Exact Place to Live

By Pastor Teck Uy

We often wonder why the Lord had brought us from the land of our birth to where we now live. Was the Lord’s hand in all of these movements or was it just our decision to move? If we consider what the Bible tells us, all these movements were in accordance with God’s plan. The apostle Paul revealed this truth when he said, “From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26). Since it is not an accident that we are where we are today but that it was God’s plan, we should consider this as a blessing.

But why would God uproot some of us from our place of birth only to be replanted in a foreign land? Is our place of birth not good enough for us to thrive? Most of the time, it is not for economic reasons that we are uprooted from our native land; rather, it is to accomplish God’s purpose. The apostle Paul further explained, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). When we are in our native land, we tend to depend on our relatives and loved ones for our survival. We do not find any need for God since we are well provided for. However, when we are in a foreign land where we have nobody to lean on, we seek the Lord and trust in his divine providence.

A good example of a man that was plucked out from his land of birth and transplanted in a place he did not choose was Abraham. The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). This was a strange command; why would God remove him not only from his land of birth but from his relatives as well? Again, this was to accomplice God’s purpose in starting a godly generation. The place Abraham had been living in was full of idolatry. There was no chance for him to be able to live a holy and blameless life. His own relatives would have greatly influenced him to live the same way that everybody in their locality lived. The only remedy was for him to move out of the place and to leave everybody else behind. And this was what God did to Abraham.

Many of us can relate to Abraham’s experience. We too were living among idolatrous people before. We were counted among them and there was no chance of being born again. The traditions of our forefathers were deeply ingrained in our hearts and those around us, and it was not easy for us to be liberated from them without straining relationships. But because we moved away from our relatives to live in a foreign land, we were able to start a new life just like Abraham. It is not a surprise then to see many immigrants being born again because they were set free from the ungodly influences of relatives back home. It was also in the foreign land that they developed dependence on the Lord for their survival. Since they no longer had relatives and loved ones to depend on, they learned to trust in God.

In the land where the Lord planted us, we need to heed the admonition of the apostle Paul. He said, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim 2:1-2). We all desire to live not only peaceful but prosperous lives. We cannot have these unless we do our share of praying for those in authority over us. Each one of them can make our lives enjoyable or miserable. We can particularly enjoy life if we have godly rulers because our service to the Lord will be unhindered. Otherwise, it will be even be more difficult to live holy and blameless lives.

In our particular case, Canada was given to us as our new home. We need to pray that righteousness will be restored in the land. We must always remember that the founding fathers of Canada established the nation based on godly principles. To ensure that the generations to come will not forget this truth, they have some verses from Scripture inscribed in the arches of the windows of the Parliament building. On the east window was inscribed Psalm 72:8, “He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” and the south window was Psalm 72:1, “Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.” The west window has Prov. 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” As we live in this land at such a time as this, let us carry on the vision of the founding fathers and ensure that righteousness will prevail in the land that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is the land chosen by God for us to live in – let us enjoy it. Praise the Lord!