Snugly tucked away in the Old Testament book of Proverbs is one of the Bible’s most beautiful verses on the subject of God’s will. Proverbs 27:8 says:
Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place. (N.K.J.V.)
Tell me, are you right now in your place? Are you living where God wants you to be living? Are you working where He wants you to be working? Are you going to church where He wants you to be going to church? Are you engaged in those activities in which He wants you to be engaged?
A nest is the best place in all the world for a bird to be. It is nothing less than home. A bird in its nest is safe because predators can’t harm it there. A bird in its nest is at rest because no bird can fly incessantly. A bird in its nest is perfectly natural because a bird standing in the middle of an interstate just seems wrong.
Of course the primary reason why a bird builds a nest is to raise a family. The mother bird lays her eggs. She incubates those eggs. When the eggs hatch, she feeds the baby birds. When they are ready she pushes them out of the nest so they can fly on their own and ultimately build their own nests.
By the way, this shows us that there is nothing wrong with a person moving away from the “nest” in which he or she was raised. Remember that it was God Himself who told Abraham to leave his hometown of Ur and move to a land that He would show him (Genesis 12:1). For that matter, most species of birds build new nests each year. So, obviously, Proverbs 27:8 isn’t the Bible’s way of forbidding us from ever leaving home or embarking on some new adventure in life.
Instead, the teaching is simply that each individual should strive to live every day in the center of God’s will for his or her life. If His will means staying in the same spot where you’ve been for the last ten years, so be it. If it means making a change and building some type of new nest, that’s okay too. The key is to always be at your post in life, the post where God has you stationed for the time being.
We get ourselves into trouble anytime we prematurely wander away from a nest where God wants us to remain. And most of us have faced this temptation, haven’t we? “I’m tired of this job; I’m going to quit.” “This town is driving me crazy; I need to try someplace new.” “I’ve been playing this role long enough; it’s time for somebody else to do it.” “This marriage isn’t working; surely there is someone else out there with whom I can be happier.” Watch out, little bird, are you sure that leaving that nest is really God’s will?
Perhaps today you are contemplating making a major change in your life. If you are, please know that I didn’t write this post to scare you out of going through with what you are planning. Like I said, there are definitely times when God’s will calls for us to change nests. Even a casual study of the Bible will offer evidence of that. But I am trying to warn you about the dangers of wandering away from a place where God wants you to remain (at least for a little while longer). A bird in its nest is safe and at peace. A bird that has foolishly abandoned its nest isn’t. That’s why we should always make sure that we are moving at God’s bidding and not our own. Keep this in mind as you consider whether or not to leave your current nest, and ask the Lord to always help you to be in your rightful place, wherever that might either keep you or take you.