For Such a Time as This...
I vividly remember the first few months of my boy’s lives. I brought them home from the hospital wearing their precious newborn outfits. Their closet was packed with insanely cute little boy clothes that people had blessed us with. Unfortunately, their little body didn’t even make it in to most of them. Isn’t it amazing how much they grow in the first year of their life? The life changing milestones start happening… eating real food, walking, talking, just to name a few, and how exciting those moments are. As a parent, we expect to experience these things with our children, as they grow and if we don’t see these changes occurring, there arises concern that something is causing our child not to simply, “grow”, in the manner that they should. The concern arises because we are not seeing change or certain things are not occurring in their life that reflects growth. So,I ask you this question. If we expect change to occur in our physical bodies as we grow, why is the expectation of growth and change in our “spiritual body” not the same? Many times we find ourselves at the same place spiritually as we were one, five, even 10 years ago. Our prayer life is the same, our time in the word is the same, our desire to reach others for Christ is the same, our family looks the same, we are still dealing with the same issues we have for years, and yet there seems to be no alarm in the lack of growth. So how do we GROW our desire to GROW?
Several years ago, my twins planted some pumpkins. Now remember my green thumb is not so green, so I wasn’t expecting much. My desire to check on those plants each day was slim to none because I didn’t think they were going to produce anything. Now the twins on the other hand, they were checking on those plants every chance they had. They watered them and even got fertilizer to put on them. They wanted them not only grow but to grow BIG!!! The care for those plants was birthed out of their expectation. They did what they knew to do, to nurture the plants, because they wanted to see some results and believed they were going to get them. Well, what do you know. We ended up with 4 beautiful pumpkins. Their expectation of producing pumpkins caused them to focus on growing the plants to the best of their ability. They googled how to take care of them, they bought special chemicals to put on them and then took the time to care for them.
Our spiritual walk with Christ needs to be nurtured in the same way. We need to be in the word, to know how God intends our life to look. We need to be filling ourselves with worship and his presence, so we are thriving and we need to make God a priority in our time. Don’t allow the lie of “God knows my heart” to stunt your spiritual growth. You know that lie... It kinda sounds like this. "I shouldn't have said that, but "God knows my heart"... "Weekends are just so busy, so making it to church is hard, but "God knows my heart"..."I know I need to work on my attitude, but "God knows my heart"... Just to name a few! Don’t allow the enemy to use that as an excuse in your life. God does know your heart, he sees just who we are… He created us. But he doesn’t want us to stay the same. God has big plans for you, but he can’t accomplish in you what he desires if you are not willing to do what it takes to grow and produce fruit. Allow God to grow you. Believe him for the unexplainable. Believe him for the amazing and impossible! If you’re expecting a great harvest, you will prepare for it! Be intentional about your worship. Be intentional about prayer. Be intentional about reading the word. Be intentional about who you surround yourself with. Believe me. If you are expecting God to do amazing things, prayer, the word, and being in his presence will excite you. It will be what drives you.
***Your expectation fuels and intensifies your Intentionality.***
In Esther Chapter 2, Esther has been taken to the King’s palace and is in preparation to be summoned by the King. There were certain things that had to be done to prepare her for that moment. The preparation was taking place and Esther was being intentional about her position in the palace. As her position in the palace positions her to see the mighty hand of God at work, we read this scripture in Esther 4:1-14 (NIV).
4 When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.
6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.
9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
I get excited every time I read this scripture! This scripture should stir something up in you. If God could use Esther, in a place she didn't belong, to do such an amazing thing, Why don't you believe God will do the same with you? Let's get real for a moment. The Esther moment sounds great until we have to count the cost. Are we willing to put ourselves in such a place of vulnerability, that if not for the hand of God, we will fail? Are we willing to say, by the way we live our life, that God, "I'm in complete surrender"? We all need a "Mordecai" in our lives! That person who will just "tell it like it is!" Mordecai didn't give Esther some sweet, pep talk. He reminded her of her PURPOSE! Too many of us are missing "our Royal Moments" because we fear complete surrender. Oh, what God could do through us, if we only allowed him complete access to our lives. God desires to use us in "BIG" ways! But there are some preparations and some growth that must come in order to position us to see great things. Don't allow the enemy to stunt your growth by feeding you the lie that God is "OK" with certain things in your life. God doesn't want to condemn you, he wants to transform you! Don’t let your walk with Christ become comfortable. Expect God to do the Unimaginable! Make your walk with Christ intentional. You were created for such a time as this. Let the preparations begin!