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Don't Be Deceived: Hiding Doesn’t Fix the Problem

Updated: Apr 16

Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. 14If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”

Esther 4:13-14


 

For the last three months, I have been a long term substitute for a sixth grade math classroom. Growing up this was my dream. I wanted to teach math and coach in my hometown. I wanted to be at the forefront of educating the next generation of Panthers. However, as much as I love what I am doing, there is one reality that I can't escape... I was not designed to merely teach math and coach sports. I was designed to teach God's word and shepherd his people.


I know in previous posts, I have spoken to the reality of my time in ministry. There has been a tremendous amount of hurt that occurred in my previous pastorates. As I reflect about the time, it has come abundantly clear to me that I wasn't ready for the role that I aspired to. No one can deny that I am a tremendously talented teacher. Honestly, the piece of my ministry I always thought was the weakest was actually the strongest.


The real problem was the fear that I had when I was called to stand firm on what I knew God was telling me to do. I knew that my choices would have consequences, so I chose the path of least resistance. I did this until my heart was cold and hardened to the people God had called me to serve. In all reality, I wasn't surrendered enough to God and the calling He has placed on my life.


I wanted to serve God and be the pastor, but I didn't want to suffer as someone called to ministry. It is no wonder things ended the way that they did. No wonder my wife and I are scared to give ministry another try. I approached ministry with a false expectation and lacked the boldness it takes to shepherd God's people. The story of Queen Esther shares wisdom about an eternal reality that is often missed... God creates us to be in the places we are in and our lack of action is disobedience towards Him.


Queen Esther was in a difficult situation when she faced the decision to approach the King. There is no doubt that she struggled with the potentially fatal outcome she could face if she voiced her concern for her people. However, Mordecai explained a harsh reality to the queen. Although she seemed to have security in her royal position, that security could quickly vanish if those persecuting the Jews got what they wanted.


How many times in our lives are we guilty of this same thought process? We think that if we hide in what seems to be a safe place that we can avoid the hardship of faith. We wait for someone else to talk to those difficult people. We wait for someone else to fill that void at church. In my case, I abandon ministry to teach math, because it is easier to be a public education teacher than it is be a pastor..


As humans, let's all admit that we wait for others to do what we know God is calling us to do. However, we ignore the warning that Mordecai gives to Queen Esther. God is going to achieve His purposes, regardless of whether she fills her responsibilities or not. God was not going to let His people fail because of the unfaithfulness of one person. His plan would come to pass, but Queen Esther would not be included in the blessing. Her lack of faith would have consequences.


When we deny the calls God puts on our heart, do we think God should just ignore our disobedience? The cold-hard truth is that God is going to accomplish what He seeks to accomplish and none of us are capable of stopping it. If we deny what He has called us to do, He will find someone that will fill the void. But, it won't be without us facing the loving discipline of God.


Mordecai's final piece of encouragement for the queen was that she may have been divinely created for a time such as this. It was not accidental, or by chance that Esther was chosen to be the queen. God had created her for the very moment she found herself in. God divinely created her to stand firm in her faith and open the door for the Jewish people to be saved from death.


We too are divinely created for the places we find ourselves in. We aren't accidents. We aren't second thoughts. We are all created for works that God has prepared for us to do. Many times these works will compromise the situations that we are in and will seem to put us in situations that oppose worldly wisdom. Many times, these works will cause us to face persecution from others. However, if God calls us to do something, we should know that there is something He desires to bring from the work.


It is a part of our nature to seek the path of least resistance. It is our nature to avoid the situations that bring us difficulty. But, if we are seeking to live out lives as those called by God, we need to prioritize Him and his desires above all. I truly believe we were made for times such as these. I believe God wants to use us to do mighty works. The true question is, are we going to be obedient to what He is trying to do through us?

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