“..I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2b-3 NKJV
When Jesus spoke this, He was no doubt referring to heaven. However as we listen to His words, we can also catch a glimpse into our Lord’s nature. And I believe, if we have ears to hear it, the revelation of this can position us for great direction in 2016.
There are some of us who are going to new places this year. Places which we probably have not even seen yet. Places we may not even know the name for. It could be a new job, a new city, a new home, a new opportunity, or a new assignment. We’ve felt the stirring in our hearts, yet it’s not one hundred percent clear as to what we’re looking for. In some ways, it feels similar to what God spoke to Abraham, when He simply said “Go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1, Acts 7:3) In other words, you’ll know it when you get there. But if that’s the case, how do we know what to look for? How will we know when we find it? How will we know if it’s the right “place”?
First and foremost, we must look for His presence.
When Moses installed Joshua as the new leader of Israel, he told the people that God’s presence would go “before them” (Deuteronomy 31:3,8). Obviously, God is omnipotent; He is everywhere. But one of the ways He guides us is by going ahead of us, clearing the path, preparing things ahead of time. And to give us clues we are heading in the right direction, He is gracious enough to make His presence manifest (visible to us) in undoubtable ways.
When my husband and I moved to Jacksonville, we spent several days – weeks even – driving around and looking for a “place” to live. I’ll never forget when we discovered the piece of property that we now live on. The lot was vacant. There were no roads, no houses. Just dirt and trees. But there was something unique we “felt” there. We hadn’t even looked at floor plans for a home yet – but we could almost envision the home on the lot without even trying. We didn’t even have kids yet, but we could almost see them, running around the big yard.
We asked our contractor if we could have a moment to talk it over and pray, and as we stepped aside and asked God to show us if this was the place, we looked up and there was a huge, bright rainbow in the sky. That immediately spoke something to our spirit. What is so significant about this is that Revelation 4:3 tells us that a rainbow surrounds the throne of God in heaven. We know that God gave the rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the whole earth with a flood again (Genesis 9:13). But what we must realize is that He seals that promise with a manifest (visible) sign of His presence.
That day, on this vacant lot on which now sits our home, God in His grace gave us a sign and made His presence manifest for us to see and know that this was it. Now of course, I’m not saying that we should always ask for God to show us a rainbow. That day, standing on our lot, we wouldn’t have even thought to ask Him for a rainbow in the sky. But what I am saying is that God knows how to communicate to us in ways that are undoubtable. We must only believe that He wants to, and then we must turn our attention to Him and ask Him to show us. And finally – here’s the tricky part for some of us: we must have the patience to wait on Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, (and this is God talking) “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” The word “great” can be translated to mean “important things, large in number, even” and the word “mighty” means things which are otherwise “inaccessible, or closed off; secrets and/or mysteries”.
So if you have felt this stirring in your heart, knowing that God is taking you to new places in 2016, don’t stress over it. Don’t feel like you have to make something happen. And don’t feel like you’re going to miss it. Abide in the joy of what God has prepared for you. And know that He is already going before you, making the way clear, so that where He is, there you may be also.
Linda G. Riddle