Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Often I have people ask me what it is like to go from being a Sr. Pastor for 17 years to an Associate Pastor. I answer with all honesty, “I am totally OK with it because I know this where God has called me, and I am simply to bloom where I am planted.”

It is not about title, position, or prominence in man’s eyes. What is important is being faithful where we are called. Too often we look at our lives through a human lens instead of a divine one. We are simply to “Trust in the Lord, and do good. Dwell in the land, and cultivate faithfulness” (Ps. 37:3; NASB). And the key to being able to do this? “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). Did you notice these two verses are right next to one another?

Our delight must be in the Lord and not in our place, position, or job. I know this is not easy, but I also know it to be very true! All I am required to do is be faithful where I am called, and right now that is serving as the Pastor of Discipleship at Watkinsville First Baptist Church. And I love it!

From July, 2008 until April, 2009 I was called to dwell in a small 800 square foot cottage, trust God while unemployed, and diligently work on writing a book – which I had no clue at the time whether or not it would ever get published. There were many days when I said, “What in the world am I doing? Why did I leave such a good situation to come to this? God, what are you up to?” One day I was so uncertain that I had to go back and listen again to my resignation sermon. After doing so, I was convinced again that I had heard from God and was in the right place – as uncomfortable as it was at the time.

Whenever we are in very unpleasant situations, we need to get alone with God and allow Him to reassure our hearts. “He will never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebr. 13:5b); therefore, we can “be content with what we have” (Hebr. 13:5a). And what do we have most of all? God’s powerful presence.

In many ways, what I am talking about is learning to be content in whatever circumstances, so I will close with the words of Paul who, over time, learned the secret of this contentment. And the secret is in the last verse below:

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:11-13

Wherever God has you in life right now (i.e. employed or not, married or not, good marriage or not, good health or not), bloom where you are planted!

Many times God will not move us to greener pastures until we learn to eat and prosper in that pasture in which He has us in at the time.

Bloom where you are planted.