I CORINTHIANS 7:24: “Brothers and sisters, you should remain in whatever circumstances you were in when God called you. God is with you in those circumstances.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Have you ever heard The expression – “Bloom where you are planted!” This is a concept that seems to have been lost in our present culture. Marketing experts pine away for hours trying to convince us that we cannot be satisfied with the home we live in, the car we drive, the job we work at, the clothes we wear, or the electronics we use. At the first available opportunity we are convinced that we need to throw it out or trade it in. If we live our lives like this we are caught on a never ending cycle of discontentment and disappointment.
Paul was speaking to the new believers in Corinth. They had come from various backgrounds, including many who had been, or were currently slaves. As Paul writes to these new believers he is trying to reassure them of God’s grace and mercy in their lives. To the Gentile he tells them they did not need to be circumcised and live like a Jew. To the Jew he reminds them that they did not have to adapt the culture of the Gentiles who were now their fellow believers. And, most strikingly, to the slave – Paul encouraged their freedom if possible, but more important their faithfulness in their current state if not. Why? Paul reminds them – “…God is with you in those circumstances!”
These verses, and this sideline of instruction in Paul’s treatise on marriage, was not written to condone the practice of slavery. It was written however to remind all the Corinthians believer’s of the true source of their freedom to live their life with purpose and faithfulness.
- “If the Lord called you when you were a slave, you are the Lord’s free person. In the same way, if you were free when you were called, you are Christ’s slave. You were bought for a price. Don’t become anyone’s slaves.” (1 Corinthians 7:22-23 GW)
Our freedom, our purpose in life, our personal fulfillment, is not determined by anything that is without – but wholly and fully by what is within. True freedom is not the absence of something, but the possession of something. True freedom comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives through faith in Jesus Christ!
As we go through life we can be confident that the Lord is with us on every leg of the journey, around every corner we turn. If we embrace His Grace, if we engage in the freedom that He has given us, we can find purpose and fulfillment – even in the worst circumstances. And above that, we position ourselves for the outpouring of His love and favor to lift us up and to open up new doors of blessing and opportunity because we have learned to “Bloom where we are planted!”
Some old fashioned advice that never goes out of style!
In Jesus Name!