Think it On Sunday: Stake and Claim

Jonah:  a man who knew the voice of God; a run-a-way prophet; put the lives of others at risk; lived three days in complete misery in the belly of a great fish; given a second chance; reclaimed his God-given territory through repentance and obedience; learned about the heart of God in the process.

How many times have we heard the voice of God speak an assignment to us and we ran because the assignment didn't look like what we thought it should look like?  Many times, I'm sure, if we're honest. 

If the assignment isn't suited to meet our expectations, we get angry, we pout, we whine, and we run the other way. Why? We run because our hearts don't look like His.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD."
                                                               (Isaiah 55:8 NKJV)

Sunday's message from the book of Jonah steered me on a little side trip, chauffeured by the Holy Spirit.  I was led to examine my territory; my God-given, just for Melanie, territory which He has entrusted me with to proclaim Him, to lead people to the cross, and to disciple.  I've been given a portion of territory to stake out and claim for Jesus Christ. At this time, and in this place, I've been given a sphere of influence, a place of ministry, and I'm divinely equipped.

Here are some questions I was led to ask myself: What am I doing with the territory that God has called me to work?  Am I being faithful and staking out every opportunity to claim another soul for Christ?  Do I have feelings of anger or jealousy because I don't like the territory, or the assignment I've been given? Am I comparing territories? Am I wasting time wishing I had someone else's territory to work? Do I consider my assignment important to the Kingdom as a whole?

Not as much as I used to, but I have answered "yes" to some of those questions.

I know what it feels like to compare territories.  I've been there.  We all wish at one time or another that we could do what someone else does, or have someone else's ministry. 

Someone may appear to be doing more for the glory of God and seeing real results, while we may not see results as quickly, or not at all.
Someone may have a bigger platform from which to stake and claim their territory and ours may seem small, uneventful, or insignificant.

Comparison is a crafty technique Satan has used for all of history to discourage God's people from focusing on their own territory and assignments.

How about this response? "I don't really like this place of ministry or the people I've been given to work with."

Just because we don't like the surroundings or the people doesn't mean we are not called to stake and claim it.  Wasn't that Jonah's issue?  He wanted the wicked people of Nineveh to be wiped out; not saved!  He wanted to preach a message of destruction, not the message of salvation. 

Jonah's thoughts were not God's thoughts, nor his ways God's ways.

There can be a number of reasons that we allow Satan to discourage us from doing what God has assigned us to do.  When we allow his lies to permeate our attitudes and minds, we accomplish little or nothing for the Kingdom of Christ. This is a miserable place to be.

In the eyes of God, there are no insignificant territories. 

All territories are filled with people (souls) and people are the heartbeat of God.

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
(2 Peter 3:9 NKJV, emphasis mine)

So how should we perceive our territory and not run or whine about it?

  • Be thankful that God saved us through the obedience of someone else staking and claiming their territory. Next, be thankful that he has entrusted us with an assignment. Be thankful that we know and hear the voice of God and have the honor and the freedom to obey His voice.  If we're miserable, chances are we've lost our heart of gratefulness.  Repent of the lack of gratefulness and begin viewing people as the heartbeat of God. This will produce a renewed and thankful heart. 

  • Be obedient. Stake and claim the territory that God has entrusted us with and rejoice over the victories He gives us. 

  • Be content with where God has assigned us because He created us for certain assignments which He has divinely equipped us to do.

  • Be faithful to complete our assignments. God will expand our territory if we are faithful with what He has already entrusted us with.  

  • Be alert! Listen intently to His voice. With each assignment comes the challenge to know God's heart a little more and to mature in our faith; moving us from glory to glory.  

As we walk in obedience, we will be filled with indescribable joy wherever He takes us... 
even if it was the exact place we ran from the first time.

"Help me Lord, to stake and claim the territory that you have designed just for me.  Forgive my disobedience and not receiving my assignments with a grateful heart. Change my perspective to see people as you see them, and jolt my heart's rhythm to be in sync with Yours.  Amen."

My Pleasure,