“God is preparing his heroes; and when the opportunity comes, he can fit them into their places in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from,” said Theologian A.B. Simpson.
Did it ever occur to you that you could be one of God’s heroes and that God is equipping and preparing you for something yet ahead?
God has put us on this earth for a purpose. And he has put all of us where we are for such a time as this. You can find that purpose and dedicate your life to the glory of God, or you can ignore it and chase after the empty promises of this world. It’s really your choice.
In the Old Testament book of Esther, we see how God placed the right woman in the right place at the right time, and she saved the Jewish people. Hadassah, better known as Esther, put it all on the line when push came to shove.
Esther was an orphan adopted by her cousin Mordecai, and they were among the Jewish captives in Babylon. He became a father figure to her. Most likely her aspirations in life would have been to marry a nice Jewish boy, raise a family, serve the Lord and live in relative obscurity. But God had another plan for Esther, reminding us there are no coincidences in our lives … only providence.
God sees what is coming. He sees it in detail. He knew exactly what was in the future for Esther, and he was getting her ready. The Bible tells us that Esther “was lovely and beautiful” (Esther 2:7). In other words, she was gorgeous. But the thing about Esther was that she not only was beautiful on the outside, she also was beautiful on the inside.
There is so much emphasis put on women today to be attractive, and much of it is driven by social media. I read that cosmetic surgeries are at an all-time high because people want to actually look like they do in their filtered selfies. Women’s magazines seem to only support that mindset, with articles on topics like erasing the signs of aging and growing thicker hair.
In an environment that was all about outward appearance, the beautiful Esther fit in, but she also had inner beauty. And King Xerxes, who was in search of a new queen, took note of it. Of all the beautiful women of Persia who were paraded before him, Esther was the one he chose and crowned as the new queen.
If this were a fairy tale, it would have ended there. But this is not a fairy tale. God was at work. As Esther was made queen, her cousin Mordecai was made a counselor to the queen. And Mordecai made Esther promise him that she would not reveal her national identity. In other words, she was not to tell the king or anyone else that she was a Jew.
One day Mordecai uncovered a plot by two guards to kill the king. When he revealed it to the king, the guards were arrested and executed, but Mordecai wasn’t rewarded or acknowledged for what he did. Not only was he not recognized, but a wicked man named Haman was elevated instead.
The king had commanded his officials to bow before Haman when he walked by, but Mordecai refused to do so. Haman was so angry that Mordecai wouldn’t bow before him that he decided not only that Mordecai was going to die, but all of his people were going to die too. It was payback time. So Haman went to the king with his wicked plot, and amazingly the king went along with it.
Esther had inner character to match her outward beauty, and she had great courage as well. Mordecai had warned her, “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13–14)
Esther put her life on the line and spoke up for her people and saved the Jewish people as a result. They needed to be saved because Haman had hatched a plot in which they all would be exterminated.
Sometimes the Lord will speak to our hearts and tell us to do something. Maybe we need to break off a relationship with someone who is pulling us down spiritually. Or maybe it’s giving up something that is taking over our lives, something we regarded as an innocent pleasure that is now becoming an addiction. It could be a substance such as alcohol or drugs. Or, it could be something that we become obsessed with, and that thing or that pursuit is becoming more important than God.
Maybe it is the Lord speaking to our hearts and telling us to take a bold step of faith and do something we have never done, something way out of our comfort zone like starting a little Bible study at work with just a couple of friends. See what God will do. God gives gifts and talents to each of us that we need to use.
Esther delivered when it was needed. You have a gift that was given to you by God. Maybe it’s musical talent or artistic talent. Then again, you might be good at crunching numbers. Maybe you’re a great visionary but not very good with the nuts and bolts of things. Or maybe you’re a detail person. Everyone has a role to play. Everyone has talents and gifts that are given to them by God that they must discover, cultivate and use for his glory.
The Bible tells us, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you” (1 Timothy 4:14). Or, as another translation puts it, “Keep that dusted off and in use” (MSG). Use your gift. It might be something unexpected God will call you to do – for such a time as this.
Greg Laurie is an American author and pastor who serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, Harvest Church at Kumulani in Kapalua, Hawaii, and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California. His newest book “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today” about the last great spiritual awakening in America, is available now! You can find it here: http://a.co/d/015o082