I have to give credit for this line of thought to Farron Duncan, whose sermon touched me deeply this past Sunday. As he was speaking about Peter’s healing of Tabitha, he spoke about “holy positioning.” Recounting the stories of Peter in Acts 9-10, Farron noted that Peter’s route of Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea put him in positions to become an agent of the Gospel, as he brought healing to Aeneas and Dorcas and the power of the gospel to Cornelius and his family.
Most likely, Peter was based in Jerusalem. However, he “just so happened” to go to Lydda and discovered Aeneas who was in need of healing. After Dorcas died, Peter “just so happened” to be close to Joppa, so the disciples requested Peter to come to them and she was raised from the dead. Since he “just so happened” to be on the Mediterranean coast, the trip to Caesarea was in reach and Peter followed both his vision and request to visit Cornelius.
That’s three “it just so happened” in a row. Was this a happy coincidence or, serendipity or good luck? Given that Acts emphasizes the work of the Spirit, the sharing of these three episodes in succession is to emphasize that God is at work sharing both the message and the power of the gospel. Peter was positioned by God to be where God needed him to be.
As the fullness of the appointment season draws to a close, I am reminded that from the Cabinet’s perspective, there are missional reasons behind every appointment. It is with a great deal of prayer, personal and collective, that the ministries of pastors and churches are united. Sometimes, the reasons don’t seem readily apparent, but they are there. I confess that in my own itineracy in the North Carolina Annual Conference, there were times I was wondering why I was appointed to a particular church or charge. However, as I look over my geographical and chronological sojourn, I can see God’s guiding hand within my ministry and the churches I was called to serve.
Whether you are remaining at your present appointment or moving to a new location, I invite you to consider the where and the why of your position. Rather than by accident or serendipity, might God have a purpose for you right where you are? Perhaps God has “holy positioned” you because of your gifts, passions and skill set to boldly lead a congregation into God’s preferred future. This is true not only for pastors, but for the laity as well. Leaders might be where they need to be so that God can work a miracle and the gospel might be shared in new and impactful ways.
To use a phrase from the book of Esther, “Who knows, but that you have come to your [royal] position for such a time as this?” Who knows, maybe you are where you are to be a conduit of grace and a catalyst for the healing of bodies, minds, spirits and communities.
Personally, I live with a deep trust of God’s providential grace. I pray that you will discover how God can use (and is using) you for the sake of Christ’s mission on earth.
If you would like to view past editions of Moments with Mike, follow this link: https://corridordistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/