There's something special about finding places of value and meaning. I mean, I don't think anyone enjoys wandering around aimlessly, forever drifting with no rhyme or reason, pointless and purposeless. At some point, the diminishing return of senselessness provokes a person to find something that centers their reason for being.
There are people throughout the Bible who found their reason, their designated purpose, and they let that purpose direct the course of their lives for a lifetime. David was a shepherd boy, who in his youth cultivated an intimacy of relationship with the Lord that led him to being anointed king over Israel. When he got that direction in his youth, he encountered many obstacles, but the word God gave him through a prophetic messenger steadied his behavior and life as he walked in his purpose for his generation. Saul, later known as Paul, struck out on his own course in life only to be blinded into the truth of God's direction he was to follow. He got a specific instruction and insight as to his purpose directly from God. It led him every waking moment until his death.
In Genesis 12, Abram (who would later be known as Abraham) got a word of direction that guided his life from the moment he received these words the Lord spoke to him: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Abraham was directed to a land where the promise of his potential could be worked out, a place where his purpose for being in the earth could prosper, where he could perform to the peak of his potential.
Everything and everyone flourishes in their proper and right environment. There's a reason why fish need to stay in water. There's a reason why people don't swim on sidewalks and parking lots. There's a reason why a transplanted tree cannot grow if it's suspended in the air and separated from water and other sustaining nutrients. There's a reason why people languish in mediocrity and frustration. It could just be that they're out of their element, resisting directions and rebelling against purpose.
See, it's so vitally important that we be where God has directed and placed us. Sometimes it means persevering past difficult times and trying people. It definitely will mean overcoming our own fears, shortcomings and inadequacies. But just as importantly, we must come to terms with a crucial reality: "More often than not, we must be in the environments and places that respect, energize, release, empower and celebrate us--places that honor and respect our presence and contributions--not just the places where we're merely tolerated, or worse, denigrated or even dismissed.
I know there are times and seasons where God requires us to be a light in very dark and undesirable places, times to be salt that brings savor. As a way of life, we must be the modeling example and witness of love to the unlovable and a blessing to our enemies, a blessing to those who oppose us, or those who hold different beliefs.
Certainly, we're not to shirk and cast off our everyday responsibilities of doing right and treating people right, with dignity and honor. If needed, we have the responsibility to be a lone beacon of light to steer wayward souls to safe shores and secure harbors. Yes, we're to "endure hardship as a good soldier."
But in this context we need to be planted in the places where we can flourish in our purpose. We can see that in the lives of King David and the Apostle Paul, and we can see this in the life of the patriarch Abraham. Being planted in the places where we can flourish is to be the same with us.
In order to flourish in our place of purpose, we must have that inner circle of support consisting of those who unconditionally love us, relentlessly support us, patiently and unapologetically hold us accountable and intrinsically inspire us to rise up to our allotted greatness.
Whatever your station or vocation in life, there is a place in life God has assigned to you as your wealthy place of purpose. Though it's significant to note that this includes material provision, the greatest meaning of your wealthy place is referring to a way of life, a way of being. The wealthy place for your life doesn't come without challenge or resistance. Indeed, it's not truly a wealthy place without developing a heart of character, integrity, humility and perseverance to overcome obstacles.
For some of us, this past year, and perhaps these past few years have been difficult. But we're still here. Psalm 66:10-12 is for you, for each of us: "For You, O God, have tested and proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net, You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water; But YOU brought us out into a wealthy place--to a place of rich fulfillment."
The wealthy place is a place of rich fulfillment that's found in staying true to the purpose for your existence in the earth. As a friend and counselor to one and to all, I issue a challenge to every person who reads and draws encouragement or inspiration from these words: Seek and find your defined word of counsel and instruction from God that will direct and shape the course of the rest of your life.
I understand this is no small task. But the rewards are beyond your imaginations. The internal satisfaction and fulfillment from having this thematic awareness for your life is of supreme value.
If you've already got that word, either dust it off, embrace it afresh and re-invigorate your life's activity with this word. Or if you're running with it, stay the course and pierce the future with an unceasing, unyielding commitment to live the life you were always meant to live. Whatever you are to do about this word, there's no better time to start than right now.
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