Why Are You in the Palace?

If you have never read it, I encourage you to grab of copy of Timothy Keller’s book, Every Good Endeavor.  In it, Kellor offers a roadmap to the ways in which individuals can make the critical link of tying everyday work to Kingdom work.  In a chapter entitled, “Work Becomes Selfish,” Kellor connects his thoughts to the story of Esther and her circuitous journey to the palace of Persia.  He writes, “God urges you to think about where you are and why you are there, to realize the importance of being in the palace.  It’s possible that only then can He use you to do His work in this world.”[1]  He goes on to say that we are in the palace only by grace.  “You worked with talents you did not earn; they were given to you.  You went through doors of opportunity you did not produce; they just opened for you.  Therefore, everything you have is a matter of grace…”[2]   And then he offers this insight, “Unless you use your clout, your credentials, and your money in service to the people outside the palace, the palace is a prison…”[3]

Connect the dots to your place of ministry.  What does the palace resemble from your frame of reference?  Maybe it’s a prestigious pulpit in a large city, maybe it’s an endowed chair at a University, or maybe it’s a corner office in a successful business.  Now ask yourself how it is that you get to live in that palace?  Is it a result of your superior talents, work ethic, or education?  You might like to think so… but what if Kellor is right?  What if you are in your palace simply by Grace… meaning that God placed you there for a reason?  What if it is not about who you are, but instead, what if it is more about what God wants to do through you?  Surely it is His intention that you would leverage all that you are… your clout, your credentials, and your money, to serve people outside of the palace.

Take a moment to look beyond the safe and comfortable walls that surround you.  Can you gain a perspective on a greater world of need into which you can speak hope and even offer tangible aid?  I think Kellor hits the nail on the head.  Our palaces can quickly become prisons of selfishness, pride, and meaningless endeavors if we only work to better our small corners of influence.  What a waste of grace if we only build our kingdoms for self-promotion and notoriety.  Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that we really don’t deserve the palaces in which we live, but out of sincere gratitude we will strive to find ways to serve a bigger world.  Take off your robe and roll up your sleeves.  It’s time to make a difference.

[1] Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor, (New York, Riverhead Books, 2012), p.117

[2] Keller, p. 120

[3] Keller, p. 119