Grow Where You Are Planted

Joshua 17:14-18 (NLT) 14 The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, “Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the Lord has blessed us with so many people?” 15 Joshua replied, “If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest where the Perizzites and Rephaites live.” 16 The descendants of Joseph responded, “It’s true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shan and its surrounding settlements and those in the valley of Jezreel. They are too strong for us.” 17 Then Joshua said to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph, “Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion. 18 The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”

In today’s verses, Ephraim and Manasseh are consumed with discontent. “How am I supposed to begin living the Promised Life with just this from God?”

Have you ever caught yourself saying that to God? “How am I supposed to begin to live the Promised Life with just this?” The answer to that struggle is simple: grow where you’re planted. We cannot simply demand that God give us an easier or better life, which is what Ephraim and Manasseh are trying to do here.

We are where we are because of where we are. And God wants us to grow right where we are. All we want is for God to change things for us. And all God wants is to use where we are to change us. We want God to make things better. God wants to use things to make us better. We want God to change our circumstances. God wants to use our circumstances to change us. Do you see the opposite perspectives?

God says, “No. I am not going to give you an easy life. I am not going to change things for you. Where you’re at, I want you because I’m refining you, I’m pressing you, I’m molding and shaping. I’m taking the dross off. I’m turning you more into Jesus!

From glory to glory into the image of Christ, we are transformed. God uses where you’re planted to do that. Stop kicking against it. And start growing there so that you can begin to take possession of the promised life right where you’re at.
We need to be less committed to demanding that God fix our circumstances and be more committed to seeking, with everything we have, to grow in our capacity for Christ right where we’re at. Right in the situation we’re at. Right in the circumstance we’re at. We don’t say, “God, fix it! Fix it! Fix it!” We say, “Jesus, I need more of you, and more of you, and more of you. I need to grow in my relationship, my genuine relationship with you. I need to grow in my ability to put my faith into action. And I need to grow in my obedience in order to drive out the enemy right where I am.” Period.

We need to grow where we’re planted. We don’t need a greener lot. We need more of a commitment to grow in Christ in the lot that we’re in. We need a commitment to take possession of the true promised life in the lot that we are in. And if we will commit to grow in Christ right where we’re at, then often, God will give us more. He’ll give us more when we learn to grow in our capacity for Christ where we’re at. God will say, “Okay. Here’s more. Here’s more. Here’s more.” But often, not until we learn to seek Christ where we’re at.

You’ll find out that the promised life is more and worth more than anything this world can offer you. Anything at all. You start taking possession of it by growing where you’re planted.

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Journal: Review today’s verses. Have you ever been discontented with your “lot” in life and maybe complained to God about it? Most of us probably have. Consider how the truth in today’s verses applies to you. Now, in the Apply section of your journal, write what the Holy Spirit is impressing on your heart for your life today, personally and specifically. Then, in the Respond section, write down what you will do about how the Holy Spirit applied God’s Word to your life today. What faithful, obedient action can you take to make these truths real in your current circumstances? And then complete your time alone with God in prayer. In the Pray section of your journal, write your prayer according to what God has impressed on you and what you have experienced in his presence today. Pray to align your heart with God’s will.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for being so faithful to us when we are grumbling against what we have in this life. We recognize your hand in our lives and praise you for what you are doing. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, help us flourish, grow, and remain growing exactly where we are in our lives in our current circumstances. For your glory and in your name, Jesus, amen.

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1 Comment

Roger - February 8th, 2024 at 4:08am

Thanks Dave I love growing in Christ with you. Keep it up brother. Love y’all.