TITLE: Changing places
By David McArdle
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“ … No flesh will be justified in His sight … ” [Romans 3.20 NASB]
If there is one lesson that we, believers need to learn, it is that, when we act in the flesh, it is of no profit.
When we were young Christians, we brought to God’s work, energy, zeal and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, this is not wrong. However, every deed we did, every fight we fought and every prayer we made was tarnished by the flesh.
As we progress in the Christian life, we need to learn, rather, than relying on the flesh, to ruthlessly mortify it.
This transition, as most of us will admit, is not easy to make. For years, some of us have been acting in one way, and in a number of ways, we have developed a pattern.
In our continual quest for freedom, we sometimes wondered, are there a set of steps I can follow that would help us to move, ever so smoothly, from futility to fruitfulness, from waste to worship, from frustration to faith, from confusion to certainty and from having nothing to possessing everything?
There may be a programme to follow from the life and times of Mordecai.
There are, to begin with, two enemies we need to constantly resist and put to death. They are the twin dangers of self-respect and self-preservation.
When Mordecai took his stand as a believer among the heathen, it was not viewed, at that time, as the first step on the ladder to greatness [Esther 2.5].
The next enemy we need to cut off is self-interest, and this is closely connected to, “What would other people think?”
However, without too much consideration, the man of God will reflect His heart, and he will take good care of those are less fortunate.
In this case, it was the bereaved and the orphans. Mordecai adopted Esther into his own family and cared for her as his own daughter [Esther 2.7].
One way in which we can render ineffective the permeating influence of self is to genuinely look out for the interests of others.
This was, even though he did not know it at that time, the catalyst that propelled Mordecai from obscurity to greatness [Esther 2.21].
Another enemy to be annihilated, and especially in the presence of other believers, is self-promotion. Mordecai did not push himself forward, even though he had the right to do so [Esther 2.22].
Once we feel that we have received the victory in some areas of our life, it is time to switch the battle from attacking and move into the realm of adapting.
We should, first of all, adopt an attitude of submission and serving, without either seeking or desiring recognition or reward [Esther 4.16-17]
We should do whatever comes to our hand to do. Note here, that, faithfulness in small matters was the foundation for both, uncovering and slaying the enemy and the opportunity for a great work of God to commence and continue through to completion [Esther 6.6]
A genuine attitude of humility is necessary. Even after the praise of the most exalted man on earth, Mordecai returned to his position at the gate of the palace [Esther 6.12].
There were three rewards given to this man:
He had a place to call his own, and enough land to be self-sufficient [Esther 8.2]
He received the impartation of spiritual authority; and consequently, he was able to issue a decree, annulling the power of the wicked and enabling God’s people to be free and to live their lives without the twin threats of danger and death hanging over them [Esther 8.7-8]
There was a dramatic and unalterable change in his position. He was no longer outside, now, he was securely positioned within the king’s palace [Esther 9.4].
The benefits of selflessness are far-reaching. [David McArdle]
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