The other night at Bible study, we were studying Esther and our teacher asked us to consider what our purpose was in this life. I know this is something a lot of people think about and Rick Warren even wrote a very successful book on this topic. I think a lot of people focus on what they’re supposed to be doing for a job, where they should live, and what they can do in some grand way to affect the fate of humanity.
But I don’t see it that way. You see, I think God will direct me as I go in all these things. I think we have a lot of different purposes (depending on your definition) as we go about our days, the least being what job I’ll hold (I’ve been several different things in this life career-wise and I don’t think I’m done yet!). I do think I have a God-given purpose though.
As we studied about Esther and Mordecai, I began to understand that they didn’t really know what their purpose was – except to follow God.
This stirred my synapses a bit. Was I following God in everything I was trying to accomplish? I’m an editor, a writer, a wife, a friend, a daughter … there are many titles I could attribute to myself, but do I put GOD’S CHILD at the top? (Obviously not since I didn’t even list it as one of my titles!)
Then we talked about how King Xerxes called up some of his documentation (Esther 6). As he heard about his reign, he came upon the note that Mordecai had saved him from an assassination attempt years before but had never been rewarded. He decided to reward him now.
Think about that. If you know anything about this king, you know he was kind of a mean, cruel type who didn’t really do anything except what his advisors told him. But here he decides to honor Mordecai without even asking anyone for advice. (Now, he DOES ask Haman HOW to honor Mordecai, but that’s a whole other subject.)
What is Xerxes’ purpose here?
- Xerxes does not often think for himself.
- He could have read any book that night. He could have done any other number of things to pass his restless hours other than read. In fact, he didn’t seem like a guy who’d like a bedtime story to begin with. I would have assumed he’d choose alcohol to get him to sleep based on previous chapters.
- He could have chosen to not honor Mordecai at this time. After all, it’s been YEARS since the failed assassination attempt – who would remember? And the fact that Xerxes didn’t do it right away is actually kind of proving him to be an ineffective and careless leader. So why do it now?
So what is the purpose of all this?
Here are my thoughts:
- Could Xerxes have also read about his father and grandfather’s reigns that night? Perhaps he saw that both of them had good relationships with the Jews. Perhaps he remembered that both of these men (Darius [see the book of Daniel] and Cyrus [see the book of 2 Chronicles]) had honored God.
- Perhaps he has been influenced by his queen. Esther was a Jew.
- Perhaps the Holy Spirit is working in his heart as it did his father and grandfather.
- Perhaps this is simply GOD’S PURPOSE
So what was Xerxes’ purpose? He didn’t know it either, but God knew. Just as God knows mine. I don’t have all the pieces to my puzzle yet, so I’m unsure what my ENTIRE purpose is yet. But I know that I need to be like Esther – brave, bold, fearless and like Mordecai – faithful, loyal, just and even like Xerxes – open to being led. Perhaps then I can influence people like Haman who are cruel, unjust and lost in the wilderness.
Perhaps simply listening to God’s instruction and willing to be led by His spirit is my purpose. Perhaps it is yours too.