Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Such A Time As This

"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 4:14 NKJV

We have talked the past couple of weeks about the days of Noah, and the fact that the anniversary of the flood is going to occur two weeks or so from now. We have also explored the possibility that God might again choose to intervene in the world’s history at this time. While studying this week the Holy Spirit reminded me of this passage from the Old Testament which we find in the story of Esther, a Jewish girl who becomes Queen during the reign of Ahasuerus.

While she was the Queen, a plot to destroy the Jews is discovered by Esther’s cousin Mordecai who informs her of it, and counsels her as to what she could do to foil it. It is during this conversation that we find this passage where Mordecai in essence tells Esther that this single event might be the reason behind all that has happened to her up to this point in her life. The fact that a Jewish girl taken captive by a foreign ruler somehow becomes the Queen certainly gives her reason to consider this possibility. She then decides that she was indeed placed in this position by God, and fulfills her destiny by putting in motion a plan that results in the salvation of the Jewish nation.

So why did the Holy Spirit remind me of this story, and this verse in particular this week? Since we have been talking about the days of Noah, I believe it is a message for those who truly believe we are living in those days right now, and some insight into just what God expects from us.

Let me try to explain my thinking here. Most of us are familiar with some form of sporting event, whether it be football, baseball, basketball or hockey just to name a few. As you watch these games, it becomes apparent that one of the strategies most all have in common is some sort of manipulation of personnel during the game that insures the best possible lineup of players is available at the end.

Now this might seem odd to you, but what the Holy Spirit told me this week is that for those of us who truly believe we are approaching the end of this age, the logical conclusion is that God chose to place us here as His best “lineup” to accomplish His goals before the end.

My next thought was that thanks to me, we may be in a little trouble. I had to step back and look in the mirror and ask myself if I was doing everything I possibly could to further the Kingdom! The fact is, if we are indeed as close to the end of time as many of us think, we have an awesome responsibility to fulfil. God is counting on us to do His work as time is running out.

Now a natural response to that idea might be many asking themselves “what more can I do”? If I may, I would like to suggest that this late in the game, it might not be a question of what more can I do, but am I doing what I can?

For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body [were] an eye, where [would be] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [would be] the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
1 Corinthians 12:14-18 NKJV

One of the most important lessons I learned while participating in sports was that while you spent time away from the game in learning and practicing, when it came to game time you just concentrated on doing what you could do the very best that you could. In other words, during the game is not when you want to try something new that you haven’t practiced. In the life of the believer, we early on try to identify the gifts God has presented us with and develop them in order to put them to good use serving Him.

In the passage from Corinthians, Paul is making the point that first and most importantly we must realize that we are placed in the body according to God’s will. In the context of this passage, Paul is referring to the gifts God gives each of us to accomplish His work. Yet in the bigger picture, God also places us where we can do the most good with those gifts He has given us. Have you ever really considered that you are where you are because God wanted you there? So often we tend to think we have some sort of control of our circumstances, when in fact, in the life of the believer God puts us where He wants.

When I thought about all of these things this week I came to the realization that I personally need to understand how much God expects from me right now. Since I do believe we are at the end of this age, and the rapture of the church could happen today, do I really understand God placed me here for a reason, and He expects the very best I have performed at the highest level I can produce? Just like Esther, God has placed all of us here right now “for such a time as this”. We are the people God chose to put on the field at the end of the game. We need to be giving the maximum effort we can before time runs out and the game is over.

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV

Keep watching.

Update; The Middle East is growing even more explosive with even harsher warnings from Assad of Syria, and new missle attacks on Israel. Many believe these events will culminate in war within the next month or two. Here are two links you can use to read about the escalation.