Serve Where He Has Placed You
When Esther hesitated to speak to King Ahasuerus about Haman’s plot against the Jews, Mordecai’s response was, to quote one commentator, “grounded in the reality and necessity of God’s intervention.” He knew that God would keep His covenant promise and could raise up someone else if Esther chose to keep silent. Yet Mordecai also asked Esther to consider whether God had placed her in the right place at the right time to act on behalf of her people. She had won the beauty pageant and become queen, but she hadn’t been responsible for putting her nose on her face or determining the color of her eyes or the length of her legs. God had done all of that. Mordecai didn’t claim certain inside knowledge of the will of God, but he did realize that God had put Esther in a unique position and that He may well have done so for a unique purpose.
Although it may not always feel like it, God has also put each of us in a unique position for a unique purpose. He has us exactly where He wants us, positioned perfectly for “good works, which God prepared beforehand” (Ephesians 2:10). So, instead of wishing for a new job, location, or abilities so that we can get on with our own big, overarching plan, we need to recognize that God’s plan may very well involve simply doing what we’re already doing, to His glory.
There is no ideal place in which to serve God except the place where He has set you down—wherever it is. Such a perspective transforms sweeping a floor into divine activity. You may not be a queen like Esther, but your role matters. That’s a tremendous liberation from the fear that life is happening somewhere else, and a tremendous motivation to get on with obeying God here and now! Wherever God has placed you, respond today in obedience to His foreordained purposes. As you go to your office, to your school, or throughout your town, neighborhood, or city, let the words of this hymn become your prayer:
Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labor to pursue,
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think, or speak, or do.
The task Thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfill,
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Unmarried and the Widowed
25Now concerning7 the betrothed,8 I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26I think that in view of the present9 distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman10 marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
32I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
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