Ever feel like running away? One second; before your get your trainers on and bolt for the door; take a step back because you could be running from the place of God. This was me not too long ago; something happened that got me so annoyed that I started applying for new jobs; I was determined to get out as quick as possible so I asked God for favour and for Him to move me somewhere that I could make a greater impact. Before I got into this teaching game God told me that I was going to impact a generation of young people; so when this annoyance occurred I started asking Him to show me who, where and how I could make this impact because clearly I was in the wrong place (so I thought). I knew that I didn’t want to go back to contracting so I quickly cancelled my appointment to go and register at an efficient recruitment agency that conveniently had many vacancies in the surrounding areas!
I continued to pray about this; when I went to church my pastor preached a timely sermon, he said that “some of the worst decisions people make are when they are angry.” God says “the discretion of a man makes him slow to anger and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” Better to overlook the offense of another than to end up making a decision in anger!
As I began to pray about this situation I met a man called Joe who taught me how to recognise the place of God. Joe had a dream; in His dream God showed him that one day He was going to be a great ruler. Not long after that he ended up being betrayed by his siblings and living with a stranger in a far place. Joe had to overlook the transgression of his brothers because otherwise he would have ended up angry at everyone around him. He would have stayed bitter at his brothers for their betrayal and eventually bitter at God for allowing it to happen. Even when Joe was living with the stranger in a far place he recognised that He was in the place of God; everything he did God caused it to prosper and He found favour in the sight of the stranger.
Later on the stranger’s wife tried to make a move on Joe; she was clearly suffering from a misdirected sense of self-worth. Well this is what happened to my friend Joe, the stranger’s wife tried to make a move on him but he, being a righteous man told her “no”. Some people don’t handle rejection very well at all; so the woman turned on Joe and ran him out of his place – the place of God! She started questioning Joe’s character; all because he rejected her. She tried to pursue him and when he told her “no” she started causing trouble for him. The woman lied to her husband and made out like Joe tried to pursue her. As a result Joe ended up in prison. But he was still in the place of God and found favour in the sight of the prison guard. When Joe was in prison he was able to develop his gifts and began interpreting the prisoner’s dreams. Everywhere Joe went God was with him.
Joe’s story made me realise something; the place of God is not subject to the will of man – it’s all about being in the presence of God. You see no man has the power to hinder or manipulate Gods will for your life! Even when Joe was put in prison – through no fault of his own – he was still in the place of God. Sometimes we can get into situations and focus on the fact that someone has done us wrong; we shouldn‘t be in this place, this job, this environment, this situation and our first instinct is to run. But I’ve come to realise; that is the wrong approach. It actually doesn’t matter what people do to you ; what matters is that you recognise the place of God . Pray for a heart that recognises the place of God – in the place of God there is deliverance, there is peace, there is favour.
God made you a promise; now it looks like everything is falling apart and people are trying to attack you from all different angles? That doesn’t mean that you are no longer in the place of God. God says “My thoughts are not Your thoughts and My ways are not your ways.” His ways are higher than ours. Sometimes God will allow people to bring you low so that He can lift you high. Isn’t that what Jesus did? He was wounded for our transgressions and beaten for our faults; Jesus hung on a cross next to a thief – he lived an innocent life and died a painful death. But He rose in glory, rose in victory and now sits down at the right hand of God. All along Jesus stayed in the place of God.
We can learn so much from my friend Joe – don’t be too quick to run from situations because you could be attempting to run from the place of God. I’m grateful to Joe for sharing His story in Genesis 37 – 50. It stopped me from making a decision based on emotions. Joe ended his story with this very important statement: “But do not fear, for I am in the place of God. As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
The place of God is not recognised by the absence of affliction, some people think that as soon as a problem arises they are not in the place of God and it’s time to run! That’s not necessarily the case because the bible says, “many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers them out of them all.” Often times we get ready to run away just before the “but” kicks in. In other words many are the afflictions … and then we’re out. We get ready to leave way too soon; before we even get to experience the Lord’s deliverance. God is not a man and He can’t lie – oftentimes we just need to stay in the affliction and allow God to perform His miracles.
How to recognise the place of God? I asked God to help me gain perspective; when you feel like running; stop and gain perspective – you’re gonna watch God perform miracles for you! You will recognise the place of God because the place of God is so full of the favour of the Lord.
Hope you enjoyed reading, until next time!
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