Week of Monday, January 3 ­– Sunday, January 9
Don’t Meander – Man as Provider

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. — Genesis 6:5-10 ESV

When I am in a hurry, I hate to get behind somebody who is just meandering, whether I’m driving a car or walking in a crowd. I don’t know about you, but I like to get where I am going. Interestingly, the Bible uses the word picture of “walking” to describe our relationship with God. Walking implies not only motion but direction. Honestly, some men are like the coastal rivers I grew up around in eastern North Carolina. They meander without much motion or direction. They take the path of least resistance, and they are slowly headed downhill. And when it comes to our relationship with God, meandering like that doesn’t cut it.

This picture of walking with God is presented to us very early in the pages of Scripture. God apparently walked in the garden with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Gen. 3:8). Enoch walked with God, and he was no more because God decided to take him home (Gen. 5:24). Here in this passage, we read that God found “a righteous man,” “blameless” among the people of his time, and he “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9)—this man was Noah. I used to think Noah was upright and blameless, therefore he walked with God. But the older I get and the longer I serve the Lord, I am more convinced than ever that Noah was righteous and blameless because he walked with God. He was righteous and blameless as a result of walking with God.

Your close walk with God is one of the best ways you can serve your family as a Provider. That walk is also the key to overcoming the biggest challenges you face in life. For Noah, that challenge was living a godly life in an ungodly world that was about to be swept away by the flood. Walking with God meant following God’s instructions to the letter in building and filling the ark. Walking with God meant providing direction for his wife and three sons, convincing them to join him on this mission from God. Walking with God also meant enduring the mockery of the ungodly mob of his day. Yet God rewarded Noah’s faith and obedience, his walk, by preserving Noah and his family from that flood.

Popular devotional author Oswald Chambers writes: “Our destiny is not determined for us, but it is determined by us. Man’s free will is part of God’s sovereign will. We have freedom to take which course we choose, but not freedom to determine the end of that choice.”[1] God is very interested in the direction you take and the decisions you make, not only because of the impact it has on your relationship with him, but also because of the impact on those you love and lead. Noah’s walk with God had tremendous positive consequences for his family. In fact, their very lives depended on it. So, don’t meander in your walk with God. Be a man whose walk with God has forward motion and purposeful direction. Noah walked with God like that, will you?
  • As we begin a New Year, how would you assess your walk with God? Are you meandering? Or are you walking with forward motion and purposeful direction? Get on the right track by spending time daily with God in his word. Text the word “Bible” to 67742 to get started.
  • What kind of example are you providing when it comes to your walk? Where are you leading those who follow in your footsteps? Look out to the end of the path you are on. Do we want our destination to be the destination for those we love?
  • Ask God to help you become more disciplined in your walk with him this New Year.
[1] Oswald Chambers, Conformed to His Image (New York: HarperCollins, 1955), 362.