I’ve been thinking about writing a blog about “position” for a while now. It seems that God has been highlighting exactly what that means in my relationship with him for some time. He has really been increasing those lessons lately and really hit it home this past week at the Pink Impact conference I attended at Gateway Church. I had no idea that would be the theme of this year’s conference and was amused by God’s timing…once again.
For several years I’ve had a friend that talks a lot about positioning yourself for what God is doing in your life. Positioning yourself to be where He is moving and working. Positioning yourself to receive all that He has for you. I think about that and want to be where He wants me to be…doing what He has for me to do. But, for a while I’ve not truly had my mind wrapped around he richness of that. I’ve mostly considered it to be a physical place. Being physically positioned where He is. Being at the right place and the right time. Showing up where He is. I still believe it is about that, but it is SO much more than that. AND…I’ve just about decided that may be the LEAST of the equation. Yes, He has a time and place and good works planned out for us to do and we absolutely need to be where He is and where He wants us to be for those specific works, but without some spiritual positioning…well…you could be standing in the right place and still not BE where you need to be.
I recently read The Tale of Three Kings by Gary Edwards. This book is so rich with wisdom. If you are a leader in any capacity…I highly recommend it. If you are under anyone’s leadership…I highly recommend it. If you are under a leadership you happen to disagree with…I HIGHLY recommend it. The story is based on Saul, David and Absalom but I think it’s implications far exceed the walls of a “church” environment, although it’s application and lessons would most certainly improve the health of many of our churches. I think every American who has ever been on the opposite side of the President they live under should read it. After all, when you look at the exit polls at the elections for the past several elections, we live in a pretty divided country.
You may be hearing about this book for a while on my blog because there really is so much to pull from it on so many levels. But today, it made the post because of the pondering about position. Not only does position have to do with our physical location, but it has to do with our ranking. Where has God placed you in the “pecking” order? Whose authority are you under and who do you have authority over? Are you okay with that? Do you trust Him with that? David was a hunted man under Saul’s authority waiting to take his place as the next king after Saul, the man who was trying to kill him. He had been told that he would one day be king. He found himself in a position to end Saul’s life and usher in his place as king and end his days of running for his life. But, he knew that God’s timing was sovereign. He knew his position. He trusted what God was doing and where God had place him during that time and place. He understood the pecking order in the bigger picture of the life he lived even when he didn’t agree with the one who had authority over him.
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said[b] to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you. – 1 Samuel 24:3-12
This book has much to say about a person’s life within the structure of authority and uses the story of Saul, David and Absalom to illustrate how a man after God’s own heart navigates those waters and his position within the life that God has placed him.
But, those still seem to me to be pretty much about a person’s physical position…place and rank. God definitely needed me to understand some things about those aspects of position, but He wasn’t thru with the lesson. I’ve been reading another book in preparation for a ladies group that I attend. The book is Keys to Brilliant Focus: The Power of Wisdom to Reclaim Your Identity by Graham Cooke. It is full of scripture and priceless treasures in our daily walk in the Kingdom. I highly recommend it too! Graham is a gifted speaker and writer in the Kingdom. His ability to share God’s word in a positive and uplifting light is amazing. His ability to call a person UP is unlike any other author I have ever encountered…which brings me to the next aspect of position.
“Life is primarily determined by the level on which we are engaging the Holy Spirit, and what we are hearing and seeing in God’s heart. When we are not partaking of fellowship at the appropriate level then we determine life through the events around us and how we perceive them. We are the surf subject to the wind of circumstance.” – Graham Cooke
Turn on the news during any hour of the day and you could get pretty discouraged about the condition of our country and the human race. Enter the life of any mom with a teenager trying to navigate the rough waters that go with that and life seems pretty chaotic. Read thru the journals of just about anyone on Caringbridge and you will see circumstances that could take a person down apart from their unwavering faith in a God who is good…all the time. All these circumstances require hope and trust in a God who is bigger. All of these require the positioning of our hearts and minds in His promises which point to a brighter tomorrow even though we can’t see them in the here and now of these challenging parts of life.
“I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” – 2 Timothy 1:12
And I thought that was the end of what God wanted me to see about position until I attended the first night of the conference…He had more. 🙂 He used a speaker, Charlotte Gambill, on the first night of the conference to really drive home a few more key points for me about positioning with Him. I’d never heard her speak before and really don’t know much about her or her story, but that isn’t important. The important thing is that God spoke through her. He filled her heart and mind with words that would solidify all that He needed me to understand about position. He pointed to some important things that I have been missing. He used a story that is familiar to me where Mary had gone early to the tomb of Jesus and discovered that his body was no longer there…
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). – John 20:11-16
She used this story to point out 3 very key things I needed to solidify what God has been trying to tell me about position. First, you need to be where God is. She loved Jesus so much that she got up early to go be with him. But then she missed some things…at first. She cried because he wasn’t there. She missed that he wasn’t there because He was risen just like He had told them he would be. She was in the right place with the wrong emotion….uh, I could totally relate to that. Then, she assumed the wrong thing. She assumed his body had been stolen. She met face to face with Jesus and didn’t even recognize him at first because of the wrong emotion AND assumption. She got to be the very first person to see the risen Savior and she nearly missed it. I wonder how many times we are in the right place with the wrong emotions and assumptions. Uh, definitely things I needed to know about position.
And there was one more thing about position…His position…He is there on the mountain top and in the storms of life. Thank you Christine Caine for pointing that out in the story in Mark 6:30-52. I love the mountain top experiences in life. I love to be positioned for those moments. But, life isn’t made up of just those moments. We can’t always position ourselves to be on a mountain top experiencing a miracle. Parts of life happen in the valley between the mountaintops. It’s those moments that we grow and discover that God is there in both the ups and downs of life. He is always in the right position.
Okay, so this one got a little long. If you are still here…thanks for sticking around to the end.
And thank you God for giving me a bigger picture than I was able to see on my own.