Are you destined to be an explorer, a pioneer, or a settler? How are you called to occupy territory for God’s kingdom?
Don’t you love stories about people who overcome great odds to succeed? How many times have you been told you can’t do something? African American slave Harriet Tubman was told she couldn’t be free, yet she freed herself and 70 other slaves. Susan B. Anthony was told she couldn’t vote, but she voted anyway and was arrested. She fought for women’s rights and those who followed in her footsteps gained the right to vote in 1920.
God calls us to establish on earth the freedoms that are found in His kingdom in heaven.
Do you know what He has called you to do? Let’s look at people in the Bible who were explorers, pioneers, and settlers. Then think about the questions that follow.
God designed you for a purpose!
Explorers can see a trail where there isn’t one. Their vision motivates and guides them without benefit of a map. They do the hard work to hack down trees, chart the course, and learn the dangers and benefits of the new territory.
The patriarch Abraham blazed a trail of faith.
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without knowing ahead of time where he was going. Abraham stepped out in faith. [Hebrews 11:8 TPT]
Deborah, a judge in Israel, blazed a trail for women.
She was the only woman given the title of judge in the Bible. She judged men, as well as women, and carried the highest legal authority in Israel during her tenure. Her biblical account gives credibility to any woman God calls into ministry.
Deborah, wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet. She was the judge in Israel at that time. She used to sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. The people of Israel would come to her for legal decisions. [Judges 4:4-5 GW]
- Can you visualize change that others can’t?
- Are you self-motivated?
- Do you like to take risks?
- Do you work well on your own?
- Do new ideas and new places excite and energize you?
- Does your faith carry you as you forge into the unknown?
Pioneers follow close on the heels of explorers. They are eager to leave a comfortable place in order to build the new thing. However, while explorers often start their journey alone, pioneers bring a community with them. They unite with the vision of an explorer.
Joshua pioneered the conquest of Canaan.
God gave explorer Abraham the vision of a promised new land and a new nation. Moses also blazed the trail by confronting Pharoah at God’s direction, thus releasing the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. Joshua was mentored by Moses in the wilderness so he could lead the people into the Promised Land.
After the death of the Lord’s servant Moses, the Lord said to Moses’ assistant Joshua, son of Nun, “My servant Moses is dead. Now you and all these people must cross the Jordan River into the land that I am going to give the people of Israel. I will give you every place on which you set foot, as I promised Moses. [Joshua 1:1-3 GW]
- Do you connect with an explorer or mentor whose vision you share?
- Are you committed to bringing others with you as you build the vision?
- Are you willing to risk failure and unknown dangers?
- Are you invested in new ideas and the new vision God is bringing?
- Do you want to meet people’s needs so they don’t lose their way on the trail?
Settlers come in and occupy territory that has been opened by explorers and pioneers. They desire to move to a new place but want to build on what others have already started. They shape and support the new community in hope for a better life for themselves and others.
Nehemiah built a wall to protect Jerusalem and helped returning Hebrews resettle their land.
Nehemiah lived in Babylon during the captivity of Israel. Many Jews had already returned to Israel because former King Cyrus allowed them to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed. Now Nehemiah grieved that the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins and that the people lived in poverty unprotected.
King Artaxerxes sent him to Judah as governor, where he rallied the Jews to rebuild the walls in 52 days despite strong opposition from neighbors. As governor, he helped repopulate the city and enforce Jewish laws as a righteous ruler. The return of the Jews from captivity and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem had to precede building the walls of the city.
- Do you want to know the details before you make a commitment?
- Are you interested in nurturing a new community to help it thrive?
- Are you eager to network with likeminded people to build this new community?
So, did you find yourself? Maybe you have a combination of these characteristics. Look back at your journey so far. You can check out my journey on my About page. If you feel like roadblocks are stopping your forward motion, consider signing up for my free article, Ten Lies that Sabotage Your Destiny.
Understanding how God gifted you helps you learn the destiny He planned for you. How are you called to occupy territory for God’s kingdom?
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. [1 Peter 4:10 NIV]