As we work through the Esther’s Call II lessons, I review them for morning devotions or I go elsewhere in Scripture. After the last teaching on Prevailing Providence I went to Colossians…and I saw something. It provoked meditation and I want to share some of it with you. Colossians 1:25 (NCV) says,
I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do that helps you, and that work is to tell fully the message of God.
This verse exploded for me. The context is verses 21-29. I thought about four things after reading this passage in several versions.
#1: I CANNOT PLAN ON YOUR PROMISES.
I thought about how people tell me about the gift they have for me and sometimes do not follow through or even change the gift. One person I know, for example, knows there’s a “thing” I really want. She said she knew someone who had this “thing” in new condition, won’t need it, and might give it to me. I halted my own plan to buy my own based on her promise. Today I still wait for her to tell me the situation changed or the person said no…something. (but I know that won’t happen)
Paul’s new life as an apostle was God’s gift to the saints. No contingencies. No false promises. Just Paul saying, “God chose my calling because He wanted to help you, and I’m to do it fully.”
#2: I CAN EXCUSE YOU FROM YOUR PROMISE.
I thought about how many people rely on me and how I want to be trustworthy. I want to be where I’m supposed to be–early, prepared and ready for the plans to change in case I’m needed for a different task. In my mind and now in heart I know everyone is not like that. I observe more closely to stick with God’s plan and not alter my course based on another’s promise. I start to excuse others from their promises (instead of holding the unending and unfruitful campaign of accountability). Maybe their excitement caused them to jump the gun and speak too soon. Maybe they really thought they could deliver. Then the situation changed.
I don’t know if the saints had this quandary at the hands of Paul. He did not promise to teach and serve and build, and then not show up. He did his job–“to tell fully the message of God”. He learned to live above the “changes” of people.
#3: ESTHER COULD PLAN ON GOD’S PROMISES.
I thought about Esther. Once she processed Mordecai’s request to intercede for her people and the possible penalty, what was her next thought? High stakes and intense pressure have a way of bringing our foundation teaching to the surface. What Torah principle or promise came to her mind that made her agree to go, but only after three days and nights of fasting and prayer?
I thought that like Paul in Colossians 1:25 God gave Esther a special work to do to help her people. Her work was to yield fully to the providence of God. Whatever Esther recalled about God helped her plan the next move.
#4: I CAN STILL PLAN BECAUSE GOD’S PROMISED.
The cycle of thought ends with personal application and action (for me, at least). I want to be less disappointed with the promise-changers and the promise-breakers in my life. I want to be more focused on being a servant of the church because God gave me a work to do that helps you, and that work is to tell and write FULLY the message of God.
Let’s shake off the hesitation to trust people because of their promise-breaking or promise-changing history. Let’s redeem the time…and focus instead on telling FULLY, serving FULLY, writing FULLY, etc. Let’s plan with the promises of God.