“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
God’s sovereignty is a wonderful security blanket. God is good and in control of our lives. Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” It is freeing to know that God has called us to our circumstances and will sustain and grow us through our circumstances. As God is in control of our individual lives, he is also in control of our corporate life as a church. The Lord brings trials and opportunities into our path to sanctify our lives and to strengthen the church and to impact lostness around us.
Esther was an orphan, carried into exile, but was welcomed as a daughter by Mordecai. Esther’s beauty and chastity led her to be crowned as Queen Esther. Esther did not ask for her beauty, Esther did not ask to lose her parents, Esther did not ask for the responsibility of the lives of the Jewish people, and yet, God established her position for his sovereign purposes. Esther raised excuses why she could not speak to the king. Mordecai looked at Esther and reminded her that this could be the Lord plan, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” We never fully know what the Lord is doing, but we always know that he is moving and working to fulfill his plan. God raised up Esther for a time, God used King David for his purposes in his day, and God wants to use us for his glory now.
When I first became the pastor at Park Baptist Church, I was often asked, “Pastor, what’s your vision for the church?” That question was a way of asking, “Pastor, what are you going to change in the church?” And yet my “unsatisfying” reply would be, “I want Park Baptist to be a church that reflects the character of Christ.” That is still my desire today. The reason why it is hard to answer what will change in church is the Lord is the one who brings situations and opportunities to the church for us to do his will for his glory. We did not plan to have a thriving ministry among college students, or a prominent role in caring for the homeless, and yet God orchestrated circumstances to allow for both those opportunities.
What’s next for Park Baptist Church? Will it be helping to re-plant a dying church? Will it be growing role in reaching Spanish speakers for the gospel in York County? Will it be training future pastors to reach the nations for Christ? Beloved, our aim is always the same. We want our church to reflect the character of Christ. How the Lord wants us to be situated in his kingdom for a time such as this is not up to us? Our job is to pray and seek the Lord will asking Him for our church, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” Beloved, God is in control. God is not surprised by our circumstances, but rather he orchestrated them for his purposes. Job did not understand the reason for his circumstances, but finally rightly said to the Lord, “I know that You can do all things and that no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” Let us rejoice in the plan the Lord has for Park Baptist Church.