“And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.” I Corinthians 7:22b-24
In our mobile society the thought to pick up and leave a locale,a job, a church, is pretty common. It is an option for many reasons and as an American in this day and age, we pick up and move a lot.
In Christian service in our desire to serve the Lord, whether as a volunteer or a paid vocation the thought of moving is an option as well. We can sometimes think, “will our service be more effective somewhere else? Will our lives be better and would some of the problems we face be solved by leaving?
Yes and no.
God plainly told some of His children to leave.
“The Lord has said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and to to the land that I will show you.'” Genesis 12:1
“One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Dedicate Barnabus and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.’ So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.” Acts 13:2-3
However in I Corinthians 7:22b-24 we are finding the Apostle Paul imploring the Corinthians to stay – “remain as you were when God first called you.”
Again, in the city of Iconium where Paul and Barnabus were preaching a division came about. It is recorded that some people there poisoned the minds of others against Paul and Barnabus. That turn of events might cause many to leave their current situation. One might think that their time of effective service was over in that place because of these false accusations. How did Paul and Barnabus respond?
“But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord.” Acts 14:3a
Although Paul and Barnabus eventually had to leave (a mob attacked them), until the circumstances became crystal clear that they should leave, they chose to stay. They stayed even while under adversity and continued to serve the Lord.
Child of God, if you are wondering whether to stay or leave your current situation and your desire is to serve the Lord, know that God is able to make Himself very clear on this matter.
The important part in all of this is to be actively serving the Lord – giving Him service from one’s whole heart. Unless God is very clear about a move or a calling, stay. Stay and serve the Lord where you are with all of your heart…“remain as you were when God first called you.”