Maximize Your Life – Walk Through the Word
The Bible tells us how humanity was scattered across the whole world in the Tower of Babel story found in Genesis 11:1-9. Called “the world’s first skyscraper,” history places the Tower of Babel at about 330 feet tall and at the center of the ancient sprawling “city of Cities.”
Today, all that’s left of this symbol of ancient pride is a watering hole. So, what lessons can we learn from this as Christians today? Over the next few moments let’s identify three lessons from Genesis 11.
God had instructed Noah and his descendants to spread across the whole world and that he wouldn’t destroy the world by water anymore.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a global flood but the evidence was all around them in that time. But the invisible God that their fathers once talked about wasn’t so easy to see. Instead of obeying, in just a few generations humanity forgot both God’s command and his promise. They settled in the Shinar Valley and began construction on a Tower that was both an icon of pagan worship as well as a backup plan “just in case” the floodwaters that destroyed humanity came once again.
Spiritual Towers of Babel are easy to build. In fact, we might be erecting them in our lives right now.
Consequences of our decisions
First: The Tower was the result of human decision. I’d like to say the consequences of our attitudes and life decisions. Instead of choosing to follow the path that God has outlined, we often are tempted to make our own way, relying on our abilities or those of people around us just like the people in Genesis 11 chose to unite themselves to accomplish a particular goal. Their question was reasonable. What if a flood comes again? But God had already said that it wouldn’t come. Their attitude was one of doubt.
Remember: if your attitude toward someone or something isn’t lined up with the Word, it will lead you from one bad decision to another.
The question then becomes, how do you know if your attitude is Christ-pleasing as I mentioned in my live sermon this morning? The answer is by staying connected to the Holy Spirit. Humanity at this point had strayed so far from being in an active relationship with God that they were willing to trust stone and slime more than the infallible Word of God that brought the flood in the first place. Which brings me to my next point.
Second: Where there is no passion for Christ it is very difficult to know whether your actions or attitudes are correct.
Being passionate about Jesus will drive you to seek Him humbly in prayer, to pore over the pages of His word, to listen for His voice in every puff of wind and in the quiet places of your heart. Knowing Him, and what pleases Him, becomes the very center of your life. But those who are building towers instead of God’s kingdom fall out of love with their Creator and make their own life pursuits their god.
When choosing your career, for example, ask yourself if you can freely serve the Lord in this path. Or will you be helping evil to spread or be placed in compromising situations? For Noah’s descendants, this became a life pursuit but it was one that led them away from the very purpose that God had placed them here to accomplish. So be in love with Jesus in order to discern whether your decisions and attitudes towards God and other people is pleasing to the Holy Spirit. Remember, we’re here to please Him not the other way around.
Finally: the Tower was a note of security whereas God was challenging humanity to step out into the dangerous wilderness and survive by trusting in Him alone. Now, to get a better picture of what I mean, remember the world had been tilted about 23 degrees from being perfectly upright. This sudden shift resulted in massive changes—seasons, land slides, volcanic eruptions to name a few. Talk about climate change!
But in the midst of all this, God clearly directed Noah’s descendants to step out and fill the whole earth. He still asks His children to step out into unknown situations, into difficult and dangerous environments, to fill the earth with His glory. Because it’s in the difficult situations that we see Him act in our life. We can choose to stay where things are comfortable in our spiritual or natural life, right up close to the Tower of Babel that we or others are building, or we can move out in faith and watch God work His wonders.
The blessing of obedience
It was only when humanity moved away from its comfort zone that God was finally able to get a man under his control. A man who would change the course of history and get the first stage of God’s redemption plan going. His name was Abraham and we’ll pick up with his story next time.
Until then, tear down the towers in your life and build the kingdom of God.