Second Fiddle by Beth Jones

Beth JonesSecond Fiddle
Beth Jones

Beth Jones is an author and minister, who, along with her husband Jeff, pastors Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They are the parents of four children.

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"Then Pharaoh placed his own signet ring on Joseph’s finger as a symbol of his authority. He dressed him in beautiful clothing and placed the royal gold chain about his neck. Pharaoh also gave Joseph the chariot of his second-in-command, and wherever he went the command was shouted, ‘Kneel down!’ So Joseph was put in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am the king, but no one will move a hand or a foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.’"
Genesis 41:42-44, NLT

This is a devo for all the frustrated "second fiddle" people. That is, those of you who serve in ministries or organizations as the #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #10 person—not the #1 person. You’re not the President, CEO, Senior Pastor, Head Honcho in the driver’s seat. Sometimes you can be very frustrated in that role, because in your own right you are a leader. You know you are gifted, called and anointed to accomplish, succeed, influence and make a difference in this world—but you don’t always feel you have the positional authority to do all that is in your heart. Be encouraged today! (And…hopefully a few first fiddle people will read today’s devo and be encouraged to empower those in second fiddle roles.)

The Bible is full of examples of amazing leaders who were mightily used of the Lord from their position in the second chair—not the first chair. In some cases, the #2 person was more effective than the #1 person.

Think about Joseph. We know him as an incredible leader. He had a God-given dream and was surrounded with favor. We forget that Joseph was second-in-command; yet from that second slot he exercised wisdom and leadership to such an extent that he changed history and received quite a bit of ink in the Bible!

Think about Daniel. He was in bondage, but through God’s favor he eventually landed in a #2 role in King Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. (Daniel 2:48) From that position, Daniel was used by God to change history and predict the future.

Think about Esther. Again, through God’s favor and divine purpose, she was second-in-command next to her husband. God had her right where He wanted her and through her role as #2, He used her to save the entire Jewish race from extermination. (Several other women in the Bible—the Proverbs 31 woman, Huldah, Mary the mother of Jesus, etc.—played the #2 role very well. Thankfully, they had husbands who recognized God’s hand upon them and these men released their wives to do great things. They changed eternity from their second fiddle position.)

Think about David. God had called David to stand in the #1 slot one day, but first he had to prove himself faithful in the #2 role. David was exemplary in the second fiddle role—especially since the first fiddle kept trying to kill him! David trusted God and in time he was promoted to #1.

There are other examples of those who maximized their position as second fiddle to fulfill God’s purposes. The fact that they weren’t #1 didn’t deter them from doing all that God had called them to do.

Are there any keys that helped them to succeed? Indeed! God has words of wisdom for both the second fiddle and first fiddle persons.

Words for Those Playing Second Fiddle:

Love God and seek first His kingdom. (Matthew 6:33) They were totally sold out to the Lord and His purposes and were willing to pay any price necessary to fulfill their destiny.

Honor those in the #1 slot. (1 Samuel 26:23-25) They served the #1 people with diligence, faithfulness and honor. They refused to touch God’s anointed with their words, swords or behavior. In all things they showed respect and honor for those they served.

Trust in God’s timing and favor. (Genesis 39:21; Esther 2:17) They didn’t have to whine, pout, fight or push their way to the top spot. They trusted in the Lord with all their hearts and He surrounded them with favor. They were able to do all that was in their hearts from the second spot.

So, second fiddle people—be encouraged today—seek God, honor those in first fiddle roles and trust God’s timing and favor. Promotion comes from the Lord. What God has anointed and blessed, no man can keep down. Be strong—your time will come.

Words for Those Playing First Fiddle:

Recognize God’s favor and anointing on others. (Genesis 41:42) The #1 people who did it right were those who recognized the hand of the Lord upon the #2 people. Out of respect for God, the #1 people empowered, blessed and gave authority to those in the #2 slot so they could succeed. (The #1 people who didn’t do it right were those—like Saul—who were too narcissistic, competitive and insecure to recognize the anointing on others—like David. Instead of helping the second fiddle people move into their callings, the "first-fiddle-Sauls" work to silence and discourage the "second-fiddle-Davids." God’s ways eventually won out—sadly, Saul died prematurely and, thankfully, David was promoted to his God-ordained place.)

So, first fiddle people—be encouraged today—recognize those whom God has anointed. Don’t allow your pride, jealousy or insecurities to cause you to hinder those in second fiddle roles. Trust the Lord—empower, bless and grant the needed authority to empower those in the #2 spot.

Second Fiddle People: "Father, I am playing second fiddle. Instead of being frustrated, I choose to seek You first and foremost. I choose to continue to honor, respect and bless those who are playing first fiddle. I choose to trust You for favor and perfect timing to fulfill all You have put in my heart. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."

First Fiddle People: "Father, I thank You for the authority and responsibility You have given me. Help me to recognize Your anointing and favor on those in the #2, #3, #4 and beyond slots. I will not allow competition, insecurity, jealousy or pride to stop me from promoting, empowering and blessing those in second fiddle roles. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."