For Such A Time As This

A former youth pastor of mine once pointed out how everyone grows up wanting to do something meaningful with their life. I’d have to agree! From the time we’re little we dream of being princesses and knights and astronauts, firefighters, teachers, explorers, even the president someday!

In our childhood innocence, we naturally want to make a difference. And it’s no wonder! We were created in the Image of One who has made the biggest impact that the world will ever experience. We were born with His creativity and a unique passion inside of us. We are called to be world-changers, just like our Heavenly Father is a world-changer.

Last night, Allyson gave a great message at Mezz about Queen Esther. Esther is a world-changer known for her bravery and courage that saved her people from certain genocide. There are many other famous Bible Heroes known for being world-changers:

David is known for meeting Goliath’s challenge and for being a man after God’s own heart. Joseph is known for his creative wisdom that saved all Egypt from starvation. Gideon is known for following God’s crazy plan to lead Israel to victory against impossible odds. Daniel is known for his stand and his unwillingness to compromise his convictions in spite of death. Mary is known for trusting God’s plan even if she didn’t understand how He’d do it. Abraham was known for his obedience and his faith. Moses, Noah, Hannah, Ruth, Solomon, Deborah, Peter, Paul, John, the list goes on and on!

These legendary men and women are known for their “big yes,” their heroic moments in the spotlight where they said, “You lead the way God, and I will follow with everything I have to give.” for their moments when lives hanged in the balance and countries and kingdoms were saved. But none of these people would be who we remembered them to be if they weren’t faithful in their “little yes,” in those unnoticed moments in the background when they said, “God, I’ll live for you with everything I have,” even when no one was watching them… when there was no one to tell them, “Well done!”

Every one of these heroes was faithful in their normal, comfortable lives before they experienced their big moment. At some point in time, they faithfully made wise decisions of obedience that would prepare them for the bigger calls that would come later. Before defending Israel from Goliath, David had faithfully defended his flock from predators. Before being a ruler of Egypt, Joseph was an honest manager of his master’s household. Before making a stand for God against an army of thousands, Gideon learned how to stand for God in front of intimidating relatives.

During her message, Allyson challenged us with this question: “What makes us think that we’ll say yes to God in the harder, scarier moments if we aren’t saying yes to Him in the smaller matters?”

So how do we apply this? How do we prepare ourselves for the big moments and trials of faith down the road? It’s simple: we copy the example that these men and women laid out for us. Every famous yes that they made was preceded by a smaller one.

Luke 16:10 - "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.”

I have younger siblings, Caitlyn and Carson, who are 8 and 6 respectively. Being older than them, I’m also their favorite babysitter. When they were little, they had come up with this game where some of the imaginary characters they had created were being impolite, breaking rules etc. I sat down in their room and explained why they shouldn’t play as characters that didn’t listen. I told them that by “playing” as someone who was rude, it was like practicing being rude. And the more they played a game where it was okay to break the rules, they might train themselves to think it was okay to break them in real life.

This concept is very true of our own lives. What we do at home, at work, at school, or in private will train us in how we respond to bigger situations. The more faithfully we say yes, the easier it will be to step out and say yes again. On the flipside, the more we shrug off what God’s asking us to do, the more numb we’ll be to His will.

I want to encourage you that God has placed you where you are for a reason and He wants to use your unique background, job position, influence, all of it, to accomplish His work. There’s no such thing as our lives being too messy for God to use or even too normal! God has a plan for all of it and His loving Hand is in every detail of our lives.

Even when it seems that everything is out of our control, it doesn’t mean it’s out of His. Joseph, Daniel, and Mary had no control over what happened to them. Now, this comparison might seem odd given that Joseph and Daniel were captives and Mary a young girl about to be married. When we look at Mary’s life it’s very easy to say, “Of course God was in that plan!” Her life doesn’t appear to be a hailstorm of chaos. Yet, God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, was just as in control of Mary’s circumstance as He was in Joseph’s and Daniel’s. They couldn’t control where their captors took them, but they could control their response.

In their plight, the world would say that they had every right to ignore God’s proddings. After all, why had He allowed such tragedy to happen to them? But they never gave up on God and they never stopped saying yes. And soon, their captivity led to divine promotion.

The truth is, the only person who knows what that “yes” looks like in your life, is you and God. It’s up to us to pray about our yes and it’s our privilege to partner with Him. At Camp Alive 2016, they told us about this prayer that Norman Grubb said every day. Each morning he’d pray, “Good morning, Lord! What are You up to today? Can I be a part of it? Thank You. Amen.” What an awesome way to look at doing life with God! God is always moving, and He loves and longs for us to partner with Him.

So each morning before work, or school, or whatever else you have planned that day, ask God what you can practice saying yes to. Let God transform you into a world-changer by being a faithful environment-changer, a family-changer, a city-changer… Saying “yes” to God is one of the biggest, most important things you’ll ever do. And He will be with you every step of the way!

Hebrews 13:20, 21 (NLT) - “Now may the God of peace...21equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Christ Jesus.”

Step out and watch how God supplies everything you need to accomplish the task. And when you see His faithfulness in your little “yes,” let that be the proof that He’ll equip you when you say yes to the bigger things!

You are a world-changer! And it all begins with “yes.”