Where are you

SERMON TOPIC: Where are you

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 14 October 2012


Sermon synopsis: WHO ARE YOU?
We saw that who we are is far more important than what we do, and in fact what we do, should flow from a life that is surrendered to Christ.
Activity, and involvement in ministry is not evidence of someone’s spirituality.
In Matthew 7 we see that there will be those who say Lord, Lord have we not prophesied, and cast out demons and performed miracles in your name, and he will say depart from me you workers of iniquity I do not know you.
But having said that, if you are a true disciple of Christ, it will be seen by what you do.
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Where are you?

To do what God wants you to do , you have to be where God wants you to be.

Where are you?

Where are you going?

Where are you?

Remember the ministry I gave on “Who are you?” a few years back


We saw that who we are is far more important than what we do, and in fact what we do, should flow from a life that is surrendered to Christ.


Activity, and involvement in ministry is not evidence of someone’s spirituality. In Matthew 7 we see that there will be those who say Lord, Lord have we not prophesied, and cast out demons and performed miracles in your name, and he will say depart from me you workers of iniquity I do not know you. But having said that, if you are a true disciple of Christ, it will be seen by what you do.

Where are you?

So I want to pose a few questions to you.

Who are you?

Where are you?

Where are you going?

What are you doing?

What is your Ministry?

What are your goals?

Are you content with being busy or do you want to be effective?

Where are you?

Jeremiah 29:11.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Where are you?

Jeremiah 29:11

Was written to the people of God in exile in Babylon, and they were there because of disobedience.

Are you where God wants you to be?

Did God have any say in who you married?

Are you in the job he wants you in?

Are you in the Church he wants you in?

Would God have any say if want to leave the country and settle in a foreign land?

A tree only has two purposes. *To take root. *To bear fruit.

Have you taken root, are you bearing fruit?

Where are you?

John 15:16.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

1 Corinthians 12:24-28.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

Where are you?

We are on the verge of planting a Church in Benoni, and it’s a good time to reflect on where God wants us and what He wants of us.

Many people spend their lives dissatisfied with:

The country they live in.

The town they live in.

The suburb they live in.

The house they live in.

The Job or position they have.....

and so the list goes on

Where are you?

Philippians 4:11.

For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances.

Article from Every Home for Christ.

Have you ever been somewhere you didn’t want to be? Maybe it was a job, a town or even a marriage. Maybe it was a stage in life, like singlehood or a state in life, like a disability. It’s very possible that as you read this, you’re wishing you where somewhere else-anywhere else-living a different life, but you know it’s not likely that anything is going to change anytime soon.

God has a word for you. It’s the same word he gave a group of people when they where stuck in another country, exiled from their homeland. They’d folded their arms and said, “We’re going to wait this out, and when we get home we’ll start living our lives.”

Where are you?

Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God told them, “You’re not going home any time soon, so start making your lives here. Plant gardens, buy homes, let your children get married, and pray for the peace and prosperity of the place where you’re currently living, because by doing that, you too will be blessed with peace and prosperity.” (Jeremiah 29)

To use a modern cliché, God was saying “Bloom where you’re planted.”

Don’t invest your energy in hopes of leaving; instead invest your energy in the people around you. The Christian martyr Jim Elliot expressed it this way: “Wherever you are, be all there.” Don’t be physically present but mentally somewhere else. Our journey with Christ requires that we be fully present in the present

Where are you?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer called it “this worldliness,” and said, “It is only by living completely in this world the one learns to live by faith, “This focus allows you to see that your life is centered in God and not the place you live or work, not the person you’re married to – or not married to – not how you feel or how you look.

Investing in people around you is exactly how you find life. Jeremiah even told the exiles that God has arranged for them to be in exile. So it was God’s plan all along to push them to the edge of their existence. So they would end up centered solely on God.

You may feel like you’re in exile too, but God is still working in your life: and the message to you is: Dig in and fully embrace the life around you.

Where are you?

Centre your life in God. Not in your circumstances. God is constant: your circumstances are temporary. Ask God, What do you want me to learn or to do in these present circumstances?

Change me God. Instead of asking God to change your circumstances, ask him to change you in the circumstances.

Practice being in the present. Today, whenever you find your mind drifting to another place, bring it back to the present, and ask God to help you stay in the present.

