the protection, the provision, and the place where we will land our greatest punch at the prince of this world. Well, he will. I mean, he did. So we don’t have to.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had quite enough rain. Let’s go inside.