How can I put this bluntly?
LEARN HOW TO SHUT UP.
It’s nobody’s business.
As we push forward to make our dreams a reality, we should not allow our mouths to outrun our minds. In an excerpt from my book, Church Folk Can Be Dangerous People, we learn this principle from one of God’s chosen people: Queen Esther.
In the book of Esther, God delivers the Jewish nation through a young Jewish girl. At the time, a plot was in place to exterminate the Jews. However, at the same time, King Ahasuerus of Persia was set to select his next queen.
Esther was the maiden who pleased him most (cf. Chap 2:9). Although she was a Jew, Ahasuerus took interest in her and she was set to secure the exalted position. He was so impressed with her, he changed her position to the best place of the house. What excitement for Esther. However, verse 10 suggests she did not reveal her identity until the right time.
God favored Esther, as He does for us today. In the church, you will meet many people God has not favored. Likewise, there is always someone God ministers through on your behalf. Be careful not to share until God approves, no matter how much favor you discern. Jumping ahead of Him will harm you.
Verse 10 says, “Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred.” The key word in this phrase is showed, which is a Hebrew term that means to bring forward, to be in front, and to bring to light, to declare, to announce or to profess openly. Esther did not bring to light or announce anything about her nationality. If Esther had spoken too soon, her and her people may have died.
The passage in Esther is parallel to our present experiences—God tells us to remain quiet. God fills the same role in our lives that Mordecai filled in Esther’s life. Esther 2:10 shows Mordecai charging her not to reveal the secret. Again, does not God do this with us?
SUBMISSION IS LIFE-PRESERVING
Sometimes God uses others to fill the same role of Mordecai. Our only protection is submission to God, as Esther submitted to him (Chap 2:20). Be sensitive and listen.
As a young boy, I had issues with this. I failed to listen to my mother’s wisdom because I was too excited about several things. For years, she warned me to keep quiet about my plans. I suffered because I rejected the instructions.
Church people did not support my dreams and plans. The greatest Dream Killers worshipped with me every week. My mother tried to protect me from the harsh reality of rejection and sabotage. What reality? When people know your business, they can kill your business.
God has since helped me. He gave me a beautiful wife who shares my mother’s reasoning. She’s a woman with sharp discernment. My wife, Sandra has warned me repeatedly not to involve Dream Killers.
A humble and teachable spirit is critical. I learned my pride led to my poverty. Even when God does put us in position, He may still demand silence. Again, examine Esther. She was royalty and still did not reveal she was Jewish. She continued to submit to Mordecai, although the king had exalted her (Chap 2:20).
Esther could have been belligerent with Mordecai. However, she submitted the same way she did as a young girl. It was not the right time. Why is silence important, as in Esther’s case? Sometimes, we forget people can still destroy our plans.
For example, what if an employee was promised a promotion? What would happen if he or she boasted before securing the job? (Coincidentally, Haman—the man who launched the plot to kill the Jews in the book of Esther—did this in Esther 5:11-14.)
In a business where jobs post for all to apply, promising a promotion can be dangerous. If the boss promised a position would soon be available—in exchange for your silence—would this be the time for bragging? A jealous Dream Killer would destroy your opportunity. And if you cannot keep quiet about the promotion, how can the boss trust you to keep quiet about critical company information?
When we submit to God’s will, we see Him systematically do His best work. Esther 2:20 says, she had not revealed her identity. The next verse shows a plot to kill the king. Mordecai learned of this plot because he was always around the king’s gate, checking on Esther. Mordecai informed her of the plot and she told the king. Essentially, he helped save the king’s life. Do you see God’s work here?
In Chap 6, the king had lost sleep because Mordecai had not received honor for saving his life. So, the king gave him tribute. Could it be possible that if Esther had revealed her identity before this event occurred, that Mordecai, Esther and the Jewish nation might have faced extermination?
Esther could have risked the lives of all her people the same way we could risk the growth of many in the church. Dream Killers do not care who they hurt, and our exposing the revelation can hinder ourselves and others.
In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus healed a leper. He straightly charged him to keep quiet. The phrase “straightly charged” in the Greek tongue means sternly. It has definite hardness or severity of nature or manner. Jesus was severe or morally strict in His command to keep the matter quiet. However, the leper defied His command.
The verse begins with the conjunction but. It says he departed from the presence of Jesus and began to preach about the miracle. He thoroughly reported what Jesus told him not to reveal. The deliberate disobedience hindered others from receiving from Jesus because He could no longer enter the city openly.
Sometimes we should remain quiet, so that Jesus can bless others. The leper became a Dream Killer himself. Jesus could have ministered to many others, but because of the leper’s disobedience, the ministry in that area ceased.
Submission to God is always best. We should not be quick to share what God demands we hold. I encourage you to read Esther, for in its beautiful passages you will see God at work.