“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him
and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for
in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Whoa. Take a minute to think that through.
God, the Almighty, decides when kingdoms rise and when they fall. He plans where one nation’s boundaries end and where the next begins. He carefully determines who will be dwelling where and in what time period.
Do you realize what that means? God has a reason for putting each and every person where they are now! The house you live in, the year you were born, the people you know. The president of the United States, the dictator of North Korea, the Queen of England. The border between France and Italy, the system of castes in India, the method of trade in Brazil. The neighbor who just moved in next door, your first workplace, the title of the book in the bookstore yesterday.
“Man plans his way, but God directs his steps.” There is a reason that God has you where you are right now. God has a plan for why you encounter each and every person today. The details of your life that seem insignificant have been orchestrated by God to fit His determined will.
Why? What is His reason, what is the purpose? “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”
The man born blind. For his whole life, he wondered why God chose that he would be blind from birth and do you remember what Jesus told him? “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
Esther. She was stolen from her home to become the wife of a man who kicked out his other queen, a man who held Esther’s people captive. Remember what Mordecai told her? “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Joseph. His brothers sold him out of jealousy, and he was sold into slavery in Egypt. After years in jail, he became ruler of the country. Remember what he told his brothers years later? “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
All over the Bible, we see people placed in a certain period of time because God put them there. And we see it done for a reason.
So that we would seek the Lord.
Grope for Him.
Friends, does the knowledge that God has placed you where you are for a reason change the way you view your surroundings? What if we looked at this world with the thought and the realization that we are here because Almighty God wanted us right here, right now, for a reason? Would it change the way we see things?
Would it change the way we think to know that God allowed (He did not condone) people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Osama Bin Laden to make their appearance and run their evil course? God permitted these men to be in power, even though their rule brought death and sorrow to millions, even though their rule wrecked economies, even though their actions shocked nations. “Even the forces of evil are used in such a way ‘that all kingdoms on earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.’ Evil brings pain, but it is the genius of God to bring good out of evil!”
You see, times of destruction and evil and sorrow and brokenness and peril bring more opportunities than the times of peace and safety and happiness.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Understand what the will of the Lord is! His will for you is to be where He has put you when He put you there and to walk through the open door He has given you to accomplish His purpose.
I challenge you, as you go throughout your day, your week, wake up in the morning and remind yourself that God put you here for a reason. Ask Him to show you how He wants to use you where He has you. Seek Him, grope for Him, for in Him you live and move and have your being. For who knows whether you are here for such a time as this?
“But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let Him walk. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.”
– 1 Corinthians 7:17, 24