Why God Will Lead You Unwanted Places

Discovering the joy of surrendering to God

God will lead you places you would never choose. Unwanted places. Because the Lord is much greater than you and I can imagine, it makes sense that He wants for us more than we ever dreamed.

Why God Will Lead You Unwanted Places

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

God wants you to trust Him, and you’d like to do so. He wants you to glorify Him, to know Him, and so do you. But really, you often want to trust God only when you understand Him. Too often, that desire to know the Lord slices His list of attributes in half.

When you and I settle for anything less than all of God, we also settle for less than all we can become.

God Has More for You Than Conversion

We can’t help all this. If we could, we wouldn’t have needed a Savior. The Lord Jesus has a good deal more for us than conversion. Coming to Christ provides only the beginning of the good work He will do in us—and the good works He has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). So the Lord takes us places. Unwanted places.

In these sacred places, He reveals the weakness of our hearts so that we learn not to depend on ourselves. As our weak grip finally gives way, we discover the joy of our weakness is His strength—which carried us all along.

Discovering the joy of surrendering to God

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

When Your Weakness is a Blessing

Just as God fashioned the land of Israel to develop the spiritual lives of His people, so He also shapes your circumstances for the same reason. The God who seemed a sadist in your struggles has loved you in spite of you. Like Jacob, wrestling the Lord by the Jabbok, God allows you:

  1. To struggle against Him
  2. Then to struggle with Him
  3. Then, at last, to struggle for Him

Why? So that as you surrender, you become more like the one who prayed in Gethsemane, “Not my will, but yours be done.” You become all He created you to be.

Question: What has God taught you by taking you places you never would have chosen? To leave a comment, just click here.

Going Places with God- A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the BibleLike This Post? Get the Whole Book!

This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.

• You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.

After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.

CLICK TO GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHED COPY

Get Encouraged the Easy Way!

Grow-strong-optin

When you subscribe to my blog, I’ll immediately send you a FREE e-book, Grow Strong: 30 Devotions to Deepen Your Christian Life. You'll also receive fresh content each time I post. It's easy!

Thanks for subscribing to my blog!

With one click, please share with others so that they also can get my FREE e-book:

Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter!

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Are Your Big Dreams as Big as Your God? | ChristianBlessings()

  • Pingback: Are Your Big Dreams as Big as Your God? | Wayne Stiles()

  • richard

    my current work situation is not good… i don’t know if i will have a job when may ends… and if i do… i don’t know what it will be for sure… when i started last march i thought this was my dream job… one i would have for many years to come… now i feel as if i have followed a dead end road… i want to run in fear… but God is saying, “be still and know that I am God”

    thnaks wayne!

    • Richard, I’ve been there and I know it’s a hard place to be. But I’m also standing on the other side of that chasm and I’m telling you God is here too . . . and He will walk you from there to here. It helped me to remember that waiting on God is a very active, not passive, place to be. Thanks.

    • Richard, I’ve been there and I know it’s a hard place to be. But I’m also standing on the other side of that chasm and I’m telling you God is here too . . . and He will walk you from there to here. It helped me to remember that waiting on God is a very active, not passive, place to be. Thanks.

  • emily

    This is a wonderful message! Nowhere have I been that I would have chosen, and yet it has been amazing. Not too long ago did I picture my life as a cynical, illegitimate, run-away, child of God with no hope of ever finding true love or true joy. And all that I thought impossible has become and is becoming true, particularly marriage to a man of God and reconciliation with many people in my life, and living in Houston even! ( 😉 I had no idea how much greatness is here.)

