Week of January 31
"The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him." ~ Galatians 3:11 (The Message)
Oh the power of relationship. From our primary and everlasting relationship with the Lord to working relationships and intimate relationships, we are blessed by those which God arranges in so many ways.
Often, God sets us up with people who greatly influence our lives—bosses, leaders, mentors, co-workers, family members and even those who appear to have little power.
And He always works in us and through us simultaneously. His purposes are mighty and far reaching, often influencing nations of people. And they always require obedience.
Consider Ester and her cousin Mordecai. Ester 8:1 says, "And Mordecai came before the king because Ester had explained their relationship."
This was no accident. It was a set up or an "arrangement" by God for purposes bigger than either of them.
Mordecai was not only Ester's blood relative and adoptive parent, he was her advisor, confidant and informant (Es. 2:10, 20-23). God strategically assigned them to work together—one inside and one outside of the king's palace—as His secret agents for the higher purpose of freeing a nation of Jews.
Although their missions felt risky to them, their faith in the Lord and trust in each other had been established (Es. 2:11). Indeed, God knew just what they needed, how circumstances would unfold and which emotions would be pricked as His process for ultimate deliverance took place.
Mordecai and Ester honored God and consulted Him on strategy (Es. 4:16). And God never forsook them along their journey. They remained loyal to God and to each other throughout, no matter how hopeless things appeared, even as the power of their positions shifted (Es. 4:17).
God honored them in return with His divine favor, wisdom and life, perfectly advancing them amid the enemy's deception and plot to kill Mordecai (Es. 5:2-14).
Desperate, Mordecai waited on God, urgently standing at the king's gate again and again. He never gave up. And when the time was right, God exposed His truth of evil through them (Es. 7:6). God's justice was accomplished (Es. 7:10), Mordecai was promoted (Es. 8:2, 15, 9:4, 10:2-3), and the Jews were ultimately set free (Es. 9:1, 5).
Throughout their assignment, Ester and Mordecai remained obedient to God. They lived in right relationship with Him by embracing what God had arranged for them in advance.
When God assigns us to relationships, He always purposes them beyond what we know at the outset. One of my favorite (and usually desperate) prayers is, "Lord, reveal to me Your divine purpose in this. Let me see it as You do. Give me Your divine understanding. Open my eyes, and help me to receive Your revelations and stay on track."
God loves it when we humble ourselves and seek His heart and His purposes for each arranged assignment in our lives. He honors us and blesses for seeking His face and for desiring earnestly to be obedient and serve Him, placing His ways above our own.
Ester and Mordecai stepped into a risky life-or-death journey. The only way they could get through it successfully was to carefully obey God in their relationship with each other and with Him.
What arrangements are you involved in? Are they divinely assigned or ones of your own making? How's your relationship with God and others? Do they honor Him?
If you're not sure, our Divine Creator has all the answers, and He's waiting to reveal them to you for the asking. May you be blessed and walk in divine peace and purpose in all your arrangements.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.