Watching the introductory scenes of the movie “The Patriot” invited me to dwell on an intriguing period of history. I mused to myself how fun it might be to live in such a time, and yet retain all your present day knowledge. Think about the possibility! You would know your place. You would know your role. You would know the purpose, and you would know the outcome!
It would not be the first time I ever had this kind of wishful pondering. I have heard it said many times from others “I feel I was born in the wrong century”, or “I was meant to live in another time”. That plus the countless number of movies created all on the subject of time travel confirm I am not alone. Why is this such an intriguing subject? Because such a thing would provide us with the opportunity to be a hero, to set the world right, to be known for our insight and intelligence, to be loved and admired, or perhaps even to profit in more ways than one. We control the scene and all the characters. We have the power to dictate the outcome! In essence, it allows us to be like God!
So why here, why now?
The truth is that we were all placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose and accomplish a destiny here and now, in this moment. It is our turn, and this is our time! As followers of Christ, we can know our place! We can know the role we’re supposed to play! We can know our purpose, and we absolutely DO know the outcome!
Listen, God’s plan will be accomplished on this earth with or without you but here is the deal, you have been placed in the here and now to join in and be a part of it! Don’t let fear keep you from missing out on God’s will for your life in present day reality. Satan would love nothing better than to distract you from what is happening so badly that you miss out on your created purpose. Believe me, he is doing anything he can to thwart that purpose!
In the book of Esther in chapter 4, we find Mordecai has just learned of an edict that establishes a date for the purpose of the annihilation of all Jews. Esther is Mordecai’s niece. Not only is she Queen of Persia, she is also a Jew. So Mordecai is imploring the Queen to take action. In verse 14 he says to her:
“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
Esther could have easily taken on the attitude of “not my problem”, perhaps thinking, as the Queen, this edict would not touch her. But Mordecai makes sure she knows otherwise, and that death would come not only to her but him as well. If you know the story, then you know she does rise to the occasion, and the lesson we can all learn and apply from this is that we, too, were created for “such a time as this”.
You may look at that portion of scripture and be thinking “AHA! God would have acted to prevent the annihilation of the Jews with our without Esther”! This is true, His purposes WILL be accomplished whether we step in and play our part or not. The bible even says that if we don’t glorify Him then the rocks will, and we all may recall, too, that He has even used a donkey to accomplish His will when necessary.
But that is not His first choice. WE are His first choice! This is confirmed in Hebrews chapter 11, otherwise known as the faith chapter, and is a unique rendering of one example after another where saints of God in their day chose to stand up and be counted. The good news is that it does not end there! Let’s take a closer look at verses 11:39 through 12:2 – KJV(italics mine).
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Did you catch it? The part that says “that they without us should not be made perfect”? The word “perfect” intrigued me so I looked it up. It comes from the Greek word Τελειόω (or Τέλειος), which means to complete, accomplish, or consummate.
All the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 were hand-picked by God Himself not because of their wonderful talent or positive attributes or some shinning strength, but because they had a heart after God and were willing to be used, and they were all in the right place at the right time. What would it feel like to have to stand before God one day and realize you missed your opportunity because you were too distracted, too busy playing the part of God in a fantasy world? This great cloud of witnesses, they are all counting on us, because their fulfilled purpose combined with our fulfilled purpose makes us all together complete! All the pieces of the puzzle come together.
We know from this portion of scripture, too, that even Christ Himself did not shirk his calling and purpose in the moment, but rather for the joy that was set before Him, chose to endure the cross. What joy we will have, too, if we choose to run that race here and now!