Making sure we are in pole position with the Lord!
(Anna Forbes, Shetland).
At the beginning of this year I was praying and felt the Lord say to me “I am positioning you!” It was so clear and I started to chew it over – particularly the importance of being rightly positioned by Him in order to be ready and effective for Kingdom initiatives.
The first Scripture that came immediately to mind was Habakkuk 2:1 “I will take my post, I will position myself on the fortress, I will keep watch to see what God says to me’.” Some versions say, “I will stand at my guard post, and station myself on the lookout tower.”
And then it goes, of course, to say, “then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision, and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens towards the goal and will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it. For it will surely come, it will not delay.”
This has really been speaking to me, about the call to be watchman: being obedient in seeking Him and listening to what He has to say about lots of things, the Body of Christ, the nation, specific things to pray for . . ..
As a watchman on his watchtower Habakkuk was in the best position both to ask God questions and to hear His answers. I love the fact that He waits ‘in expectation’. That is such an important part of maintaining a position of actively watching, discerning, and listening – getting a clear view from our high position ‘seated with Christ in heavenly places.’ (Eph. 2:6)
As I was driving the other day it was as though the fence posts at the side of the road suddenly ‘came alive’. I realised that the Lord was showing me that it was the precision of their positioning that made it possible for them to fulfil their purpose. All of them were deliberately driven into the ground one by one, evenly spaced with each one working together to create a boundary.
Boundaries are there for very good reasons of protection. I started reflecting that when a post is missing or broken it affects the whole fence. It leaves a gap – and until that gap is repaired, there is danger, vulnerability and weakness.
God quickened Isaiah 58.12 to me: “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins. You will raise up age old foundations, and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell ” It made me think about Nehemiah rebuilding the city walls.
Then God gave me this scripture which I love and often send to people when they are moving house: Acts 17.26 “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwellings.” Verse 27 says ” that they should seek God” It is God who determines where we should live. He has a purpose in everything . . . so that people may come to know Him. What unfathomable skill and sovereignty that set the boundaries of the sea so that the waves could not come any further, exactly how far the earth is from the sun and so on and wonderfully on!
The thought of how intentional God is in where He has positioned us, and who we are positioned with, has really gripped me. And how He assigns where we fellowship and worship, where we work, our experiences, our hobbies, yes, even our difficulties and pain (remember Joseph!) He is always acting according to His divine purposes, and has personalised assignments for each one of us – with unique opportunities, to shine His light and reach out to others. We live where we do for a purpose.
We are His workmanship and called to work together for His glory, whether we are called to high position like Daniel (Dan. 52:48, 9) and Nehemiah who used their key positions to such good effect – or whether we are ‘believers in humble circumstances’, who can therefore ‘take pride in their high position.’ (James 1.9)
I have thought about how crucial position is in all parts of life. And how in Him all things hold together. He decides where the waves of the sea; He determines the dates for the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires – and He knew the moment we would enter the world. Already He sees how we will be with Him in eternity when our time on Earth has run its course!
Everything works smoothly when positioning is correct and there is alignment. Team players have to stick to the boundaries of their position or they make their team vulnerable.
We are praying for the right people to come to Shetland who will belong here – and for those who should be going out from here on mission to have the courage to do so. May people hear from God about what their calling is and how they fit within the body, and willingly embrace that unique role God has for them..
To return to Nehemiah: what I like about him is he didn’t abuse his authority. He used his position to be a powerful and positive influence and he unified the people. He didn’t rush either – he took time to inspect the walls. As Warren Wiersbe put it, ‘Nehemiah saw more at night than the residents saw in the daylight.’
I really like that! He had a vision and he got on with getting the job done. He was honest, he had humility and he fully trusted God with the task entrusted to him. He had just the right approach too to encourage others to get involved and motivated. Both physically and spiritually he restored people.
Best of all, he used burnt stones to rebuild the walls. I love the fact that He is so willing to use those who have been through fire or failure. May we be quick to recognise the potential in such people rather than to leave them to one side. God delights in using weak things of the world to shame the strong, and the foolish things to confound the wise.
I’m praying for perfect positioning in the wall, so we truly can be living stones in His spiritual house!
God spoke to me again today saying, “Be bold – don’t withhold!” That’s why I am sending this out to you all now. I go through phases when I am inclined to hold back – it’s a confidence thing. I battle the enemy telling me my voice isn’t necessary or that I’m looking for approval. I know it’s a lie but I have to battle it at times all the same! Perhaps you do too?
‘Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup, You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me. I will keep my eyes always on the Lord, With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken’ Amen! (Ps. 16:5-8)
This article is by our friend Anna, who moved up to Shetland at the same time that we did. Her daughter and lovely family now live at The Rock, our former home on the island. This delightful short video clip by their daughter and son in law was filmed around the Rock, and can be found on the New Life Facebook page.
Pictures of Shetland