Have you ever felt betrayed because someone moved away from you emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally? I have. It’s hard not to take something like that personally. We can avoid a good amount of heartache if we understand the practical ways God positions His devoted people.
This is a follow-up post to Introducing the God Who Positions His Devoted People – Part 1. If you would like to start there, please do! Otherwise, let’s examine GPS – God’s Positioning System – and use it to stay the course He has laid out for us.
4 Practical Ways God Positions His Devoted People
1. God positions His devoted people emotionally.
I refer to this phenomenon as “the tying and untying of heartstrings”. Sometimes we’re drawn to, or away from, things with an unexplainable urgency. God positions us, emotionally, to do what He asks us to do.
On the surface, this is easily misunderstood. Separation can be a difficult process all around, and it can feel like a punishment. But it is actually an amazing blessing. Let me tell you a true story.
When my children were little, we were deeply rooted in Southern California. We felt we would never leave our church, the school the kids attended, or the halau (Polynesian dance studio) where our family performed. Yet one after the other, we were forced out of each of those institutions as tuitions, situations, and locations changed.
It was a painful and confusing time. But when God moved us to Hawaii soon after, we understood. Our heartstrings were already untied from what might have held us back. God had prepared us, in advance, to joyfully go where He wanted to position us next. And that is the perfect segue into the second way God positions people.
2. God positions His devoted people physically.
God puts us in the physical locations where He needs us to be. Whenever my husband and I change our home address, we try to remember it isn’t just about a new house. God positions us near specific neighbors, teachers, bank tellers, etc. He has plans to use our interactions with our new community to bless and teach us all.
“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:14b, 15
And as I’ve seen Him do it with us, I need to allow Him to do the same with others. I cannot hold too tightly, or be resentful, when He moves people, and positions them physically for His purpose – even if the process separates them from me. They were created for His glory, not mine.
“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.”1 Corinthians 7:17a
It might not be as big as a household move. Just today, my husband, son, and I went to a local business at 10am, their opening time listed on-line. They were closed, and the sign on the door said they’d open at 11.
With an hour to wait, we ended up at a nearby restaurant. Was God physically positioning us there to bless someone? Possibly! He doesn’t always create an unexpected turn of events, but when those occur, it is a good idea to be extra vigilant for divine appointments.
3. God positions His devoted people spiritually.
What do you think about this one? I am going to tell you another true story to illustrate why I include this as a way God positions His people.
My family had found a wonderful church. We were heavily involved, serving, and being served. In God’s timing, He moved us on.
We switched to a church where things were done differently. They focused on distinct attributes of God and worshipped Him in unique ways. We gained a fresh perspective from experiencing Him with that congregation.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”Psalm 32:8
When circumstances changed again, and we landed at the next church, it all came together. We could clearly see how God had positioned us spiritually, teaching us over the previous several years. He had given us a foundation for real spiritual growth and ministry. God is consistently contributing to our understanding of who He is, what His plans are for us, and how He positions His people.
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”2 Corinthians 4:6
4. God positions His devoted people mentally.
This is one that I’ve come to notice recently. I have encountered brilliant people who will not embrace God because they cannot fully comprehend Him. And I have met little children who love Him with all their hearts.
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’.”Matthew 18:3
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2
I’m not saying God positions us to be simple minded, but rather heavenly minded. He enables us to surrender our prideful desire to completely grasp Godly things with our human intellect. He positions us mentally to accept Him. When we open ourselves to His prompting, the Holy Spirit does His convincing work, and our faith grows.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”2 Timothy 3:14, 15
Some say it’s wrong to move on from connections, situations, institutions, and such. They see it as a failure of loyalty. And I guess, at times, it can be that.
But when we realize God positions His devoted people emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally, we shouldn’t be surprised when shuffles happen. Instead of taking offense, hopefully we will encourage everyone to follow God, wherever He leads. Separation is painful, but it is temporary. We will have comradery for all eternity once our work on earth is done!
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.”Psalm 14:8, 10