    • I’m with you, Emily. It’s simply astounding how God takes a situation we never would have imagined as salvageable and He uses the mess for a greater good and for His greater glory. I try to apply that knowledge to current situations I see no solution for. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

    • I’m with you, Emily. It’s simply astounding how God takes a situation we never would have imagined as salvageable and He uses the mess for a greater good and for His greater glory. I try to apply that knowledge to current situations I see no solution for. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

  • David

    Having been taken to a place I never would have chosen meant I sought the Lord’s presence as never before. I needed His help to face the problems and His assurance that all would result in glory for His Name.
    Through the time of testing, I committed myself to the Lord anticipating that when the trial was over, I would return to fruitful service as once I had known. In part, it is already happened! There is still some residual trials to face.
    Even though one is 80 years of age and still on the mission field after 53 years of service it doesn’t mean that trials do not presente themselves. We can testify that God is good, His Word is an anchor for the soul.

    • First of all, David, thank you for your many, many years of service. The sheet longevity of faithful ministry is exceedingly rare. Thank you.

      Your insights are tremendous here. I too have found that God may put our gifts on the shelf for a season for His reasons. Thank you for approaching that challenging season with faith. I pray the Lord gives you the desires of your heart soon. God bless, and thanks again.

    • First of all, David, thank you for your many, many years of service. The sheet longevity of faithful ministry is exceedingly rare. Thank you.
      Your insights are tremendous here. I too have found that God may put our gifts on the shelf for a season for His reasons. Thank you for approaching that challenging season with faith. I pray the Lord gives you the desires of your heart soon. God bless, and thanks again.

  • Kate

    I am so proud of you. Thanks for being faithful and using your gifts to glorify the Lord. You amaze me, dad. ILYMTTEOC

  • Pingback: Why God Will Lead You Unwanted Places | ChristianBlessings()

  • Walt

    I’ve learned that I can trust Him. He has given me a faith that I didn’t know was possible a few years ago. That faith has stood the test many times and been strengthened with each trial. God has shown me not to fear the trials, because He is right there with me and will give me what I need to go through what ever the He allows into my life and grow closer to Him. Phil. 4;19 Most of the greatest blessings I have ever received came during the toughest times of my life.
    God bless, Walt

    • Ironic, isn’t it? Only God could bring great joy from tremendous sorrow.

  • Pingback: Blame Shifting our Blunders | Wayne Stiles()

  • Pingback: Blame Shifting our Blunders | ChristianBlessings()

  • Rebekah

    I’m in a really bad place. I want desperately to give up. What if God to takes you to a place so difficult that you want to die? I mean really want to die, its too much, and grace isn’t sufficient. When the verse reads “Outwardly we are wasting away and inwardly we are losing heart day by day.

    • I’m so sorry, Rebekah. It’s never easy to be in a season like the one you’re enduring. I have prayed for you, and I will continue to do so. Although I have no idea your circumstances, I am certain the solution is found in pursuing what is true rather than what feels true.

      One truth God’s Word repeats is that we weren’t designed to walk through these valleys alone. I urge you to seek out a good church and talk to your pastor. Perhaps even better, find a good Christian counselor who uses Scripture to counsel. There is hope, Rebekah, but it’s terribly difficult to see it when you’re alone.

  • Rebekah

    Thank you so much for your response, I don’t want to take your time but just FYI, I’m married to the pastor who after 18 years is leaving ministry. Disappointment with God doesn’t begin to describe it. Anyway, thanks.

    • Then you know more than most, Rebekah, how necessary it is to sit with a godly counselor and work through your natural disillusionment. As a disappointed Peter told Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

    • Jeanelle Sims

      Rebekah, I noticed your post on Wayne Stiles blog of three years ago. Just wondering how God has helped you. We all need encouragement from time to time.
      It is hard to wait on God’s timing, isn’t it? But He NEVER let us down.
      I would love to correspond with you at jellsims@juno.com. Jeanelle S

  • Pingback: Trying to Understand God's Plan for You | Wayne Stiles()

  • Pingback: The Ideal Life You Want Isn't Enough()

  • Jeanelle Sims

    I noticed Rebekah response was 3 years ago and wondered how God worked it out. It takes time to allow God to work in our struggles. I am still learning and God is still faithfully working with me. I am trying to live in my ” inheritance not my circumstands” Max Lacado

