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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Proffitt

Be All There: The Joy of Being Present

Jim Elliot, a famous missionary to the Auca Indian tribe in Ecuador, once said, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

Jim died a martyr in Ecuador, leaving his wife Elizabeth and daughter Valerie behind. He gave his life for the sake of the gospel in a remote jungle with little to no access to the outside world. How many of us would willingly give up our first-world conveniences and move to a remote jungle for the sake of the gospel? My guess is… not many of us.

In thinking about Jim Elliot’s quote above, it seems the second sentence is the cause of the first sentence. Passion for pursuing the will of God results in fully living where God has you – here and now. Likewise, living fully for God comes from a love and passion for God’s will for your life. To say it yet another way, living fully for God results in joy in your present circumstances, wherever that may find you.

Our Homes and God’s Sovereignty

In Paul’s sermon in Acts 17, he tells the Gentiles the truth of God’s sovereignty in their lives. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” (Acts 17:26, emphasis mine).

God is sovereign not only over creation, but over humankind in determining where they live and when they move. As someone who has moved 3-4 times in the past two years, I can say that God has been intricately involved in all the details of these transitions for his glory and for my sanctification and my joy.

Joy in The Present

Since Scripture teaches that God is sovereign over where we live, does it not follow that, as believers in God and his goodness, we ought to be joyful no matter our living circumstances? Absolutely! Whether we desperately want to move or stay in our communities, we can delight in God’s sovereignty over our situations.

This is a concept Jim Elliot understood at a deep level. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, not many of us would leave our lives here and follow God’s calling to minister to a remote Indian tribe known for murdering those attempting to make contact. Yet Jim Elliot, called of God, took this major leap of faith resulting in many members of this tribe submitting their lives to Christ.

This World Is Not Our Home

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

What an encouragement to think that no matter where we live, God watches over us as the all-seeing Creator and Sovereign Ruler! This brings joy to Christians, knowing that this world is not our home and we have a hope of dwelling with God in his glory forever. This gives us the freedom to go wherever and whenever God calls us – and to live joyfully in this exact moment that he has ordained for his purposes.

Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.


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