Monday, August 31, 2009

Mission Minded

'...And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?' - Esther 4:14

I've always loved the story of Esther. Perhaps its my love for any "against all odds" story. Or the fact that the hero a strong woman. I've never fully explored the reasons why - all I know is that I can't think of a single other Old Testament story that captures my heart in quite the same way.

If I was going to choose a rival for the story of Esther, though, it would have to be the story of Abigail (See I Samuel 25). Only briefly mentioned in Scripture, this is a woman that saved her husband (who doesn't seem to have been the nicest of guys) and her household from almost assured destruction at the hands of the anointed king, David. Perhaps Abigail is the reason for the saying "a man's heart is through his stomach" for after assuaging the king's anger with food, she would eventually marry him.

However, while Abigail and Esther share many things in common, namely they were both beautiful, savvy and aware of the power of a cooked meal, perhaps their single most important shared characteristic was that they remained focused on the mission God gave them. In Abigail's case, she desired to share her loved ones and her estate; in Esther's case, she needed to save an entire nation. Both of them set out to do that to which they had been called, when from a human perspective there was little chance of success. They did so because they realized that perhaps God had bigger plans for their lives than they had envisioned. Even though they may have disagreed, God had uniquely positioned each of them to accomplish His purpose "in such a time as this."

Where has God placed you during this time? Is there something to which He has called you that you are hesitant to pursue because you are not confident of your own abilities? Are you pursuing your own plans and hoping God will bless them? Let it not be! Find out what He wants for your life - and then remained single-minded about pursuing it - as you pursue Him. The good news is that if He has called you to it, He has also equipped you to accomplish it. Also, regardless of the outome, a Christ-follower can be confident that even if things don't turn out as planned, He is with you (Heb. 13:5). After all, it is better to seemingly fail doing God's work, then it is to be an utter success doing something different.

The reason that Esther and Abigail were both able to accomplish what they did is because when God called them to something, they both remained focused on that mission. In a society where women were rarely afforded power, through these two women, God changed the hearts of kings. May He do the same with His people today who are committed to Him and who can not be swayed to pursue anything but the mission He has given them.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliott

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