Determine to be a good steward of what you have. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Make the most of what God has given you.

Where are you?

Story: Koos van der Merwe was stranded on a desert Island with an English- man & a Frenchman after being shipwrecked. A bottle floated onto the shore and when the Frenchman rubbed it a genie came out and granted them each one wish.

The Frenchman wished he was back in France and in an instant he was back home, the Englishman wished he was back in England and instantly he too was back home. Koos then said, “I am so lonely; I wish those guys were back here with me.”

Where are you?


A tourist got lost in Kwazulu Natal and made his way to a hut where a Zulu man sat on his doorstep. The tourist asked the man, “Where am I”, to which the man replied, “You are here.”

Genesis 26:1-6.

There was very little food in the land. The same thing had been true earlier, in Abraham's time. Isaac went to Abimelech in Gerar. Abimelech was the king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to Isaac. He said, "Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay here for a while. I will be with you and give you my blessing. I will give all of these lands to you and your children after you. And I will keep the promise I made with an oath to your father Abraham. I will make your children after you as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. All nations on earth will be blessed because of your children. I will do all of those things because Abraham obeyed me. He did what I required. He kept my commands, my rules and my laws. So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

Where are you?

John 1:43-49.

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, Follow me. Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Nazareth! Can anything good come from there? Nathanael asked.

Come and see, said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit. How do you know me? Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you. Then Nathanael declared, Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.

Even someone as upright as Nathaniel, who was commended by Jesus, was prejudiced by the reputation of Nazareth.

We are situated in a town (Brakpan) that is ridiculed and looked down on, but God uses the things that man despises for his glory, what matters is that you are where God wants you to be.

Where are you?

John 7:17(NIV) Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

There has to first be a willingness and a desire to do God’s will before we know what God’s will is. There has to be an unconditional surrender of our will to the Lord’s prior to Him disclosing what he requires of us.

Do you want to do God’s will, or do you want to see what God wants first of all, to see whether or not it lines up with your own plans for the future.

Where are you?

Jeremiah 42:15-18.

Then listen to what the LORD says to you who are left in Judah. He is the LORD who rules over all. He is the God of Israel. He says, Have you already made up your minds to go to Egypt? Are you going to settle down there? Then the war you fear will catch up with you there. The hunger you are afraid of will follow you into Egypt. And you will die there. In fact, that will happen to all those who go and settle in Egypt. All of them will die of war, hunger and plague. Not one of them will live. None of them will escape the trouble I will bring on them. He is the LORD who rules over all. He is the God of Israel. He says, My burning anger has been poured out on those who used to live in Jerusalem. In the same way, it will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. People will call down curses on you. They will be shocked at you. They will say bad things about you. And they will bring shame on you. You will never see this place again. The LORD has spoken to you who are left in Judah. He has said, Do not go to Egypt. Here is something you can be sure of. I am warning you about it today.

Where are you?

Jeremiah 42:15-18.

You made a big mistake when you asked me to pray to the LORD your God. You said, Pray to the LORD our God for us. Tell us everything he says. We'll do it. I have told you today what the LORD your God wants you to do. But you still haven't obeyed him. You haven't done anything he sent me to tell you to do. So here is something else you can be sure of. You will die of war, hunger and plague. You want to go and settle down in Egypt. But you will die there.

Where are you?

I ministered a long time ago on “Abandoning ship”

Acts 27:15-34.

The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.

Where are you?

But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with. So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.

How excited would you be if you were Paul and God had spared your life so that you could go to Rome as a prisoner and have your head chopped off.

…….. Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away.

Where are you?

Why is it that when things look bad some give up and abandon ship?



What kind of ship do you think God wants you on?

A fishing trawler.

A luxury liner.

Perhaps here is where the problem starts, instead of seeing ourselves on a fishing vessel where everyone has a job of work to do, we imagine ourselves on a luxury liner where others have to serve and wait on us and take care of our needs and wants. This means that not only are we not working, we keep others away from their responsibilities.

Where are you?

Where are you is not just about your geographical location, but where are you in your relationship with the Lord. You may say I am in a Church and perhaps even involved in a ministry, but that doesn't indicate how good your relationship is with the Lord or if you even have one.

