Tuesday, November 21, 2006

God Will Get You to the Right Place

Life is unpredictable. Regardless of the plans we may make it rarely works out the way we hoped. It is the rare person who is experiencing life the way they imagined it would be. Far too often life is filled with disappointments that force us to cope with life rather than live life. When life doesn’t turn out the way we planned we have no other option but to deal the best we can as we adapt to the new circumstances.

Following Jesus doesn’t change any of this and many times makes it far worse because our dreams tend to stand in the way of what God has dreamed for our lives. Jesus will ask us to lay down our plans and follow Him into the uncertainty of the future. If we are unwilling to do this He will allow our dreams to shatter so that we will be forced to discover the life He wants us to live.

One of the frustrating aspects of this whole process is that God doesn’t treat us all the same. For some God allows great tragedy into their lives in order to prepare them for what lies ahead. Others will have constant obstacles thrown into their paths which will teach them endurance and trust. When we compare our lives to the lives of those around us will begin to feel like God is being unfair because God isn’t treat us equally and we will begin to exaggerate the difficulties in our lives while minimizing the troubles of other people.

Think about Joseph the son of Jacob for a minute. Even we can see how unfair his some of the circumstances in his life were. Joseph experienced slavery and false imprisonment in a foreign land while his brothers enjoyed freedom in their homeland. How can that be fair? Yet what we discover on the other side of these experiences when Joseph’s family was forced to come to Egypt because of famine that everyone had changed. Joseph’s brothers did not have an easy life at home because of the guilt they had for selling Joseph into slavery. Joseph was prepared to take an exalted position in Egypt in order to help people. While going through the difficulties things didn’t make sense, but God used even the evil for good in their lives. Things will not always make sense, but we must trust that God will do what is right.

When it comes down to it all we can do is to do our best wherever we may find ourselves. That is certainly one of the lessons we can learn from Joseph’s life. This is what God requires of us no matter what the circumstances may be in our lives. When we remain faithful in even the toughest of circumstances God is able to use us and move us closer to the life He wants us to have. How we live is far more important than any position or prestige we might have.

Part of the problem that we run into is believing that positions and prestige are the route to living a life that makes an impact. This runs contrary to what Jesus taught. Kingdom power is not found in position but in service. It is not about being the greatest but about being the least. It is when we give our lives away in service that we are truly able to impact those around us.

To find the place God wants us to be we have to follow the path of service and giving ourselves for the good of others. If we take care of what we are responsible for, the way we live and how we treat others, God will make sure we get to the right place.

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