Take your position.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1).”
As sure as the planets are positioned strategically to orbit the Sun, so are we placed according to God’s Purpose. Nothing has been left to chance— with intricacy and wisdom all things are working with precision: If the Earth were any closer to the Sun, we would be toast: If one oxygen atom were taken away from carbon dioxide we would be giving off carbon monoxide—a highly toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Everything is portioned and positioned precisely for our good and benefit. We should not think that we are here on Earth with no purpose. If every plant, animal, critter, and molecule has a purpose, then we have significance. Life is full of trials and difficulties, but we must take our positions regardless, and step into the next moment; as time waits for no one.
4 And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the Earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt (Genesis 45).
It’s unfathomable to imagine brothers selling their own sibling to slavery, because they were envious of him. People can do horrific things to others who they deem to be a threat. In this dog eat dog world, it’s not unusual to see claws coming out vying for privileges, power and possessions. I’m sure Joseph was dejected and bitter with his brothers for separating him from his father and valuing his life worth only twenty pieces of silver.
Joseph accepted the hand he was dealt, but never separated himself from His God. God eventually brought Joseph out of the dungeon by distressing Pharaoh with a dream. Joseph was mentioned to Pharaoh as the only one who could interpret dreams. The abilities God gives will position us for blessings. The Holy Spirit gives us those abilities; equipping us to be useful for God’s Purpose. For Joseph, it was interpreting dreams that opened the door to his freedom and prosperity.
Joseph chose to see the forest for the trees, by thrusting aside the evil his brothers did against him, and acknowledging the position God had given him. Were it not for their evil actions, He would not have saved the entire nation of Israel—whose forefathers were the brothers bowing before him. With no time to waste, Joseph began to do what was necessary to preserve their lives. Turn the wrong done against you into a launch pad for where you are intended to be. Shifting our focus on what God is doing will keep us from dwelling on the past. Get on with God’s program and preserve what’s about to perish. God will prove that people’s motives are moot to what He has already ordained for us.
3 And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. 4 For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water)(1 Kings 18).
Ahab was one of the most wicked kings in Israel, and his wife Jezebel was a pagan. Ahab was from the lineage of David, but he worshiped many idol gods and led Israel to do the same. Ahab had built all kinds of altars for Jezebel to worship her gods, with the help of 400 prophets of Baal. She brutally killed many of God’s prophets and had great sway over Ahab. Who would want to work for such an administration? Obadiah was a man who feared God greatly and was put in charge of Ahab’s house. Coincidence? I think not. God sent a deliverer for his prophets by placing Obadiah in Ahab’s office. He saved them by Obadiah’s commitment to not just cower in fear, but do something about the vicious slaughter of God’s people.
So Esther arose and stood before the king,5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite; which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”
7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews. 8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke (Esther 8).”
Esther was a Jew brought up by her relative Modecai, as captives when Babylon invaded Jerusalem. She found favor with the king and became his wife. The king’s right hand man at the time, by the sleight of his hand, made arrangements for the massacre of the Jews. No one knew that Queen Esther was a Jew. Modecai convinced her to use her position to deliver the Jews from Haman, who had convinced the king to sign a decree to kill the Jews. Esther was reminded of her position as well as the consequences of not using it to deliver her people. She was not going to be spared from the decree, if she was found to be a Jew. We must never be silent when we can be a force for justice. God plants us where He can use us for His agenda. God will always protect those who take a stand for good. No child of God should ever take their role lightly. Every step is ordained with precision, as sure as the Sun rises from the east and sets in the west.
If God has opened a door for us where others are not believers and are openly against the Lord’s Ways, we may think that this is not for us. We have to pray about it and ask His Wisdom. If we are given the opportunity, we should consider the possibility that God may be placing us for His Purpose. Like Obadiah and Esther, those who fear Him will be used to do what pleases Him. In proximity to leadership, we have access by dint of our position, to what God is calling us to do. We are a light in the darkness and are salt which can stem the rot. We are called to do good and protect life. We don’t have to agree with those around us, we have to be in agreement with what God would have us do.
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. And when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you! (1 Samuel 17)”
What have your past experiences and skills earned you? They are more useful than you can imagine. No experience is ever wasted whether great or small. Whatever chores we did as children, skills we were taught by our parents, knowledge we gained in those jobs we hated, these are all pieces to complete the whole puzzle of our lives. For David, killing a lion and bear to protect his father’s sheep was enough to prove him competent to take out Goliath. We don’t need sophisticated experiences, we need to recall our past courage in the face of adversity. It really wasn’t David who dominated the lion or bear, it was God who preserved his life. God was going to give David victory over a man. Take the experiences and skills that others may not think have value, and let God put His Power behind them. It doesn’t matter how long your colleagues have been on the job, or how old you are; use what you are familiar with for God’s Glory. Seize the opportunity to take down a giant with whatever you have on hand.
35 “This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years (Acts 7).
Moses was rejected by his own people because he had frailties. They disqualified him as ruler and judge, but God put His stamp of approval on him. Moses, by the hand of the Angel, brought multitudes of Jews out of Egypt with all sorts of signs and wonders, parted the Red Sea and sustained the children of Israel in the wilderness. People’s opinions should not determine our calling. They may want to remind us of our past, shortcomings or limitations, but we must remember we are created in Christ’s Image and Likeness. We have to live in the present by walking in the newness of each day we draw a breath. As long as we are still here, we are still useful.
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed (Hebrews 12) .
God uses those who are willing to fully depend on Him to get the job done. Our past failures don’t discount us for God’s service. He would much rather use one who has no confidence in themselves, than one who is puffed up with experience. God will do great exploits with those who have been shafted because of their checkered past. Rewrite your past by being willing to let God work with everything that defines you.
Nothing will stand in the way of what we have been ordained to become; to do God’s Will here on Earth. God’s election is sure and He will work out everything, from cradle to crave to shape us according to His Purpose. We don’t need to be commended by others, nor do we have to be demoralized by our critics. It’s His Work and not ours, so we need Him to work out every detail and hone each skill needed to get it done. He uses every experience, skill, talent and personality, coupled with His Wisdom and Power, to situate us precisely, for His agenda. We must be cognizant of our position and humble ourselves to heed His Instructions while we go in His Strength.
7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My Words in your mouth 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms; to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant (Jeremiah 1).”