This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Of course we want to go where God wants us to be, right? I mean, where else would you want to be? Being where God wants you to be is most definitely THE place to be.
If you don't believe me, let's take a look in the Word of God. Let's see...
Ah. God had a plan for Noah right? Out of all the people in the world, Noah found grace in the eyes of God.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.Notice it says that Noah walked with God. He is where God wants him to be and what happens? He finds himself and his family on board a boat filled with animals both domestic and wild with no shore leave for about a year. This was no cruise ship! When he finally gets off the boat, everything and everyone he has ever known is gone. He only has his immediate family with him. Any friends he may have had are gone. His home is gone. Everything except what he had on the ark is gone. Everything. Noah was where God wanted him to be.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
How about Joseph? He dreams fabulous dreams indicating that he is going to be a man of power and authority. The dreams come to pass... eventually. In the meantime he is thrown into a pit and then sold to Egyptian merchants as a slave by his own brothers. His father is told he was eaten by wild animals. He gets accused of a crime he did not commit, attempted rape, and lands in prison.
Let's look at that for a moment. This was a trumped up crime. He was innocent. So, why didn't God step in and get him out of prison? He does... eventually. In the meantime, God had a job for Joseph to do, right there in prison. Joseph was where God wanted him to be.
There are many other examples of this in the Old Testament but I know there are people who are very interested in what the New Testament has to say so I'll head over there. Act 16:9-10 tells us that Paul had a vision one night. A man from Macedonia appeared and implored him to come to Macedonia. Paul and Silas immediately prepare to head to Macedonia as God had just made it very plain to them that was where they were to go. Paul and Silas wanted to be where God wanted them to be.
Things were going well. They had to the city of Philippi in Macedonia. A wealthy woman name Lydia and her household come to Christ. She opens up her home and thereby her resources to Paul and Silas. What a blessing! They cast a demon out of a young woman, demonstrating the power of God. In response to this, they end up in ... prison.
Why? Why didn't God prevent them from going to prison? They were only doing God's will, right? You would think...
So, why doesn't God rescue them? He does... eventually. You see, they really were where God wanted them to be and He was not going to remove them from prison until they had done what needed to be done.
I think this is a wonderful example of being where God wants you to be. You see, there was at least one man who needed to hear the message of Jesus Christ that night. Who was this man? He was the prison jailer. He wasn't going to come to Paul and Silas, they needed to go to him and guess where he was. At the prison.
I cannot help but wonder what must have been going on in the mind of that man that evening. Two new prisoners had been brought in. They were beaten and shackled. You would have expected they would be cursing God. After all, they'd only been following His commandments. They had been doing His will and this is what they got for it. It doesn't seem fair, does it. You do God's will and for all of your efforts you end up beaten and in prison.
I love Paul and Silas' response. You see, they understood that they were where God wanted them to be. The Bible tells us they began to sing and praise God. Acts 16:25. Would we do that or would we start complaining to God about how He isn't being fair to us?
The Bible tells us there is an earthquake and the prison doors are opened and all their bands are loosed... in other words, everyone is free to simply walk out. So, they walk out, right? Wrong. You see, they knew they were where God wanted them to be. So, everyone, including the other prisoners who'd of course heard Paul and Silas, waits.
The jailer comes rushing, all prepared to commit suicide. You see, if a prisoner escaped, he would have to pay for it with his life. To his amazement, everyone is still there. They were exactly where God wanted them to be. A man and his entire household turned to Christ that day and I have no doubt others did as well.
The story doesn't end there. If we fast forward to the end of Paul's life, we find these words written to the Church at Philippi.
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.The very same place, Philippi, which had been a place of torture for Paul had turned into a place which blessed Paul and ministered to Paul in the end. Who would have ever believed it? It is interesting that Paul's willingness to be where God wanted him to be, even if it was in prison not only impacted the Philippians. It has in turn reached down through history and impacted a girl living a world away in Minnesota, USA.
So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-8 (NLT)
How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.
At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:10-19
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I want to be where God wants me to be, regardless of what that may look like at the moment.
Let's toss Jonah into the mix. He most certainly didn't want to be where God wanted him to be. Shall we say that God redirected him?
In the OT, only Adam and Noah are said to have "walked with God." Even Abraham and Moshe walked or stood "before God."
My own life is so much richer and full of joy now that I have DECIDED to go where the Holy Spirit directs me.