Sunday, September 9, 2012

"For such a time as THIS ..."

The words from Esther 4:14 are quoted often.  Esther, a young Jewish woman, is kidnapped by the King of Persia and is chosen out of all the young women in the king's harem to become queen.  An evil plot to destroy the Jews is planned by one of the king's officials and Esther is in a position to go before the king to expose the plot and save her people.  Doing so, however, could cost her her life if the king does not receive or or believe her.  When she hesitates, her uncle points out this fact:  "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

There are more to these words than first meet the eye.  If Esther has been placed in this position for a particular reason, WHO placed her there - and WHY?  Those of us who believe in a sovereign God know that it is HE who placed Esther there.  Why?  Because He had promised centuries earlier that He would bring a Savior from the descendants of Judah, the son of Jacob (Genesis 49:10).  God had promised Abraham, then Isaac, and then Jacob that the Savior of the world (Jesus) would descend from them.  The Savior HAD to come from the Jews!  But Satan, the enemy of God, wanted to stop God's plan.  If he could destroy the Jews, perhaps he could change history and defeat God after all.

Satan has not given up his fight against God.  I am afraid that many people fail to realize that the one who is the enemy of God is also our enemy.  God gives us all the armor we need and the "sword of the Spirit," the Word of God, so that we can stand against him, but we need to put it on!  We need to FIGHT!  That's where Esther comes in.  Esther needed to understand that her life had a purpose beyond what she could see.  God uses weak vessels to accomplish His eternal purposes.  Circumstances, events, situations take place every day that are orchestrated by God to fulfill His plan to gather a people for Himself who will love Him and serve Him.  Esther had a part in His plan - and so do YOU!

Sixty-two years ago today my parents gave me life.  From a purely worldly viewpoint my birth was insignificant.  I was born in a small rural community in Iowa.  I grew up on a farm and went to a school where I had eighteen people in my class - there were less than 100 in our high school.  I went to college, then seminary, and have served congregations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Michigan.  So what's the big deal?  Nothing, really ... except that God determined to call me to preach His Word.  Want a weak vessel?  Here I am!  But God had other ideas and nothing will stop His plan.  Eight and one-half years ago He led me to Lighthouse Community Church.  God brought others to Lighthouse, some before me, some after.  And what He has done the past few years and what He is doing today is nothing short of amazing - even miraculous.  And it is all connected to hundreds of lives being brought together for HIS purposes.  And God is doing this all over the world.

I received birthday wishes from many - even from Guatemala and Pakistan.  God has allowed Kathy (my wife) and me to make contact with the body of Christ in Cambodia, Haiti, Guatemala, and through others, Kenya, Romania and other places.  God is doing His work all over the world!!  And if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and have been filled with His Spirit, YOU are part of His work.  YOU are here for such a time as this!  No matter what has gone on in your life, no matter what IS going on in your life, God is at work.  If you know Jesus Christ is is because God chose you to be one of His children and He is actively at work in your life.  You exist for HIS purposes - to make Him known.  You are HERE, "for such a time as this!"

The knowledge of God gives you purpose and meaning every day.  I pray that you will come to see His will revealed in your life and that bearing witness to Him will be at the center of every day.

1 comment:

  1. It's inspiring and humbling to see God at work here, and then to realize that He is working in different ways all over the world! And isn't it exciting to think that we are each here "For such a time as this"!