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Seeds of the Kingdom

God ordains the times and places where we should live

by Margaret Southey

24 January 2009

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From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
Acts 17:26, NIV

Did you know that not only did God create each one of us but he put us in this world in these times and in a particular place of His choosing? None of this is by chance or error. We may not be happy about God’s choice of timing or place. After all, the times are troubled and the world (some places in particular) is shaky.

There is little we can do about living in these times. We can’t re-invent ourselves in another time. However, God gave us a free will and a life to live the way we choose. So we can move about for whatever reasons we consider valid. We can move to a place we believe will offer us more money, greater security or a better life-style. We may like to agree with the media when we are reminded regularly that we ‘deserve the best’.

A word of warning. We don’t deserve the best. We don’t deserve anything, sinners that we are. However, God loves us and has a plan for each of us which he wants to work out in our life. For this to happen we need to allow God to be in control, to surrender our life and future to him. To pick up ourselves, family, life and possessions and go somewhere else may be contrary to God’s plan for us. On the other hand, it’s possible that His plan may be to send us to another place. He moves His people from place to place all the time so that His purposes may be achieved. However, it’s God’s prerogative to take the initiative, not ours. When we are in God’s will, His hand is upon us. When we move out of His will, we become targets for the enemy.

Rather than being unhappy or even fearful about where we are and casting around for other options, perhaps we should be praying: “Father, You have placed me here at this time. How do You want to use me? How can I be available to You so that You can work out Your purposes in this place?”

So, in an increasingly insecure world, these words of Scripture serve to root and ground us. They provide us with the security of knowing that we are where we are because that’s what God has ordained, and to date He has not shown us otherwise.

Prayer: Father, it’s not a mistake that I am living in insecure times in a place that’s difficult and sometimes frightening. Please help me draw my security from You and not from the place where I live. Show me how I can be Your instrument of peace and healing here and now, how I can shine with Your love and joy and how I can share the good news of who You are with those around me. Amen.

Margaret Southey is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has had a career in education. Her passion is to understand the truth of God’s Word and to share it with others. She is part of the ministry and teaching team of Ellel, Africa.


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