In Between Sundays

Noah—Peer pressure isn’t for kids

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Noah is a fascinating fellow in the Bible. If you read between the lines of his life, you see a man with strong character. He was a man of diligence, persistence, and a healthy mind. Noah was called by God to build a really big boat in the desert. I imagine that if God told me to build a boat in the desert because of the rain that is coming, I would have too many questions to count. Noah endured with this promise from God for 120 years. Think about this. Even if you think the 120 years is a metaphor, the point is the amount of ridicule he endured for 120 years would have been insurmountable. How ridiculous is it that an old man and his family is building a boat in the desert because God, of all people, told him to build one? From the perspective of others, he is either insane or on to something.

I think the devil might ask him in year 67, “Do you really think this is worth it?” The wonderful thing about Noah is that he never gave in and never gave up. He consecrated himself and created an absolute for himself. He was going to obey God regardless of what people said or thought and he was going to stay true to the person God called him to be. See, the peer pressure that Noah surely faced for all of those years is nothing new.

Often we speak of peer pressure for teenagers. They are trying to find their identity and can be easily influenced by the entrapments of what might be a great time. But adults find this peer pressure too; it just becomes far more expensive. It’s a keeping up with the “Jones’” type of mentality: thinking that a person has to have a status symbol that will offer power and prestige. In reality, the person puts on a front of bragging or gossip so the attention is on something else and off of their troubled mind. This is the person willing to compromise their core values just for the pat on the back from the boss or family member. It also looks like pressure from others on how you should raise your kids.

Peer pressure is nothing new. Satan finds himself using the same strategy for us today as he did in the garden in Genesis 3: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.   You choosing to follow God and not money or status is the same as Noah building a boat in the desert. Noah was thinking long term and how it would affect his family. We do the same. We make decisions in the here and now with heaven in mind. Obeying God and growing in your love for Jesus will cost you something. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Posted by Clayton Havelka with

Eating Bad Stew

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Genesis 25:29-34 tells about two brothers: Esau fighting with his younger brother, Jacob. I know your kids don’t fight, but these kids did! Jacob was a homemaker. He liked to be in house doing chores and cooking. Esau was incredibly hairy (think of a trimmed Chewbacca) and loved hunting. Needless to say, their interests and passions were exceedingly different.

In Genesis 25, Jacob caught Esau in a dreadfully vulnerable moment. Esau’s job was to hunt and he came home empty-handed. Exhausted and extremely hungry. He begged Jacob for some of his food. Jacob, seeing Esau’s desperation says, “give me your birthright.” Birthright back then was a HUGE deal. Firstborn, Esau, had the birthright, meaning he receives the inheritance when his dad dies. Jacob was jealous. Esau, being a bit of a drama queen, sells his birthright for some stew… STEW!

We have all made bad decisions when we were really hungry, right? We say things we shouldn’t. Our stomach feels like it is collapsing in on itself. Esau had a God given inheritance and it was his obligation to steward it well. Instead, he sold it for momentary satisfaction.

Aren’t we guilty of this? Instead of love, we choose lust. Instead of joy and peace, we choose worry and anxiety. Instead of honoring someone, we choose to disrespect them. We drink those bowls of soup. There are times in our lives where God puts us in situations so we learn to trust Him. To trust, despite the circumstance, we need to believe that He is for our good and loves us. During those times, are you trading the joy, faith, and trust that God has provided for you for bowl of stew filled with doubt, fear, and insecurity?

I’ve been guilty of drinking bad stew, as I know you have as well. Let us believe God, take Him at his word, and know that He is for our good. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and self-control. Let us embrace what God has given us!

Posted by Clayton Havelka with

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