What Can You See From Where You Are?
A time such as the New Year is a reflective period for happenings of the past year and what to expect in the coming year. But apart from this there can be several times or points in your life that can make you retrospective, ask questions or make you dialogue with God. For example when you are going through a though time financially or during the passing away of a close loved relative or friend.
Being in a tough situation or going through a trial is hardly the best time to start discussions with God, some may feel. Sometimes you want the dust to settle before you think, retrospect or ask God questions but it is advisable for you to do all this while waiting for the dust to settle as your thinking or dialoguing with God could actually be what you need for the dust to settle.
Success or miles stones of the past do not mean you do not need to plan or ask God questions or be retrospective. Let us consider a few examples from the bible – when Moses crossed the Red Sea with the Israelites, there was jubilation and joy. But that is not where the story ends because they still had to get to the promise land and they had to journey through the desert to find this. It would have been a good place for Moses to settle down and dialogue with God in a bid to come up with a strategy for how best to navigate the desert to get to the promise land rather than rest on past success. Also it would have been a good place for the Israelites to seek God to discover his plans as they ended up murmuring and complaining which made them have a delayed journey. The same was the case when the Israelites entered the promise land with Joshua. This was not the end of it but they still had wars to fight for many years as the promise land had other inhabitants such as the Jebusite and Ammorites. Another example is David who became king after going through many troubles with Saul following the killing of Goliath. He still had to fight temptation such like adultery with Bethshiba. Solomon is another example of not following through with God. He received wisdom from God after he pleased God with a perfect sacrifice. But then down the line he began to deviate from God and married many wives and concubines and you wonder where his wisdom went. The final example is Joseph who became prime minister in Egypt after going through a lot. You would expect that this will be the end of the story but he still had to deal with famine and save his family and subsequently his generation.
So there are two question we can ask ourselves – where are you? Where are you going? What has God told you or what dreams or visions do you have and how do you get there from where you are and from your present situation. It is good to ask these questions during milestones, key moments in your life or after a great deliverance. It was one of the first question God asked man when Adam had fallen in the Garden of Eden. He knew where Adam was, as the all knowing God, but needed to know if Adam knew where he was. We should ask ourselves these questions as it will help us to know where we are going or where we need to go and possibly how to get there. One of the symptoms of not going anywhere or going round in circles is when you begin to see the same things over and over again. For example when you are lost in an urban city you begin to see the same landmarks over and over again. It may be the same in our lives. When we are lost in life or don’t seem to be moving forward it may appear we go through the same struggle and trials every year or time and time again – always in debt, always depressed, always going through the same struggles with sin. It is a good place to stop and ask the question – where am I? Rather than go through routine or go through the motion.
Another question we should consider – is there a better place? That is, am I in the best place in my life? Am I happy where I am now? If there is a better place then you should not be where you are now. If this is the case, confirm where you are and where you are going and plan how to get there.
Some people know where they are going or what they have been called to do while some of us do not really know where we are going. Either way society or circumstances in life do not help. They say your dream is too big or your desires cannot happen or you should relax or you are being unrealistic.
Please note that our goals, desires and visions are different. The adage says “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. Each man has been called to do different things and we are running different races in life. Some desire to be doctors while another an evangelist or a teacher or a pastor. Either way God has some things for us to use to move from where we are to where we ought to be.
In times of retrospection, we can consider these guidelines God has set, in the bible, to help us and ensure we are on the right tract.
1. God desires your growth, joy, happiness, peace, expansion and strength. God has given you a good future. You can therefore aspire to a good future. This is according to Jeremiah 29v11. You will not always be like you are now. If you think of where you were before and now you will see you have grown and things are not the same. So the same will be for your future.
2. According to Habakukk, God wants you to have a vision. God wants us to have something we aim towards or work towards. If there is no goal there cannot be any score or if there is no target there cannot be anything to aim for. God does not want you living life not going anywhere. According to the scripture he says write down these vision or ideas.
God stipulated some guidelines or promises for Abraham. Although this was specific to Abraham the scripture in Galatians 3v13-14 tells us we can attain or aspire these same promises.
