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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 22, 2015

Powerful pawns on God's chessboard

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

We live in turbulent times. We are to battle every day until our Lord and Master Jesus Christ returns to this earth. In our personal battle we face a spirit world that affects our physical environment. At times we can lose hope when we consider the dimension of the battle we must fight in our Christian life. We realize then how weak we are.

Perhaps we see ourselves as being unimportant and insignificant, like a pawn on a chess board – without position, influence and lacking possibilities. But those who really understand the game of chess know that each figure on the chess board has its own responsibility and maneuverability. So even a mere pawn can bring its owner the victory if it is in the right position on the board at the right time: a pawn can set the checkmate on an opposing king!

And the pawn can achieve greater power and possibilities by reaching the last row of the board on the opponent's side. That pawn can become a knight, rook, bishop or even queen, and the change is immediate! Most often the pawn is exchanged for a queen, the strongest figure on the board.

Amateur chess players often see the pawn as being less valuable and eligible to be sacrificed. It is true that pawns are the smallest chess pieces, having only limited mobility on the board. And often we are seen the same way in today's world. But our heavenly Father, who sees the entire cosmic chess board, has a different opinion about us! It doesn't matter whether we were called as a rook, knight, bishop or pawn – in God's eyes we are all of immense value, and together we are fulfilling His plan by being subject to Him and His way of life. We hear His voice, listen for His instruction and then make our move on the chessboard of life. We just follow God's lead, being thankful that we understand His great plan. Even when it seems we are losing a battle in life, when we are surrounded by our foes, we defend our position in the faith, knowing that God will protect and guide us.

At the beginning of a chess match the pawns are moved regularly. But as the game progresses, a pawn might stand its ground, unmoved, for some time, while other chess pieces are being moved, controlling spaces on the board. Maybe a pawn would think: "Hey, have you forgotten me? I know I am only a pawn, but I would like to be used, too!"

Let's look at a few "pawns" in the Bible to see how God moved them into just the right position at just the right time:

• Pharaoh's daugher, who was just at the right spot to pull the baby Moses out of the river.

• Joshua und Caleb, who proceeded on to the Promised Land despite the criticism to which they were subjected.

• David, the shepherd boy, who waited patiently until God made it possible for him to become king of Israel.

• Mary, a simple small town girl, who, once she had recovered from the shock of becoming pregnant with the Messiah, said in faith: "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

God uses each of us to His own honor on His great chessboard. Even though we might feel that we are "just a pawn", in His eyes we are a king or queen.

Like pawns on the chessboard we wait patiently for the time when God will make His strategic move with us and put us in a different position. We must have faith in that move that lies ahead! God knows the game plan, so let's have complete trust in Him. On God's chessboard, we are powerful pawns!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath and meaningful Feast of Pentecost!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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