How is your FQ?
Not your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) but your FQ (Faith Quotient).
Having a high IQ is advantageous, but having a good FQ is essential.
There are no number levels for FQ but a good question to ask yourself is: Are you growing in your faith? Is your faith stronger this year than it was last year?
The Bible features the stories of people of faith in Hebrews 11, known as the "Hall of Fame of Faith." They are men and women of "Uncommon Faith".
Let's consider Noah in Hebrews 11:7. "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith."
What lessons can we learn from his life?
1. Noah had faith to Believe God’s Word.
In Genesis 6:11-14 we learn, "Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark...."
The idea of a flood and building an ark must have seemed the craziest thing to do. But did Noah argue with God?
Did he say, "God, that's got to be the strangest thing I ever heard of!"
Did he try to dismiss it by thinking, "That's probably not really God speaking at all! It's probably the bacon double cheeseburger pizza I had last night at 10:30pm. It will do it to me every time!"
What a lesson for us today!
Let’s hear what the Lord is saying. Let's have our ear tuned to the voice of the Spirit. Let's be quick to obey the instruction of the Lord.
Don’t try to explain it away! "It's just my imagination running away with me. Lord, you must really need someone else!"
Instead, may our answer be "Yes, Lord. Yes!"
2. Noah had faith to Build an ark.
Wait a minute! Didn't we just agree on that one?
It is one thing to Believe; it's quite another thing to put Feet to our faith. We must both Believe and Act upon our faith. Like Noah, we need to do everything just as God commands us.
Noah could have said: "I believe there will be a flood. There is no doubt in my mind that will happen. But I don't believe this boat will work. There must be another way!" He could have tried to depend upon his own wisdom, as many of us do today.
Our wisdom might seem best to us, but it is very inadequate compared to God’s wisdom. Our wisdom is based upon our perspective, which is very limited.
We don't have all the information. We can't see the Big picture. We don't know the whole story.
But God does. His ways are much higher than ours and His wisdom is much greater than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
By the way, Noah could have said: “I believe there will be a flood. There is no doubt! I even believe the ark can save me and family."
That is mental assent, but it is not enough. If Noah did not build an ark, he would have drowned with all the countless others.
He had to follow through; he couldn’t stop part way. Partial obedience is disobedience.
But Noah had both faith and obedience to build an ark to save his family.
3. Noah had faith to Obey God in spite of all the Naysayers.
Who are naysayers? They are all the people who say it can't be done. They are the mockers, the rejecters and the ridiculers.
In Noah's day, the "majority" of people rejected his message. Usually when we refer to the majority, we mean the "major" part of people. In other words, it refers to Many, Most people, a Large part, almost Everyone, etc.
But in Noah’s day it meant Everyone! Of all people on earth, only Noah found grace with God. All others rejected Him. They mocked and ridiculed His instructions.
Noah was proved right in the end, however, because he listened to God rather than to his critics.
I have a question for you: Do you have Courage to stand for Christ even when it is not Popular?
Let's say you are in a school cafeteria or a break room at work and the conversation turns to spiritual things. Do you have the courage to stand up for God and what His Word tells us? Be kind and compassionate, but also be bold.
Stand up for Jesus!
4. Noah had faith to preach for 100 years with No Results.
The time span in Scripture seems instantaneous. Noah received instructions from God, built an ark in a few months, and weeks later it rains.
But there is a Long interval between Genesis chapters 6 and 7. It's a very Long time! I learned that it could be as "short" as 50 years and as long as 100 years!
During that time, Noah was not only working to build the ark, he was also preaching a message of warning to the people. Peter calls him a "Preacher of Righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5). Noah was a declarer of Divine Truth for up to 10 decades! Wow!
Imagine the perseverance it would have taken. There is a popular word today: Grit. Noah certainly had Grit! He saw no results, no converts for up to 100 years. After preaching all that time, warning people of the judgment to come, only Noah and his wife plus their 3 sons and their wives made it safely on the ark.
Here is a key principle: We can't live on Emotions or go by our Feelings.
I heard a great definition of faith. Faith is obeying God in spite of feelings, circumstances or consequences.
Noah kept on working. He kept on preaching. He kept on keeping on! As we say at Honolulu AG, "Imua (straight ahead) for Jesus!"
Noah kept on working in spite of all the mockery and rejection - year after year, decade after decade - for one reason and one reason alone. It was not about emotions or feelings but the Fact that God told him to do it.
God gave him an instruction and he was going to obey. He wasn’t going to turn his back on what God commanded him to do.
Good News! God does not require Results, but He does require Obedience.
I'm not responsible for what happens; that's God's job. But I am responsible to obey.
Read through Hebrews 11. They are commended for their faith. Why? It wasn't what they felt or could muster up. It was all about what they Did. Faith is all about obeying God in spite of feelings, circumstances or consequences.
I challenge you to Step out in Faith! Walk by faith and not by sight. Trust God and obey what His Word tells you to do.
Judgment during Noah’s day was by a world-wide flood. Thankfully, God promised He would never judge the world again by water (Genesis 9:8-17).
Peter tells us judgment is coming again. This time it will be by fire (2 Peter 3:3-7).
In Noah's day God provided a way of escape. The way of salvation would be an ark. Noah and his family could not survive the judgment without it.
Today the way of deliverance is Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, He paid the penalty for sin. He paid for your forgiveness. He purchased your redemption and restoration. With His dying breath He declared, "It is finished!"
Accept His offer of salvation. There is no hope apart from Him. But He can set you free from sin, death, hell and the grave.
He is a glorious Savior!