The manager sat in my office and outlined his dilemma. “Should I stick with the role I assumed only three months ago? Or apply for this other job I didn’t expect to surface now.”
He sighed and talked through his two choices. “I’m climbing a steep learning curve in my new role. Who knows if I’ll succeed? I’m certain I can perform in this other opportunity because I did it in my last job. It’s familiar.” As the manager weighed his options, he used the word familiar three more times to describe the new job posted within the company.
The Israelites yearned for the familiar, too. Even though the known meant returning to bondage. Within three days of their exodus from Egypt, when the challenge of finding food and water loomed, they wavered in their decision to follow God into the desert (Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:3; Exodus 17:1-4.) They grumbled that they knew what to expect at the hands of the Egyptians. The unknown posed a greater threat than the known. Fear replaced memory of God’s provision. Desire for immediate fulfillment overshadowed hope
in the future.
When the manager asked for my perspective, I was ready. Coincidentally, God dropped the answer in my lap during my morning devotional. “Wherever you are, you are put there by God…” Chosen for a purpose. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 30.)
“I chose you,” I said, “for the role you now have. You are the best fit. The team needs your experience. The new skills and knowledge you don’t have, you’ll learn. And they’ll increase your value to the company and broaden possibilities where you can serve in the future.”
Just as I chose the manager, God chooses us. We glimpse this truth throughout Scripture. God chose the Israelites to be His people and treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6). He elected Saul to be king (1Samuel 10:24). God chose David to succeed Saul (1 Kings 11:34). Christ singled out twelve disciples to spread the Good News (Luke 6:13). The Lord asked Ananias to tell Paul of his mission; He chose Paul to witness to what he saw and heard on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:14).
“Wherever you are, you are put there by God.” So, like the manager, we must remember…don’t cave in to the lure of the familiar, the easy, or the convenient. Instead, stay wherever He chooses us to be, even when uncomfortable and challenging. When we abide in Him there, He pours out His Spirit through us and into our circumstances and relationships, especially unfamiliar ones. Because He chose us as His most treasured possession. He chose us to fulfill a purpose no one can fulfill the way we can.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit —
fruit that will last.” (John 15:16, NIV)
©2011 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to
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