  • Bea

    God has been right there with us through the years with a rebellious daughter, and another daughter with a disability. So many many times we could not see Him, and despaired, and felt like giving up, but knew there was no other place to go but to the Lord. Our faith muscles had to be worked, and through the pain, loss, and sorrow, God brought friends, family and Godly counsellors to come along side us to encourage and speak truth to us. Our rebellious daughter has been serving God for years now as a worship leader. Our daughter with the disability still struggles and will probably always need us to be close by through all her ups and downs, but is a brave soul and is pushing through with Gods help. We are learning to trust one step at a time, and through it all to rivet our gaze on Jesus alone.
    Be encouraged, He is faithful, He cannot deny Himself.

  • KB

    God did this exact thing with me. “I” had plans for my life and they just didnt go through. When I gave up my desires according to bible advice and said “Lord, put Your desires for me on my heart”, well He sure did!! And they’re better than what I planned or ever could because they’re for God, His children, and His glory. He’s got me in training right now like Jesus did with His apostles, it’s exciting! I’m so joyful I handed my life over… And we’re going to dark broken places – because we love God and all His children. Who da thunk, lol, but God knew even before my life began…

    • His plan is always better, for sure. But we usually recognize that only in hindsight. It’s living by faith beforehand that’s so tough, isn’t it? Thanks.

  • Faith

    What a wonderful message.

    God help me to trust you more each day, lead me to whatever path that will glorify You alone. I am tired of insisting on my ways / plans.

    Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

    Isaiah 48:7 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

    • Amen, Faith. I’ll join you in that prayer. Funny, but I just read Isaiah 55 in my Bible reading this morning. What a great passage! Thanks.

  • Wendy

    Good Morning. ..I just wanted to give you feedback on how much this blog meant to me today.

    Thank you.

    The three areas of struggles that you talked about is exactly me and I see that God has allowed each step of struggling. And I asked Him, “why couldn’t I have gone through these while in ministry for 23 years? ” And in my heart I heard him say that because He had bigger plans for ministry for me and that He wanted me here, where I am now, for that purpose. He has expanded my ministry and the passion that’s in my heart is growing my ministry more and more!

    So despite all the losses I’ve endured, in these last few years I’ve been struggling “for” Him and I’m amazed at what He’s brought me thru to be in this place. And for that, I’m grateful to Him. Therefore, I must trust Him, even when my heart gets broken.

    He gave me a word 9 years ago that said He was going to be unconventional with me and that others won’t understand and even I won’t. He was certainly right about that! I’ve questioned Him a million times or more the past 9 years. I’ve struggled against Him! I’ve struggled with Him! Now I’m struggling for Him. I feel SO loved by Him, like never before!

    Thank you for your blog!

    • We’ve all been there, Wendy, one way or another. Thank you for sharing your journey with me and I’m honored that God would use this post to affirm you in your walk with Him. God bless—and thanks.

  • God is showing me that a life of faithfulness is a life of surrender. Just this week the Spirit whispered “surrender” to me as a reminder that all my worries and striving are a lack of surrender. I am not in control. He indeed is leading me to several unwanted places, but i am learning-again- that to go with him is better than wrestling against Him.

    • Your perspective is a walk of faith and a refreshing contribution to this post. Thank you, Seana.

  • em111

    Thank you, I have shared your quote with my friends on facebook.

    • Thanks so much. God bless you as you wait on Him.

  • joni

    Nothing I don’t why I am somewhere I don’t like. Because it is God’s will doesn’t mean it’s fun there.

    • You’re absolutely right, Joni. It was no fun for Christ in Gethsemane, but our walk with God isn’t always fun. The Bible is replete with examples of those who genuinely struggled with the place God had them. But something far more miserable? Trying to find happiness outside of the will of God. At best, it’s a flash in the pan. At worst, it’s a life of regret. If you’re struggling in the place God has you, I urge you to find a church, get plugged in, and serve God for the benefit of others. There’s something about serving the needs of others that helps your own.

      • joni

        thanks, my walk very dry and struggling to get into the word on a daily basis more than a devotional.