Friday, June 04, 2010

For Such A Time....

Why are you here? What did God have in mind when He made you? What does He have planned for your destiny? These are all questions we often ask ourselves in various times of our life. As a teen, we often have no idea what the future holds, what God has planned for us. We ask, and we seek, and we knock...and when a door opens, we walk through. All too often we find our lives wrapped up in a seemingly endless parade of mundane events that flow from a day to a month to a year. Be fore we know it, life has seemed to pass us by. We wonder has there been a time when we have fulfilled that destiny God has had planned for us?

I remember singing a song at church when I was younger, and perhaps you know it too: “I’ll go where you want me to go dear Lord, O’er mountain or plain or sea. I’ll say what you want me to say dear Lord. I’ll be what you want me to be.” I knew God had a plan for me. I just walked daily in His plan and He unfolded that plan one day at a time.

Too often today, we plan our lives, we make our schedules, we choose our path. We fail to consult the One who opens and closes doors. I sometimes wondered if Hadassah had done that, what would the world be like today? Who is Hadassah? You will recognize her other adopted name in the Bible, Esther. Young Esther found herself living in a foreign land, experiencing the first anti-Semitic persecution in history. She was an Jewish orphan, living with her cousin when the king called for all the most beautiful women in the land to be gathered for his selection of a new queen. She became a candidate. Her poise and beauty would carry her into the position of becoming the new queen of Susa, wife of Artaxerxes also known as Xerxes. Esther’s wise relative, Mordecai reminded her, that perhaps God had called her to this position “for such a time as this”. In that moment of crisis which demanded she risk her very life to save the Jewish people, she chose to stand by faith in the presence of the King, unsummoned, ready to die if he rejected her. Had she chosen anything else, not only would she have died, since she was Jewish—-but all the Jewish people would have been annihilated from Ethiopia to India. Today, there would be no Israel. A huge part of the population of New York, Florida, and California would not exist. You would not be wearing blue jeans which were invented by Levi Strauss in 1873. Ladies would not be able to carry lipstick which Maurice Levy invented in 1915. We would not have contraceptives, or the laser, or even a remote control, all of which were invented by Jewish people.

We’ve all seen the famous Christmas tale entitled” It’s a Wonderful Life” where George Bailey discovered what life would have been like if he were never born. He learned to rejoice over the little things in his life that made a huge difference. When you look at your life, you may wonder, “How have I made a difference?” Instead, I challenge you to think of someone who made a huge difference in your life. Write them a note and thank them! If God is the One who made a huge difference in your life, then take some time to thank Him for all He has done in your life. Tell someone about it. Give God glory! Perhaps your testimony now is —for such a time as this!

We live in trying days, to be sure. Oil is pouring into the gulf destroying the beautiful shoreline, and the livelihood of many who rely on the gulf waters for their income. Volcanoes are pouring out chocking ash, hindering air traffic. Mexico is drowning in the blood of drug trafficking wars. People all around us are in despair over the national economy, the immoral state of the nation, and the declining spirituality in the church. What are we as the people of God to do about it all? May I suggest we look again at Esther? How did she handle her crisis? Did she throw up her queenly hands in despair? Did she go hide in her royal palace? What does the Bible tell us? "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4: 16. So we see that her first response was to mobilize God’s people to prayer and fasting. She made sure that those in her ‘household’—her maids, also fasted and prayed. This was her destiny. She was called into the palace for such a time as this! She risked death to save herself and her people. For three days, prayers went up to God. God listened. Like any miracle God performs, it is filled with incredible timing. There was the building of a gallows on which Haman intended to kill Mordecai. There was a sleepless night in the bedroom of the king, and the discovery of the unrewarded Mordecai who had saved the Kings life. Then the banquet and the request...and for such a time as this Esther was there.

What is God calling you to do for Him today? Is it to call your family to prayer, or to lead your church into a time of preparation for revival? The enemy is out there, ready to kill, steal and destroy the people of God. The church is gasping for a fresh breath of heavenly revival. The community and the world is looking for a hero. Who will be Esther to them? Everyday you have an incredible influence on the people whose lives you touch daily. Your spouse looks to you for encouragement and spiritual guidance. Your children look up to you for an example and a reason to learn. Your neighbors are watching how you respond to life’s crises. Your co-workers will follow a leader who emulates the love of God. No matter what horrible experiences you are facing today, God has called you to the place where you are “for such a time as this…” If you are facing marital strife, face it with God at your side. If you are financially overwhelmed, remember that God is the source of all that we need. See Him for a solution. If your children are wandering from God, lay them at the foot of the cross in prayer and let God go to work on them. If you are overcome with fear, rest in the gentle arms of the Good Shepherd, who loves His sheep. You are not alone. Elijah the prophet thought he was all alone, but God has preserved a remnant of Godly people who, when the time was right, would once again stand strong for God. Elijah was chosen, for such a time as this.

You may feel too young, unable to accomplish much, or so old, that there’s not much left you can do. God still has a plan for you. He uses Daniel’s to stand strong in the lions den and David’s to stand before the giant. Old or young, it means nothing to God. God uses empty vessels who are willing to be used for His glory. Unemployed? God always has a job opening for those willing to be His servants. Look around you! What needs to be done? Who can you help today? What has been neglected for too long? Take on a new task, a new responsibility and serve the King. Esther did. She may have been afraid, but as she realized that her own life was also in the balance, she stepped up to the plate and risked it all. What are you willing to risk today?

Missionaries on the field are risking their lives to tell the story. In some countries Christians are being expelled and sometimes killed for their faith. Here in the comfort and ease of living in a democracy, we complain about the littlest things while others are risking it all to serve the Lord. What bothers you today? Is it the lost who do not know the Savior? Is it the church that has lost is focus and vision? Is it a family that has become so engrossed in carnal pleasures that they have forgot about God and eternity? Is it a neighbor who is filling his or her life with drugs and alcohol? These things bother me...and I want to serve my King for such a time as this!

J. Johnson

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