Most of us have heard the old saying “bloom where you are planted”. We could probably agree that might mean something like to flourish in whatever place you find yourself. Make the best of where you are.
Good advice I guess. But, what if we are not in the place where God would have us be? Could we truly flourish in that place? Perhaps in some ways. We might think we are. But are we really?
In my opinion I don’t believe we can ever be truly happy or flourishing unless we are walking in the plan of God for us. By that I mean that kind of down deep, soul satisfying peace and contentment you get when you know you are doing what you’re called to do.
Before you read any further, here’s another question for you. Is your desire to be led by the Lord and to walk in His path, greater than your desire to follow your own “perfect” plan for your life? Are you willing to change anything the Lord asks you to change? Or do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone where you feel you have some control over your life?
If we say we want to follow Jesus, then are we willing to do as Peter said he and the other apostles did, when he said to Jesus “See, we have left all and followed You.” That may not be what is asked of us. The Lord may have us work right where we are. But would we be willing to do it if He did ask?
God is the one who has the perfect plan for our lives. He sees the end from the beginning. He knows the things He has called us to do, and the places where He has prepared for us to be. Jeremiah 29:11 says “ , For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Although He does have a plan for us, the Lord also gives us free will. It’s up to us whether we choose to follow His plan or not.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Ah, there’s the rub. He said He will direct our paths but it’s when we are doing our part, and acknowledging Him, asking Him to lead us. Not when we are leaning on our own understanding, or our own thinking of what we should do.
Sometimes we say we want to be led of the Lord but we stay when He says go or we go when He asks us to stay.
Sometimes we are in the wrong place because we made a mistake. Maybe we didn’t ask the Lord whether we were doing the right thing. Or maybe we asked but didn’t wait to hear the answer. We didn’t mean to go off the path. Or perhaps we heard the answer but went ahead and did what we wanted anyway.
What about those times we are in the wrong place because of our own willful disobedience, or maybe we chose to follow our own leading instead of the Lord’s. Or perhaps we left somewhere or someone out of offence?
Offence has become so rampant in the world today. Take a look at the news. No one can give their opinion, or say anything to anyone it seems, without offence being taken. Matthew 24:10 tells us in the last days this is what will happen. “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” But aren’t we, as Christ followers, supposed to be different than everyone else?
Yet how many of us have left jobs or marriages, families, friends or churches because we didn’t like the way things were being handled or we didn’t like something someone said? Or maybe even because we didn’t get our own way? I know I’ve been guilty of some of those things. In some cases, maybe at the time I didn’t know enough to ask the Lord what His thoughts were. Other times I chose not to ask Him because I wanted to do what I wanted and I didn’t want to take a chance He might say no. Sounds childish right?
Can I just say we don’t have time for any of this mess anymore? There’s work to be done. It’s time for those of us who want to follow the Lord to get serious, grow up, stand up and get moving. The Lord has things He wants to accomplish and we each have to be in our place to make that happen.
If you are still staying somewhere when the Lord told you to leave then, go! If you’ve left somewhere when that wasn’t what the Lord wanted, then put your pride behind you and go back. If you are right where you are supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing then keep it up! Thanks for being a great example to others.
And if the Lord is calling you out to do new things for Him but you are afraid, then just believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, step up and do it! No need to worry. If the Lord asks you to do something, He will give you what you need to get it done.
Why not give Him the best of you today? Does He deserves any less?