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, where are you? (This verse is immediately after Adam had sinned)

Gen. 3:8-10.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.

Does this mean that God didn't know something? Not at all. Someone can easily ask a question to which they know the answer.

Where are you?

When the Lord asked Adam “Where are you”, Adam and Eve were both hiding. As ridiculous as it sounds, people still try to hide from God. Obviously, Adam and Eve had sinned. God asked, "Adam, where are you?" Where was Adam? He was hiding from God. Adam's sin had destroyed his fellowship with the Lord. God knew this and He was pointing it out to Adam. It is a question we need to ask of ourselves. Where am I? Am I in fellowship with God or in rebellion against Him?

Are we trying to cover ourselves with our fig leaves of good works and ministry instead of yielding to God’s grace.

Where are you?

Jonah made the mistake of thinking that he could run away from God, but we know how that ended.

Jonah 1:1-17.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me. But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.

Where are you?

The captain went to him and said, How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish. Then the sailors said to each other, Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity. They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you? He answered, I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land. This terrified them and they asked , What have you done? In their eagerness to have numerical growth, pastors have allowed people to come into membership in the Church without checking their background.

Where are you?

The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us? Pick me up and throw me into the sea, he replied, and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you. Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Where are you?

The fact of the matter is that Jonah did not want to be where God wanted him to be because he did not want to do what God wanted him to do.

Jonah 4:1-11.

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live. But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant.

Where are you?

But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, It would be better for me to die than to live. But God said to Jonah, Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?

It is, he said. And I’m so angry I wish I were dead. But the Lord said, You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left and also many animals?

Where are you?

The Psalmist makes it quite clear that we cannot hide from God.

Psalm 139:1-12.

You have searched me Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Where are you?

Psalm 139:13-24.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand, when I awake, I am still with you…..

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Where are you?

God knew where David was, he knows where you are. God knows your telephone number, if the phone hasn’t rung yet, there is a reason. God knows who you are, he knows your heart, he knows your character. You don’t have to try position yourself. Be a servant, and serve to the best of your ability and leave your destiny in God’s hands. Samuel didn’t know about David but God did, Jesse and his other son’s did not think much of him, but God did. David went back to tending sheep after he was anointed King. (God’s time would come)

Where are you?

1 Samuel 16:1-13.

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

Where are you?

1 Samuel 16:1-13.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

Where are you?

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Where are you?

If you think that where you are doesn't matter, let me remind you that about 500 people were on the Mountain when Jesus ascended and they where told by him to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Only 120 were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.

Imagine missing out on an event like that, yet many professing Christians are not regular in their attendance and miss out on blessings as they avoid pray meetings and only want big attendance high value entertainment and are not willing to press through and persevere in seeking, knocking and searching for the Lord.

Where are you?

The place Lot chose to settle affected his spiritual walk and he eventually left with nothing.


So Abram said to Lot, Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left. Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

Where are you?

2 Peter 2:6-8.

If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)

We don’t have to be living comfortably and blessed as a sign of God’s favour. On the contrary Joseph’s preparation for leadership was prison, Moses was prepared in the desert.

Where are you?

What is your goal, where are you headed, where do you want to be?

Abraham was prepared to leave Ur of the Chaldees and his father and follow wherever the Lord led him.Maybe you don’t want to go anywhere, perhaps you are comfortable and God will have to make you uncomfortable to move.

Where are you?

Domine, quo vadis? (1602) by Annibale Carracci

Quo vadis? is a Latin phrase meaning "Where are you going?" or "Whither goest thou?"

The modern usage of the phrase refers to a Christian tradition regarding Saint Peter. According to the apocryphal Acts of Peter (Vercelli Acts XXXV), Peter is fleeing from likely crucifixion in Rome at the hands of the government, and along the road outside the city he meets a risen Jesus. Peter asks Jesus "Quo vadis?", to which He replies, "Romam vado iterum crucifigi." ("I am going to Rome to be crucified again"). Peter thereby gains the courage to continue his ministry and returns to the city, to eventually be martyred by being crucified upside-down.

John 21:18

What I'm about to tell you is true. When you were younger, you dressed yourself. You went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands. Someone else will dress you. Someone else will lead you where you do not want to go.


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org/)

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