For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
Last week, we focused on the second half of this famous verse. Today, I want to turn our attention to the first half.
But first, a quick recap. Esther, a Jew, has been chosen to be the new queen of King Xerxes, a pagan ruler who has sanctioned plans to kill all of God’s people in his kingdom. Esther’s uncle Mordecai issues a passionate plea to his niece to use her position of influence in the palace to convince the king to stop this assault on God’s people.
Esther eventually agrees, but check out what Mordecai said would have happened had Esther failed to act: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place” (emphasis mine).
Do you sense the Lord leading you to take some particular action at work this week? Maybe he is calling you to speak up for less powerful team members who are being treated unjustly, or to privately call out how your boss has been embellishing the truth with customers, or to invite a coworker to church.
Whatever you sense God calling you to do at work this week, know this: The Lord doesn’t need you or me to accomplish his work. If we fail to follow his lead, he will find someone else to do his will. In the words of Job 42:2, “no purpose of [God’s] can be thwarted.”
God didn’t need Moses to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. So he finished that work through Joshua. God didn’t need David to build the temple. So he finished that work through Solomon. God didn’t need Esther to save his people. But Esther chose to muster her imperfect courage and lean into the work she was called to do.
You and I face the same choice Esther faced on a regular basis. We can choose to leverage our vocations to do the Lord’s work, or God can choose to do that work through somebody else.
This truth should lead us to two responses. First, it should humble us to know that while God can and does do his work through our work, no one worker is indispensable. Second, this truth should lead us to have a bias for action for the things of the Lord. Not because God needs any one of us. But because we want to be a part of what he is doing in the world and one day hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Matthew 25:23).
Don’t miss out on the blessing of being used by God to do his will in your place of work. Pray that the Spirit would open your eyes to the work he is asking his people—including you—to do today.