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grenepages_Olufemi Babalola FRESH BREAD

When God Confines You

grenepages_Olufemi Babalola FRESH BREAD_When God Confines You

Reading the story of Noah and the flood, I remember those days as kids when we offend our parents. One of the ways we were punished is to be shut in one room until we ‘repent.’ You are confined into a room until you become broken. You are compelled by the restriction to be obedient and your stubbornness is tamed at least for the meantime.

After Noah had completed the construction of the ark and the time had come for the rain to come, the Scriptures say, “And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in” (Genesis 7:15-16 NKJV).

“And the Lord shut him in” sounds like a punishment. It sounds like God was holding the keys and it was impossible for Noah to open the door when he wills. God is the one who determines how soon he was going to come out of ‘the prison.’ His movement, freedom and choices have become limited to the jurisdiction of the ark. He was no longer exposed to varieties of options he used to have outside the ark. He will have to make do with what was within the ark. He would have to live within the confines of the ark.

I wouldn’t know what Noah’s reaction to this confinement was but perhaps there were moments he felt bored. Perhaps there were moments he desired the things he used to have in the outside world. Maybe he longed to see people who used to be his friends outside the ark but now he is restricted by the ark. He couldn’t eat what he used to eat or go to the places he used to go nor have the friends he used have. The Lord had shut him in.

To Noah and all those who were with him in the ark, the shutting in may seem like a confinement but it was God’s wisdom in preventing them from the flood that would destroy the world. That was God’s way of saving them from the imminent destruction coming on the earth.

Friend, coming into the faith is like coming into a confinement of a kind. If you are truly saved, you will agree with me that you can no longer live the life you used to live. If there wasn’t a change in your life after you claimed to have met Christ, you probably were not saved. You cannot meet Jesus and continue with the same kind of lifestyle. He interrupts and begins to reorganize your life. Giving your life over to Christ will affect the kinds of friends you keep, the places you go, the movies you see, the music you listen to, the way you dress, the words you speak, and all your appetites and desires. In short, the Lord will shut you in and hold the keys. You will be confined!

Moreover, doing God’s will could also be a kind of confinement. You have so many options you consider better or more sensible but God keeps showing you His own way and will. Isn’t it a confinement when you are at liberty to do what you wish but chose to do His will? If you have chosen His will, you will always come into moments when there will be that longing in your heart for those things you think were better. There will be conflict and that temptation to go out but you will remember that the Lord had shut you in.

As we look at how God shut Noah into the ark, we realize God was preserving and preventing him from the flood of judgment coming on the world. The limitation of the ark was God’s fence of protection over Noah and all that was in the ark with him. You may not understand right now, why God often restricts you from doing certain things others do so freely, but in the end, you will fully understand and appreciate God’s limitless mercy in your confinement.

You need to stop seeing God as a tyrant, sadist or someone so hard who doesn’t desire for you to be happy by restricting you or doing things that seems not to go well with you. Do not allow the enemy makes you feel God is unjust or mean. Remember, “God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God” (Hebrews 12:7-11 MSG).

Man fell that moment the enemy succeeded in giving him a lopsided view of God. Satan made Eve feel that God was unnecessarily limiting their freedom by restricting them from eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. After Satan had spoken to her, I can almost hear Eve saying, “Why would God keep that from us? So, God was trying to hide something from us.” She did not want to be shut in or confined any longer. She reached out for the forbidden fruit only to be submerged in the flood of sin. The human race will forever grapple with the consequences of her disobedience. Adam and Eve would later realize God was wiser by keeping them in that confinement. It did not make sense to them until they broke the edge and were bitten by the serpent.

Dinah also thought she was also unnecessarily confined. The Scripture tells us, “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land” (Genesis 34:1 NKJV).

The phrase, “went out” is very instructive. It is loaded with meaning. It is a confirmation of the fact that Dinah became fed up with God’s confinement. So, she went out. She left the covers of God’s grace and protection. She took laws into her hands.

“And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her.” Genesis 34:2 NKJV

Dinah came home deflowered, damaged, and violated. The flood of evil in the world overran her. She was no longer fit to be given out in holy matrimony. The only daughter of Jacob went into oblivion after that incidence. She was never named again in history. She became desolate in her father’s house.

These are also difficult times; people are finding it increasingly difficult to live by God’s principles. No one wants to be shut in again in God’s ark. God’s yoke, which used to be light and easy, is now a burden. Singles now find it too much of a confinement to stay as virgins until marriage. They now question the sense in such an obsolete creed. Fornication and all forms of sexual immorality have become so common. Very few go to the altar these days as virgins.

Even the married are finding marriage as too much of a restriction. People no longer see the wisdom in staying faithful to a partner all their lives when there are many varieties in the outside world. Perhaps this is the reason for the rise in divorce, separation, adultery and single parenthood.

Will you be a Noah in this generation and allow God to shut you in his ark? Will you stay within God’s jurisdiction of grace? Will you be among the few who upholds God’s standard in a perverse generation? Do not learn by your own experience; learn from the examples of those who have failed. Do not let the enemy push you out of God’s covers of grace into sin; you won’t remain the same. That feeling that God’s way is hard, difficult or unfair is from the devil; resist it.

In case you not in the ark yet, I invite you to come in. Jesus Christ is the contemporary Ark saving people from the coming destruction on the world.

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NKJV

You have no chance if you are outside this Ark. You cannot escape the imminent flood of judgment that will destroy the world. Come in today! Come in and be saved.

When God confines you just like Noah, remember God is protecting you from the flood of evil ravaging the world. Let the story of Noah inspire you to stay until God is done with you. May you receive grace to be and stay in the ark when the flood comes. Amen.

 


 

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Olufemi Babalola is an enthusiastic writer and inspirational speaker; who is keen about creating inspirational pieces of writing. He is committed to spreading the knowledge of the Truth as the critical solution to personal, family, corporate and societal ruin. He believes that the lack in our lives is not the lack of resources but the lack of information required to obtain the resources. People are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. His writings focus on developing sound spiritual lives, purposeful living and maintaining wholesome relationships.

As a freelance writer, ‘Femi is a columnist in a number of electronic and print media. He is the author of Fresh Bread Blogs. He also coordinates Fresh Bread Haven works and he is the editor of Fresh Bread, a top-notch inspirational magazine focused on helping people experience the life in the Word. He has written so many articles, manuscripts, studies, tracts and his writings continue to inspire several lives.

You can reach him via olufemibabalola37@gmail.com or connect with him on Facebook (fb.com/femybabalola), Instagram and Twitter (@femmybabalola)

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