You Are Here
In the mall or airport, do you feel the same anxiety I do when you see a “you are here” map? I need two data points to use the map: (1) my current location and (2) my destination. An arbitrary star on a map with the words “you are here” gives me no information to plot my course. Looking at the shops around me, I must figure out where I am on the map. When I think I’ve pinpointed my location, I must decide where I’m going so I can plan a route to get there. After I leave the map, I rely on what is called cognitive mapping. How well do I remember the map, and can I follow it to my destination?
As an evangelist’s wife in the early 1990s, I remember sitting beside my husband in the cab of our truck, trying to read the big Rand McNally map. Trying to figure out where we were on the map was the most challenging part of navigation, let alone plotting a path to reach our destination in towns where roads had changed!
In our lives and ministries, we may feel like we are standing in front of the “you are here” map, trying to get directions. We know we have a purpose, a destiny, a calling, and an anointing, but we are seeking a destination. As with the “you are here” map, you must first determine your location. What is your season? What is your current set of circumstances?
I recently heard Thetus Tenney share a fantastic lesson on seasons. Often we try to move beyond our season too quickly. Young mothers, this season is for your children. You are the most valuable teacher they have, and God intends for you to be present and focused on their training. Working pastor’s wife, you cannot do everything. Learn to ask for help, delegate, and (gasp!) even cancel some things. Senior lady, it’s okay to rest a little. You may not have the stamina, energy, or health you had in the past. That’s okay! Learn to be productive for the Kingdom in different ways. You still have a purpose, anointing, and value. Your season is the “you are here” marker in your life. Perhaps your location does not represent a season but your circumstances. You may be in the middle of a health crisis, dealing with relationship issues, or facing situations out of your control. You can’t plot a way to a new destination until you recognize where you are at present.
The next step is to activate your cognitive mapping and plot a path to your destination. Recently I was approached by a young lady who felt a call from God to preach. My first questions to her were, “How many sermons have you written? What lessons have you studied and prepared?” Her answer was, “None.” I replied, “These are the only things you can do right now.” If you feel called to lead worship, then begin preparing today. Learn to play the piano or the guitar, read music, and teach vocal parts. If you have the anointing of God to preach or teach, read and study the Word continually, and prepare sermons and lessons. Teach a Sunday school class, teen group, Bible study, or ladies’ group. The principle of giving and receiving applies to more than just money; it also applies to your talents. God cannot open a door until you have proven that you have something in your hand for Him to use.
The Bible tells the story of Job —a man whose life was moving in the right direction. He knew exactly where he was and where he was going. Suddenly, Job’s life was thrown off course. We find him standing in front of a “you are here” sign in Job 23:3-4 (NKJV). “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments.” Job is standing in front of a sign looking for his destination—the throne of God. He is determined to march into the throne room and present the arguments for why he did not deserve this detour. In the middle of the conversation, Job reveals he had walked all around the situation and still could not find the location. “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him. When he works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him. When he turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him” (Job 23:8-9, NKJV). Oh, Job, I understand what you are saying. I’ve often thought I knew where I was going when suddenly, I realized I was as lost as ever. I had to return to the “you are here” sign to reorient myself.
Be encouraged today. As Job stood before his sign, he had an epiphany that we all need to experience: “But He knows the way I take” (Job 23:10, NKJV). I want you to know if you cannot find your present location or see a destination on your “you are here” map, Almighty God knows exactly where you are. He has no trouble locating you at any moment or in any situation. God is never confused about where you are and knows where He desires you to go. God has already mapped out your destiny and is watching over your life to help you accomplish your purpose. Lift your eyes above the “you are here” map of your life and recognize that your God has you located, positioned, and ready for an extraordinary destiny!
CARLA BURTON and her husband, J. Kurtis Burton, pastor The Turning Point Church in Madison, Tennessee. She is a credentialed UPCI minister and the creator of A Passion Approach—a digital ministry offering downloadable Apostolic resources (apassionapproach.com).