‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)
This morning I asked my son why he wasn’t wearing the clothes I had set out for him today. He told me that the shirt I picked out had a stain so he picked out a t-shirt to wear instead. He also reminded me that he wore a collared shirt everyday (all two of them) this week and it was time to “dress down”. I told him it was because he was doing testing this week and he needed to dress nicely in order to remember that this was important stuff he was doing. He responded by saying “If I dress nicely, I will be distracted by my good looks.” That is such a Jonah statement. I knew there was a blog in there somewhere, so here goesJ
I finished my last day of the Ester study I’ve been doing. Beth Moore asked what spoke to us most in this study. My response was that the story of Esther shows that God had a plan for Esther. Jeremiah 29:11 was fulfilled her story. God had a plan for Esther far greater that she could have ever imagined. Here she was, an orphan, but God chose to elevate her to the status of queen. He chose her out of all of the other girls in the kingdom to win the “beauty contest”. The king was smitten by her and showed her favor. Eventually, he chose her to stand by his side. What none of them realized is that God had a bigger plan in the works. He didn’t just allow Esther to be queen because she was a Jew. He had a plan for her in that role.
God has a plan for all of us. He wants to elevate us to become all that He intends for us. But when we are blessed, sometimes we forget that it’s about the Lord and not us. When we pray and ask for the Lord’s blessing, too often it’s about us and not Him. We want that new job so we can make more money. We want more responsibility because we have worked hard to get where we are. We want that recognition. We want that praise. But what we fail to realize is that when God blesses us and puts us in a higher position, it’s for His purpose. It’s for His ultimate plan. We get distracted by our good looks and forget to seek God for the next step. We all do it and it’s an ugly thing when our pride takes over where God wants to work. We halt His plan when we get distracted and put our wants first.
Yes, I have loved seeing how God used a young, uneducated, unlikely girl like Esther to accomplish such an amazing feat. He chose her because He knew she would complete the task He had for her. And as a result, she saved her people. In our wildest dreams, we could not have thought up a story like that one. It’s a good thing Esther didn’t get caught up in the whole “royal attitude”. It’s a good thing she was willing to listen and learn. It’s a good thing she stayed grounded in her faith. God knew what He was doing when He chose Esther. And He knows what He’s doing when He chooses us. Our job is to seek Him. He has a plan and will reveal it to us one step at a time. In the meantime, while we wait, we need to remember not to get too distracted by our “good looks”.