Then he sent out a raven which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had dried up from the face of the ground, but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth, so he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark, then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.
Where did the raven go? Where did it perch? How did it survive? The dove could not find a resting place for her foot, but here was the raven having a good time flying to and fro.
These are two types of Christians. The two have been saved as typified by Noah’s ark. They have met Jesus and their lives have been snatched from certain death. They have been incubated and saved by the ark, the church, nurtured by the food in the ark, the word of God and fellowshipped with the set apart ones. They have looked out from the ark of safety and seen the destruction going on in the world. They have heard the wailing noise of men and women suffering the judgment of sin which the grace, the corporate grace of the ark, the church has preserved them from. They have been preserved and protected by the instruction that came from God, and have been promised eternal life, a new beginning, but…but…the raven…
Their hearts are still dark. The raven is a dark bird. It is unfortunate that it is also a bird with dark spirit. It is a carrion bird. He just sat there in the ark quietly, enjoying the means of grace, feasting with the brethren in fellowship on purer meals, but quietly tucked his dark spirit away and shielded it from the scrutiny of God’s word. Everything that happened, happened on the surface. He never allowed the searching light of God’s word to penetrate his dark soul. He hid completely in plain light and covered his soul. There was no undressing, there was no circumcision.
Alas, the little chance he got to see the outside world, he got lost to it. Totally lost in the world that he could not trace his steps back. He saw the floating mass of dead men and women, of animals and all sorts of flesh and he found joy in the midst of them. His heart rejoiced in the midst of such rottenness, such deadness, such vile and dirt and putrid mess that he never bothered to re-seek shelter in the comfort of the ark. He left fellowship for just once and never returned. He was lost forever. No thought was spared for the brethren left behind, waiting for the information he was asked to go and fetch. He went on from one dead flesh to another, partying and partying and didn’t care for anything in the world, least of all the fellowship of the ark he just left behind. His fellowship sister, pastored by the same Noah couldn’t even find a place for her foot among the things that her ‘brother’ has now settled comfortably into. She quickly returned to fold and gritted her teeth at the level of decadence and shame the world has become. She flew above, fearing to touch even the garment tainted by sin and when the sight became unbearable, she quickly flew back into the fold, and her pastor was very joyful to stretch out his hand and welcome her home. Like the men of Israel in Ezekiel 9 vs 4, it burned her heart that the world has been handed over to a decadent judgment which flooded it and was carrying it down in a mass down to the pit of outer darkness. It was a detestable sight and she couldn’t be comfortable around it. Even seven days later when she was sent out again and saw that the earth has blossomed again, that life has returned to earth and olive trees has sprung up as a sign of peace returning to the earth, she quickly plucked it and returned to the fellowship of the ark to share the good news. She didn’t go hopping from tree to tree in joyful celebration alone. She brought a sample of what the world has become, of what she has found, and brought it to her brethren.
Brothers and sisters, these are two types of Christians. Many are firebrands at home. Their parents dragged them to church early enough and they became brethren with stout testimonies, but the liberation of admission into tertiary institution has revealed that they were ravens in their hearts. They have since abandoned fellowship and became something else that even those who knew them at home would not recognize them if they visited them at school. For others, NYSC was the eye-opener. Immediately they stepped into camp and saw that mass of floating humanity lost in the ocean of sensual living, they quickly dropped their Bibles and got on like birds of carrion in a world floating with mess. For many young Christians, NYSC was the first time they entered into relationships that led them to sex. Their campus pastors who were always pestering them are now a distant memory in the fellowship of the ark, they let down their heads to enjoy the mess that is life for their service year.
Some were even the campus pastors themselves, but the demonic boldness with which the world thrusts the licentious behavior to them got them shaking on their knees and they quickly flung their faith aside. Stories have returned of sisters getting entangled with stark unbelievers; some marrying them some getting pregnant for them, some being messed up and abandoned by them. Some powerful fellowship mamas have even married Muslims, convincing themselves he told them they could still go to their churches.
Social media has become the universal school of values and lifestyle shaping in the world today. In the decade that just finished, people have come to accept that they have no life if they don’t have social media life. Hence people, who espouse views that are strongly Christian, see themselves saying entirely different things on social media because they don’t want to sound different or be dragged. I have a huge suspicion that the greatest trait to personal faith in this decade will be the social media. Because those influencers that shape the opinion of many people largely say what will sell and not basically what they believe or what is the truth. Many will be misled. And that platform has become where brethren lose their Christian value. Many follow celebrities that do not represent any godly value. They share erotic pictures, it is straight to your timeline, they talk sex; straight to your timeline, faith killing words; straight to your timeline. Some believers would even found themselves checking out if their stance on LGBT is not too hard, because their celebrities and the people that push the agenda are loud. Nothing in the present time represents that floating mass of deadness flowing down into the outer darkness of judgment like the social media space. For those who may still be reluctant to participate in the ‘wokeness’ of godless generation, they clap and smile and hail and famz those who are on the scene dancing naked. But Romans 1 v 32 says, (those) who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same, but approve of those who practice them. The Lord has placed their fans right were the practitioners are.
The remedy is in telling ourselves truth from the inward parts. The Lord desires truth from the inward parts. Those who hear and do not do are only deceiving themselves. We must undress before God totally, for a thorough surgery. The Lord says, this is the man I will look to, the one who trembles at my word. We must allow the word of God to reach to our hearts and spirits so that it can change us thoroughly. If you think you are doing well now and keep rebuffing the word of God, one day soon you would have need to be out of the ark and into the world, and that day the real condition of the heart will be revealed whether it is that of the raven or that of the dove.
The simple steps to follow may include:
- sincerely open your heart and tell God you are helpless without him
- search your heart sincerely, what are the things that tickle your fancy, what usually catch your eyes on social media, who are your celebrity crushes, who do you follow, how do you react to posts that are anti-scripture, what are the things you secretly wish to be free from brethren so you can explore, what are your secrete sins etc
- cry out to God in repentance mentioning those things by name
- make a qualified commitment to God you would desist from them
- Get a responsibility partner, maybe someone more mature, begin to confide in them.
- Make the searching of your heart a daily affair, morning and night
- When you are about to read the Bible, a Christian material or hear a sermon, sincerely tell God to speak to you, even if it is one you have heard severally.
- Change those you follow on social media, block some words and images, learn not to read messages that would inspire the wrong thoughts and ideas in your head, be bold about your comments and where you stand.
- Load powerful Christian songs and messages in your phone. Listen to them with reckless abandon
- Be bold about your faith
- Pray always, in your mind and openly
Isaiah 60 says that darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people… Things are not going to be made easier for the Christian. This decade will probably provide the worst environment for anyone to practice genuine Christianity, worse so for the young people, but God’s counsel in the midst of that is; Rise to your light!