The Book of Esther in the Old Testament is the story of a young Jewish woman who, based on her beauty and desirability before the king, became the queen of Persia in a time when Jews were living there in exile. And when a plot is uncovered to kill the Jews, Esther puts her life on the line to thwart it.
Mordecai, who raised Esther after her parents died, challenged the queen with the opportunity her position gave her. “For if you remain silent at this time,” he told her, “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 royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Mordecai presents us here with two seemingly contradictory things. (I have come to expect this kind of thing from the truth.)
1) Don’t think you are indispensable.
2) Don’t sell yourself short.
Somewhere between being dispensable and being Johnny-on-the-spot lies the will of God for Esther, and in turn, I think, for all of us. We mustn’t think too highly of ourselves. God will not be without a witness. I mean, historically God has used angels, pagan kings, donkeys, and bushes to speak for Him if needs be. He can certainly fill in for you if you decide to take yourself out. At the same time, He puts us in places where our influence can make a big difference, and we are the ones who lose out if we don’t rise to the occasion.
The will of God is an opportunity and a destiny. It is a very cool thing, actually. Not something you have to do, but something you get to do. Who wouldn’t want to step out under those conditions? And when you step into it, you step into the flow of God’s plan and provision. Resources you didn’t know you had become available.
Think about it this way. God doesn’t need you (He can do fine without you, thank you), but He wants you (He wants to bring you into His plan and accomplish something together with you). He’ll use somebody or something else if you bail out, but why would you do that? Why would you miss the opportunity of a lifetime?
We see this reality in a historical moment in the Esther story, but I think this story there to teach us this truth is also at work in our lives daily. There will be opportunities today to step into the will of God or miss it. If you miss it, you are the one who loses; someone else gets the action. Based on other assurances in scripture, that doesn’t mean you won’t get to your ultimate destination, it’s just that you will miss a good deal of adventure along the way.
Think about the fact that you are alive today for such a time is this. Don’t miss it