Have you ever faced a situation where you felt alone; where you felt like no one understands what you are going through? Have you ever been faced with a problem which you cannot solve and no one else seems able to solve it? Have you ever felt lost in life? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions you are in ‘Uncharted Territory’.
Life is full of uncharted territory. Uncharted territory is an area “not recorded or plotted on a map, chart, or plan” (Merriam Webster). No one plans to experience negative situations. No one plans to lose a loved one. No one plans to lose their job or lose their money in a bad investment. Sometimes these events occur when we are happy and enjoying life. Suddenly the happiness and the joy we felt earlier turns to sorrow and despair. Uncharted territory is not a good place to find ourselves in for the following reasons:
- You feel afraid;
- You feel helpless;
- You feel like giving up
If we are going to live the ‘Overcoming Life’ we will need to know how to overcome Uncharted Territory. The Prophet Elijah found himself in uncharted territory. Elijah had just overcome “450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah” who served Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab. However, when he heard that Jezebel wanted to kill him, he ran away in fear. Elijah found himself:
“…alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” (1 Kings 19:4 New Living Translation)
Elijah decided to give up on life. He told God to take his life and then lay down to sleep. But God’s response to Elijah’s request is amazing:
But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. (1 Kings 19:5-6 New Living Translation)
In the midst of Elijah’s feelings of fear, helplessness and giving up, God sent an angel to HELP Elijah. Elijah was in the wilderness, far away from civilization, but God found him.
GOD KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE!
You may be in Uncharted Territory but God knows where you are. You may know someone who is in Uncharted Territory. God knows where they are too. There is no place too high, too low or too isolated that God does not know your location. Though we are far away in fear, helplessness and despair, God can find us.
We are never alone. We are never in a place which is too far for God to reach us.
Knowing that God is always with us will help us to find our way out of Uncharted Territory. There will always be a situation that we never faced before. There will always be a problem that we never solved before. However, God is ABLE to help us overcome every one. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us:
…God has said
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”
So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:5-6 New Living Translation)
Believe the Word of God: He will help you when you are in Uncharted Territory.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram…So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him… Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:1-4 KJV)
What would cause a married, seventy-five year old man who is living with his family to suddenly leave his country, his family and his father’s house and go on a journey to another country that he does not know anything about? Let us think about this for a moment. Abram was living a very comfortable life. He was married to a beautiful woman called Sarai. He was surrounded by all of his family. If he and Sarai ran out of salt all he needed to do was go next door, knock on his family’s tent door and borrow salt. Even though he lived at a time when seventy-five was still a young age, he was old. He should have been looking to slow down; not go on a dangerous journey to literally ‘God knows where’. Yet Abram departed…
There were many justifiable reasons for Abram to stay in his comfort zone. But Abram was motivated by something that he probably never heard before in his entire life:
THE VOICE OF GOD
Abram grew up in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram’s family worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2). Abram did not come from a family who worshipped the Living God. In other modern context, Abram did not come from a Christian family. Despite Abram’s unrighteous background, he responded positively to the voice of God. He heard God’s voice. He heard the word of God and he decided to obey the word of God. Abram was in a comfortable place but he wanted more. He found it in the Living God. One day Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two fishermen, Peter and Andrew, hard at work. Jesus said something that caught their attention:
Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people! (Matthew 12:19 NLT)
Peter and Andrew stopped working immediately and followed Jesus. They had justifiable reasons to refuse Jesus’ request. They had their own fishing business. Furthermore, they were sinful and unrighteous men and Jesus was holy and righteous. Peter admitted that he was “a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). In those circumstances, why would they leave everything behind to follow Jesus?
THEY WERE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
Saul persecuted the Church (the body of believers in Christ) day and night. He “agreed completely” with the execution of Stephen, a faithful member of the Church (Acts 8:1 NLT). Saul’s sole purpose in life was “to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison” (Acts 8:3 NLT). With every breath Saul threatened the Church and he received authority from his superiors to travel to Damascus to arrest every Christian he found. However, something happened on the road to Damascus that changed Saul’s sole purpose in life. Saul heard the voice of Jesus. What inspired Saul to stop persecuting the Church and to start working for Jesus?
HE WAS MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
An obstacle we often come face to face with in our journey as a Christian is our past. Sometimes, our past failures, sins, disappointments and other negative experiences become great mountains that stand between us and reaching the goal of being like Christ. However, we are not without hope. Abraham, the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul all had a past that was stained with sin but they overcame. How did they do that you ask?
THEY WERE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD
God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. God changed Peter from a Fisherman to a Faithful rock of the Church. God changed Saul from a Persecutor of the Church to a great Promoter of the good news of Jesus Christ. These men were motivated by the voice of God. God says:
…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
No matter how stained our past is, we can overcome our past and walk victoriously as the new person that God has called us to be.
BE MOTIVATED BY THE VOICE OF GOD TODAY AND LEAVE YOUR PAST BEHIND!