I got the privilege to preach in the North Greenville Chapel service today. It is always great to be back at my alma mater, but I consider it a huge responsibility to preach to that student body and faculty.
Today, I preached a message entitled, “For Such a Time as This (Maybe)” from Esther 4. I have always interpreted the story that Esther was in a position of influence for “such a time as this.” I always interpreted it to focus on why God has me in the Kingdom for such a time as this. I saw it as a way to feed my pride and think that God was somehow dependent upon me. I have arrived, therefore, let the Kingdom work begin.
When you study the entire story, you realize that it is quite the opposite. Here is the actual statement Uncle Mordecai says to Queen Esther:
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? -Esther 4:14
Did you catch it? Mordecai knew that God would keep his people alive with or without Esther. But maybe that is why she was there. But if she wasn’t, God would find another way. No sweat.
It helped remind me earlier this year that God’s purposes cannot be thwarted due to my disobedience or negligence.
Here are some application points I gave:
- Since God exists, coincidences cannot. While God’s name is not mentioned in this book, his influence is unmistakable. The apparent coincidences throughout this story reveals that God is at work behind the scenes. God’s workings may be obscured to skeptics by the disguise of coincidence, but the people of God recognize his sovereign hand throughout history.
- If I fail to do my part, God’s purposes will still go forward. If I drop the ball, someone else will pick it up. If God has used a donkey to get his message across in the past, he is not dependent upon my skills or abilities. His Kingdom is coming regardless of whether or not we are on board with him.
- God’s call on our lives is not out of desperation but rather given as an invitation. God has never been frantic. He has never been stressing over a volunteer drive. He doesn’t call us out of need. He invites us to join him at work.
I shared a story about how my boys joined me one day to cut down some trees. Their involvement honestly made my role more difficult. But it meant so much to them to be a part. And they thought they had a lot to do with it more than what they actually did.
Our relationship with God is the same. He doesn’t need our help. Honestly, our involvement complicates the matter.
But there is freedom and power once you realize that God doesn’t need you, yet he wants you.
God doesn’t need me, but he wants me.
I pray for these students and faculty tonight that they would realize that if they don’t do their job God is calling them to do, he will still advance. His purposes will not be thwarted. But we will sure miss out on having a front seat to what he is doing.
God is inviting you to work today. Tag along, but never forget his reasoning.