Jeremiah 29:7 And work for the peace of prosperity of the city where I send you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.
I’m currently sitting on the back porch of my in-laws house watching the sun set behind the beautiful mountains of Arkansas. I’ve been out here for an hour asking God what can I do better going into 2017 and what can I encourage all of you in as well. One thing I believe in wholeheartedly when it comes to God’s placement in our lives is that He makes no mistakes. I believe God wants to encourage some of you that where He has you placed wrapping up your 2016, is exactly where He wants you for your 2017. Hence the title of this Mid-Week FLOW “Dig Where Rooted.” I believe you are rooted exactly where God wants you & the question is – Will you Dig & not Run?
In Jeremiah 29:7, think on that phrase “The City where I Send you into Exile.” That’s not quite the same as God saying I’m sending you to a land flowing with Milk and Honey, a land with Krispy Kremes and Blue Bell! (BBV – Brandon Barber Version)
If I told you that you have a few options on where to live:
- In a Prison Cell surrounded by drug lords, prostitutes, and murders
- House in the Hood surrounded by violence, gangs, & clubs.
- Big Yellow House, white picket fence, tire swing out on the Front Oak tree in a clean community. Hot pancakes with Nutella or Peter Pan Peanut butter for breakfast. (because that’s the best) or maybe that’s just my fantasy!
What would you choose? What seems like exile to you & what is not?
Or a better question, are they all in exile or none of them?
The point is if we all had the choice we would choose #3 because it seems to have the most peace & prosperity. I’m a firm believer that you are called where God has planted you, whether it’s easy or hard. A farmer decides where the seed is planted, not the seed. When weeds kick up, troubles come and exile takes place; it’s easy to pick up and go plant somewhere else. That’s called running! But God hasn’t called us to run & replant. He doesn’t make mistakes, and was like “Oops I meant to tell you to go East when I told you to go West.” No, He doesn’t tell us to run and replant, He tells us to dig. Digging is what cleans the roots that re-births prosperous living. Do you trust where God has you? If you do and are faithful to it, you will see God’s blessing.
Usually I stop here around 300 words for a blog, but if you can stick with me, let me flip the script a little bit. Keep reading and I’ll throw this mid-week flow a different direction.
God has you rooted where you are in the city for a reason, and that reason is to impact people for the Kingdom. But for many of us option #3 is just a dream or desire, not reality. Exile is so often looked at from the outside in & sectioned off by the city we live. But when God looks at Exile He’s looking into the spirit & the heart. He is not looking at race, color, titles or positions. He is not looking at penthouse, outhouse, country club or club. But He is looking at the Inner man!
…”Its welfare will determine your welfare” Let me rephrase this:
“God will bless you because you bless others; God will help you because you help Others.”
So the big question is… DO YOU GOT SOME DIRT ON YOU?
Man was formed from dirt, so that makes people dirt. So are you helping dirty people dig? Dig for their purpose, dig for their dreams, dig for breakthrough, dig for recovery from addiction, dig for freedom and healing. If you dig you will have dirt. Helping people gets messy because they have a lot of mess. But remember you had mess too! If Jesus did it for us, we can do it for others!
Some questions to ask ourselves as a church:
If Elevate Church disappeared from our city, would our city even notice?
Would the local government, law enforcement, community organizations and leaders, schools, hospitals, assisted living homes, the inner city and poverty stricken areas, the widows, the prisoners, the shut in’s and elderly, the prostitutes & sex trafficked, the pimps and dealers, the homeless, the forgotten children in foster care?
Questions I ask My Family:
If I disappeared from my city, would my city even notice?
Would my neighborhood notice the Barbers are gone?
The world’s culture says seek for peace & prosperity for ourselves. God’s culture says seek peace & prosperity for others.
1 Timothy 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them…
Could this be your rally cry this year? Trust where God has you & do whatever you can to reach the people around you. Ask yourself, how can you dig this week? Is there someone at work that you can spend a little extra time at lunch with to dig into their lives to build relationship? You never know, one conversation could change their life. Where can you dig this week in your marriage, your kids, family?
DIG WHERE ROOTED & watch God do extraordinary things in your 2017!
Pastor Brandon Barber