Follow Me: For Such a Time as This!

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For Such a Time as This!

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MP3 Audio (5.65 MB)


Follow Me: For Such a Time as This!

MP3 Audio (5.65 MB)

Some 2,500 years ago a woman was challenged with a life-or-death decision—to step forward for her God and people or stand still and hope for personal survival.

In the decisive moment between stimulus and response came a message from the kinsman who had raised her: “If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14).

Mordecai’s timeless wisdom provoked righteous action from his adoptive daughter, now Queen Esther, leading her to plead for God’s covenant people before her husband, a pagan ruler. She did not succumb to the lamenting inaction of “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” Instead, she embraced the call of a greater Kingdom beyond the Persian realm.

How does this recorded event relate to our personal discipleship in Christ as we confront this life’s challenges?

Deciding and acting for the Kingdom—now!

In answering that question, we need to recognize the ultimate Kingdom that has come our way and is now knocking on the door of our hearts for such a time as this. Jesus announced in His preaching, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel [or good news]” (Mark 1:15).

He was saying the inauguration of the new world age has arrived in vital respects—so get a mind and a heart that fits it! It is to this eternal Kingdom, yet to fully come to the earth in God’s perfect timing, that we “have come . . . for such a time as this.”

Again, we are not yet there in totality. Jesus prayed to His Father regarding His true followers still living amid this evil world: “Sanctify them [set them apart] by Your truth. Your word is truth. As you have sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world” (John 17:17-18). God’s Word would galvanize believers into action.

So why here, why now, why you and me? The training for life in that ultimate Kingdom is now, here below, with help from above!

It is here we stand in the doorway of decision-making with Esther as to whether we listen to our fears or listen to the greater spiritual Mordecai—Jesus Christ, as He bids us, “Follow Me.” Consider two basic truths observed by Austrian psychologist and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl: 1) “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose”; and 2) “Decisions, not conditions, determine what a man is!”

God has not called us to live in the twilight zone of indecision, for indecision is itself a decision that does not glorify God.

Stepping up to play our part for the Kingdom

Let’s consider five needful and decisive steps to walk alongside Esther, with Jesus Christ as our partner, to meet God’s future for us and glorify Him in so doing.

Step 1: Rather than stagger at a world gone awry, we ought to stagger at God’s having chosen us to grant us His gift of grace (John 6:44, 65; Ephesians 2:8) for such a time as this. The apostle Paul, during a personal challenge, was reminded by the risen Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace—His inexhaustible bestowal of favor both in life and death—is sufficient for whatever comes our way.

Step 2: To quote noted author Steven Covey, an expert on success, “Begin with the end in mind.” God Himself has laid out the ending and is working toward it: “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10). And He wants us to work toward this end too.

This was the embedded heart-set of Him who says, “Follow Me.” He is the same One who “for the joy that was set before Him [the future] endured the cross [the difficult now], despised [or disregarded] the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

This needs to be more than just our worldview or outlook. We need God’s ageless vision to guide us through our present times of trouble and challenge. For a disciple of Christ, to “begin with the end in mind” means to take each breath of life remembering that God is a guiding presence molding us as His new spiritual creation into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Step 3: “Cut out the noise!” So many voices come at us every day and in every moment that can strangle and then devour our entire attention. They are distractive, addictive and not only time-consuming but life-consuming.

Jesus as a human being in the physical realm would occasionally call “timeouts” and remove Himself from the crowds following Him. So many people today have their eyes and hearts addictively glued to their smartphones that they don’t have time to “consider the lilies of the field” (Matthew 6:23-34). Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” For “such a time as this,” a choice lies before us as to whether we will stay glued to our smartphones to see what people are saying and doing or take the next decisive step and see what God is saying and doing for our long-term well-being.

Step 4: Treasure God’s Word and “don’t leave home without it,” keeping its daily influence tucked away and locked in the recesses of our heart. Calling God’s Word “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” the writer of Psalm 119 maintained, “I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments” (verses 105-106).

God’s Word is not only a “homing device” as to where we are in the moment, but also a “spiritual GPS” to where God waits for us to meet Him. A Bible not opened on a daily basis might as well be lost in a closet full of everything else you are not using. How can we continue to “walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:6-7), if we do not hear the Voice that comes to us through the Word of God?

Step 5: Value and take time to stop everything to pray to our Heavenly Father. If we are not talking to Him, that means we are alone talking to ourselves—like an unsound person on a street corner having the most animated solo conversation with himself and going nowhere!

Jesus not only instructs His disciples on how to pray, but He left us with His expectation of “when you pray . . .” (Luke 11:2). Our Heavenly Father’s ears are attentive and open to our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). Jesus had such confidence in stating, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me . . .” (John 11:41-42).

It’s when we live in the world of prayer that we know “the Lord is at hand” and can follow Paul’s encouragement to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding [better than the facts on the ground], will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5-7).

It is “for such a time as this” that we physically walk through the kingdom of man. But it is “for such a time as this” that we have been called by God’s grace to come now to a better Kingdom, standing for what’s right as we follow the spiritual footsteps of the One who says, “Follow Me.”

The door of decision-making is before us, both for the here and now as well as for the future. Like the prophet Isaiah, we have received a great calling and invitation from above: “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’” (Isaiah 6:8).

Will we respond like Isaiah? “Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”