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Uniquely wired, uniquely placed

Matt Chandler » Worship Heart Calling Community Stewardship Culture

You have been uniquely wired by God. And not only that, but the Bible says you’ve been uniquely placed by God.

Here’s what Acts 17:24–26 says: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”

In other words, you might have surprised Mom and Dad, but you didn’t surprise the Lord. God has uniquely wired you and uniquely placed you. If we went on to read in Acts 17, here’s what you would read: “That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Placed within the context of God’s command to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18–20), this idea should eradicate boredom from the Christian mind and heart.

Lockering next to Jeff

For no reason whatsoever, I was drawn toward athletics growing up. I don’t have the body for it. I don’t really have the temperament for it. I don’t have the coordination for it. I would have probably done great at writing poetry or painting, but my heart wanted to play ball.

I joined a football team when we moved from California, and I ended up lockering next to a guy named Jeff, who also loved football. He actually starred on the team and went on to play college ball. I got to just be on the team and run scout stuff: “This is what the other team is going to do. Chandler, stand there.” We were the dummies the starters practiced on.

You didn’t surprise the Lord. God has uniquely wired you and uniquely placed you.

Both of us loved athletics, but Jeff saw past football into the kingdom of God, and playing ball for him wasn’t an end in itself. He understood it to be the avenue by which he could share the gospel with others. Sure enough, he turned to me one time and said, “I need to tell you about Jesus. When do you want to do that?”

Just as in Paul’s Acts 17 sermon, aptitude, allotted periods, and boundaries collided, and God got his hooks in me.

Today I’m a pastor, and I preach the Bible. If anything good has happened out of that, it’s because a seventeen-year-old kid saw past high school football and into eternity. He treated his football period and practice as a mission field for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It brought a meaning to playing football that transcended athletics.

Beyond home and work

If Acts 17 is true, it means the meaning of our living in our neighborhood goes well beyond us simply living in that neighborhood. Our neighborhood is transformed into the place we were put by God. It turns into a mission field. It turns into the very place we are commanded to make disciples.

Who is in the office or cubicle next to you? Who do you share a workstation with? This also monumentally transforms our work into a place we connect with people and introduce them to Jesus.

Our neighborhood is transformed into the place we were put by God. It turns into a mission field.

Embracing God’s call on our life to herald the good news of the gospel transforms every arena of our life. For instance, I work out not because I have any hope of ever being “swole.” I go and work out because it enables me to encourage other believers. It helps me build relationships with people who don’t know Jesus. Would I like my power clean numbers to come up? Sure, but that’s not what’s motivating me to get up and go. What’s motivating me to get up and go is I work with a bunch of Christians.

My daughter loves to ride horses, so she goes out and rides horses. God has put me in that arena now with her. When I’m with her I have the opportunity to meet people I probably would never have met. My son is playing flag football. When I’m at practices or games, I get to meet all of the parents. My youngest daughter is in gymnastics. Now, I’m at these little gymnastics meets. I’m meeting people I wouldn’t meet otherwise. In all of this, I want to see through these lenses: God is near to them because he has put me there.

God is not far from any of us

The unique place God places us in transforms everything we do. The place we live, work, or the activities we’re involved with become less about us and more about God. He has uniquely designed us, uniquely wired us, and uniquely placed us so that men and women would seek him and find him. He is not far from any of us because he has put us in their life.

God met me in a football locker room. That’s what Paul meant when he said that God is not far from any of us. God is not far from your neighbor—because you’re next door. God is not far from your coworker—because you’re next door.

We should never be bored. There’s an eternal significance to every aspect of our lives. I want to see the world through these lenses.

 


 

Pastor Matt Chandler will be speaking at the 2013 Resurgence Conference. Find out more about the conference here or watch the latest video from Pastor Mark Driscoll on R13.


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