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Summary: God’s commands aren’t necessarily meant to match your understanding; they are meant to meet your challenges.

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LARGEST RUBBERBAND BALL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHNvScJ5bzI

That, my friends, is absurd and outrageous. 5 years! Are you kidding me!

We’ve launched a series where we’re going to look at the absurd and outrageous commands God made – commands that at the beginning seems ludicrous, but at the end, they led to saved lives and restored relationships.

Here’s the key…so many of us have grown up thinking God’s commands were mean – almost like a parent enforcing curfew or making you take a nap. That’s not what He intended.

What do we mean when we say absurd and outrageous?

• Absurd – ridiculously unreasonable.

• Outrageous – exceeding the limits of what is usual, not conventional or matter-of-fact

So…when we are talking about the absurd, outrageous commands of God, we are talking about commands that seem unreasonable or commands that exceed the limits of what is usual.

This is where faith begins to strut her stuff. We know by faith that what appears on the surface to be absurd or unreasonable is, in fact, solid and necessary. And…by faith we become obedient to what God commands.

KEY:

Faith raises us above the ordinary.

KEY:

Faith, by definition, steps off the cliff. It is not stationary.

Here’s something absurd and outrageous:

Noah being asked to build a boat the size of 1 ½ football fields…by himself…in a desert…that’s absurd and outrageous. If you didn’t know the end of the story, the command would be laughable.

Write this down:

God’s commands aren’t necessarily meant to match your understanding, they are meant to meet your challenges.

What happens when our faith syncs with the commands of God…what happens when we respond positively to the absurd, outrageous commands of God. God’s commands aren’t necessarily meant to match your understanding, they are meant to meet your challenges.

Faith can be unreasonable, unthinkable, unyielding, untenable, unbelievable, unpredictable, unprecedented, unexplainable, ending…but it is not undeniable, unheralded or untold. We step into the word of the absurd. But remember…

KEY:

God’s commands aren’t necessarily meant to match your understanding, they are meant to meet your challenges.

This truth reveals itself in the story of Noah, who was asked by God to build an ark.

READ SCRIPTURE: Genesis 6:9 – 14 (NIV)

It would appear that God was asking something very odd from Noah. The command to build an ark qualifies as an absurd, outrageous command of God! But I remind you…

2” x 4” board illustration:

o The ark was 450 ft. long / 75 ft. wide / 45 ft. tall

o The ark was the length of 1½ football fields

o It took “Noah & Sons” apprx. 100 years to build the ark

o The capacity of the ark was equal to that of 522 railroad cars.

o In the 1920’s, the Ringling Brothers Circus would travel with 335 horses, 26 elephants, 16 camels and a few other animals – they filled 92 railroad cars…not even close to 522.

KEY:

God asked Noah to turn “this” (2” x 4”) into a ship that would cover 1½ football fields. He did not train Noah – He did not coach Noah – He did provide special tools for Noah…He simply gave Noah an absurd and outrageous command.

Why?

God’s commands aren’t necessarily meant to match your understanding, they are meant to meet your challenges. Look at this situation.

What God asked of Noah opened up the possibility that Noah would be the object of ridicule and scorn.

o His actions were condemning of the people. (Hebrews 11:7)

o His actions made no sense in light of the known world.

o His actions put his character and intelligence in question.

o His actions consumed his life.

o His actions required resources and time. Where did the money come from? How did he make the time without also working to provide for his family?

What saved Noah…it wasn’t his skills…

KEY:

It was his heart.

Don't think that your skill set or gifts or what you have is what qualifies you to answer God's call.

Character is critical

Genesis 6:9 (NIV)

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”

DEFINITION:

“Character is the will do to what’s right even when it’s hard.”

Your character directly impacts your God-opportunities. Noah was described as righteous, blameless, and faithful. Because of Noah’s character, God not only chose to save he and his family from death, but chose to start over with Noah.

KEY:

Is your character solid enough that God could restart the world with it?

God wants to use you to for incredible things, but so many people limit their “usefulness” by compromising their character. Can I just say this: The people around you need you to have high character. They want you to have character.

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