1. God told Abraham to get out of where he was. This may be a word for someone to get out from addiction, sinful habits, financial burdens etc. It could also mean change relationships or alignments that are limiting our potential or forward movement.
2. God blessed Abraham and said you have been blessed. He wishes the best for you. Sometimes we have been hardened by circumstances and bad life but God is saying do not settle for the consolation price or the crumbs when you can have the bakery. There is a story of a man who bought a ticket for a boat cruise. For many nights he saw people enjoying and eating lavish dinners but he could not eat because he did not have money. So he went to his room every night and ate crackers and butter that he had packed for the journey. Anyway, at the end of the journey when he was getting off the ship the captain asked if he had enjoyed his journey and he said not really. The captain asked what they could have done better. The man said he wished he had enough money to purchase the lavish dinners that the rest of the crew enjoyed. The captain was surprised and told him that the ticket for the boat cruise covered every use in the ship including the lavish dinner!
3. Another thing God told Abraham was that he was going to bless him personally himself. God is mindful of you. He created you with unique gifting and qualities so he wants to bless you specifically. Man can only do so much e.g. a man can give you a faster car but not accelerate you to your destiny or goal in life, a doctor can treat your body but cannot heal your soul, a man can build a house but not a home, someone can increase your salary but it does not improve you potential.
4. God also said to Abraham he will give him the nations. He said through you the families of the earth will be blessed. Dust you passports and get ready to travel! You will be a blessing to the nation not the nation being a blessing to you. Sometimes when we are interviewing for a job post we can take a low position, with cap in hand and beg for the companies’ help but sometimes we need to take the position of “I will be a blessing to you and you need me more than I need you.” Some people feel they need to be in a first world country, not in a third world country, to strive or to do well but you determine your environment not your environment defining you. If you have a third world mind set in a first world country you will have a third world life! Let your allocation determine your location not the other way round.
5. God told Abraham that he will make his name great. Will your name be leaving a legacy? Nelson Mandela, Miles Monroe, John Wesly, Florence Nightingale etc. are some great names. Will you leave a legacy? When your name is called will it be for integrity reasons?
Now that we have gone through what God said to Abraham, the next question to ask is – how do we get there?
1. Involve God. Direct all your questions to God e.g. prayer, fasting, worship. God speaks today like it was for Daniel and Joseph in the bible who are famous for interpreting dreams.
We should leave the mind sets of God showing acts but rather we should aspire for him to show us his ways as it was for Moses in the bible.
2. We need to get out, step out, change environment you are in or just move forward. You might need to get out of some relationships, some habits, and some sins etc.
3. Align yourself with visionaries who will mentor you or bring out the best in you. For example, if you want to be a doctor, seek established consultants to help you be the best you can be. There is an analogy of an eagle living with chickens who soon started behaving like a chicken even though it is an eagle in reality. Change your mind set, be upward looking.
4. God told Abraham to open his and see north, west, south and east. Look out for possibilities in life and be optimistic. For instance if there was a task to cross a body of water like an ocean, some will say it is impossible because they cannot swim or they are not fishes but another will say let’s build a submarine or get across with oxygen masks etc. so God is saying start looking outside the box and look at how you can move from where you are to where you need to get to.
5. Increase your capacity, what do you need to do? It might be training, preparation, or making some sacrifices. Whatever needs to be done do it!
6. Holiness is necessary. One of our ultimate goals is to make heaven. The Psalmist asks who will ascend the hill except he that has clean hands. It is baggage of sin and ungodliness that makes one go round in circles. Could it be sin limiting your potential? Or making you go round in circle?
7. Self-centeredness and selfishness is sinful because love is giving. Living life without a vision is selfishness. Your future is tied to people around you. Sometimes a vision is not for you but for your generation or your children. It is your children that will make your name great. When one talks of the future it means generations to come. As blessings are generational so are curses. Do not align yourself with the enemy. Some troubles are for your children not for you so be careful what decisions you make as it may not only affect you.
So ask yourself, where am I, where am I going? What can I see from where I am? God has a good place for you and a good destiny but it is good to think of where you can be and how you are going to be what God has called you to be.
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