One of the more popular sayings I’ve heard in my lifetime goes something like this, “Wow, they were just in the right place at the right time!” Have you heard that saying before? Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? I know I have. There’s one particular time that really stands out to me when we lived in Indianapolis. One night I decided to take our three boys down to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to see the Indiana Pacers play. My plan was to drive down, find a parking spot as close as I could, and then go to the ticket booth and purchase our tickets. Everything was going according to plan and I was next in line at the ticket window when all of a sudden a guy standing a few feet away from me says, “Do you need tickets?” Ummm, yes, that’s kind of why we are standing here in the “ticket” line. Sorry, no, I was definitely not sarcastic with the guy wanting to give me free tickets. Anyway, he says to us, “I have these four extra tickets I’m not going to use if you want them?” “Absolutely, we’ll take them,” I responded immediately. “Are they pretty good tickets?” I asked him. “Yes, they are in the sixth row and you also get these free passes to go down to the Pacer Club at halftime and eat.” Wow, we were definitely in the RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME!
History is full of people being in the right place at the right time. Take for example Harrison Ford who reportedly got his big breakthrough in acting as we was doing cabinets for a famous director. Or take Will Smith who got lost on his way to a sporting event and stopped to ask for directions. The man he asked turned out to be Benny Medina, a VP at Warner Brothers who was casting for a show based on his life called “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Right time, right place.
We are currently in a series at Renovate titled, “The God of Breakthrough.” This title comes from a story in II Samuel 5:17-21 where God brings an incredible victory for King David over his enemies the Philistines. After the victory David named the place Baal Perazim, which literally means “the Lord who brings breakthrough” or “the God of the breakthrough.” This past week we looked at a woman in scripture who experienced incredible breakthrough in her life and how she was uniquely positioned for that breakthrough. You could say she was in the right place at the right time.
In Genesis 24 the patriarch Abraham is getting advanced in age and has already lost his wife Sarah. He has had his son of promise, Isaac, and wants to find a suitable wife for him. As the story goes, he sends one of his most trusted servants to go back to his hometown to find a wife for Isaac. The servant arrives in the city of Nahor and prays an unusual prayer. This is what he prays, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’–let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14) Rebekah ends up in the right place at the right time and has a life-changing and divine encounter. But what positioned Rebekah to be in the right place at the right time and what can we learn from her story? I believe there are four things we can learn and apply:
1. PROVIDENCE. God was providentially working in her life and God providentially works in our lives. What looked like a random encounter was actually God at work to bring her into her purposes. Several commentators note that the servant in this story can be seen as a picture of the Holy Spirit who goes out to find us and bring us to Jesus and bring us into our purposes. How cool to know that nothing is random in our lives and that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
2. PRINCIPLE. Rebekah positioned herself for breakthrough because she lived a principled life. When you read the story you notice that not only did she have personal character (verse 16), but she was faithful in her father’s house and faithful in the small things. Think about it, every day she probably went out to do this “seemingly” insignificant task of getting water for her household yet it was out of this faithfulness in the small things that put her in the right place. Jesus communicated this important kingdom principle in Luke 16:10 when he said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Many times are breakthroughs come unexpectedly as we are faithful to do the small things God puts right in front of us. Are you being faithful in the small things? Your breakthrough might just be coming.
3. PERCEPTION. Not only was Rebekah principled but she was also perceptive and recognized that God was at work around her. She had obviously cultivated enough of a relationship with God to recognize when he was speaking to her and working in her life. She knew His voice and His ways as evidenced by her families response when they heard the servant’s story. Look at how they responded in verse 50 and 51, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.” We want to be perceptive and not dull in our hearing as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 13:14, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” Are you perceptive?
4. PURSUIT. Lastly, look at Rebekah’s response to this divine opportunity in verses 58 and 59, “So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ ‘I will go,’ she said.” What stunning faith. Rebekah was willing to take a risk and pursue the opportunities God was putting in front of her and it changed the course of her life. Are you willing to pursue the God “promptings” in your life? Many times God brings breakthroughs in our lives as we go and step out.
We are believing for breakthrough here at Renovate. Breakthrough in our personal lives, breakthrough in our families, breakthrough in our church, breakthrough in our cities, and breakthrough in our country. We believe as we are faithful in the small things, are perceptive to listen to God’s voice, and willing to step out and pursue what God puts in front of us, we will see God providentially work in miraculous ways. He is the God of breakthrough.