The pastor smiled as he leaned back in his chair, “God doesn’t care where you live, Bethany.”
My fiancé’ and I had been earnestly seeking God’s guidance about where to live after we got married. Should we stay local and keep our family happy or act on an opportunity to spread our wings and move out of state? Several choices lay before us, but they were socked in by the fog of family tension and we were unsure which way to go.
I sat stock still in my chair as the pastor went on, “Where you live, where you work, doesn’t really matter to God. He is much more interested in your relationship with Him and that you live a solid Christian life–wherever you and Mike choose to go.”
The ground seemed to slip beneath me as I struggled with his words. God doesn’t care where I live? Then how can I know if I’m making the right choice? Is it really up to me, and I just “bring God along”?
I didn’t believe it then and 25 years of pursuing God and “His will” later, I don’t believe it now.
Details drive any well executed plan and often determine the outcome.
I see this throughout Scripture as God worked both in big picture arcs and in “doesn’t-matter-details” to accomplish His will. A close reading of any portion of Scripture reveals that God specializes in details–and more importantly–works through them to accomplish His purposes.
So then are details like where we live or work ultimately up to us because they don’t “really matter to God”?
I question a theology where any of several “options” can be chosen and labeled “God’s will.”
God drove this theme forcefully home to me amidst a recent struggle as I read the opening line in I Timothy 1:1 –
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God . . . “
“ . . . by the command of God . . . “ Not by suggestion or by the ever popular ” invitation to join God” in His work. No, Paul walked with God “by the command of God,” a lone rugged, path marked by power and freedom from doubt about where you live or what you do there.
And as God commanded the life and steps of the apostle Paul, so He commands ours. That means God calls the shots, not me. Where I live and work, what I do with my life is subject to God’s command.
I know, “theology” and who wants to go there? But this issue is important because an understanding of God’s sovereignty (His interest in and control over His world) colors every aspect of our daily lives and dictates the decisions we make.
Whether we realize it or not.
Because this isn’t an issue reserved for the theological erudite and elite. It isn’t limited to Calvinist vs. Armenian debates, either. This is a critical issue for the decisions you and I face today.
Including those that “don’t really matter to God.”
Friend, God does care about where you live, where you work. He has specific places He has planned to use you, individual lives He has positioned you to change. God is working all the way down through the minutiae of your life because He cares about you–and others-–and has a preordained plan for it all. One with a lot of details.
Details that matter.
How about you? What details has God used to direct your life?
Photos courtesy of Crestock.com