She was just a girl; a nobody. While she was being chosen by the king to be his wife, God was choosing her to save His people. She was chosen for a purpose; to fulfill a plan… for such a time as this.
Esther 4:14 – “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther was an obedient “Yes” girl. Reading her story this morning gave me some clear insights into what it means to be radically obedient when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. She accepted the fact that she was called.
After hearing about the decree that all the Jews would be destroyed, and the news that she was being asked to go and plead with the king on their behalf, she was fearful. She counted the cost, but said yes anyway.
God calls believers in many different ways every day, but one calling all of us have been given is to go and make disciples of all nations. We are called to share the gospel – every one of us.
When I think I can’t make a difference I’m forgetting that I’m a child of the Most High King. I’ve been chosen for such a time as this. Will I accept my calling and say yes?
2. She knew the danger she faced and planned accordingly.
The king hadn’t called for her in 30 days. She couldn’t just go to him any time she wanted. Without the king’s favor she would be killed. Everything would be lost in that one moment if she wasn’t prepared.
Preparation and planning is paramount to my success. I need to know my audience and how to win their favor. I need to do my homework.
3. She knew she wasn’t going in her own strength.
Esther knew she needed to be in the right position with God. She humbled herself fasting and praying for three days before she even attempted to go before the king.
Spending time with Jesus; worshipping Him, reading His word, and praying equips me with everything I need to go where He is sending me. I must have my spiritual house in order first. But, Esther didn’t take a year, a month, or even a week to get ready. I can’t use the excuse that I’m trying to get prepared so I don’t mess things up. It’s time to humble myself before the Lord, ask Him for help, and then GO.
4. She surrounded herself with like minded people.
Esther asked her uncle, Mordecai, to gather all the Jews that could be found in Susa and have them fast for three days. She would also have her young women fasting with her.
Strength comes from other believers who stand with me in this calling. Surrounding myself with others who will encourage and pray with me helps me lose the fear of what others think and step out into my calling. Obedience is much easier with the support of friends.
5. She was willing to do what she needed to do no matter the cost.
After having everyone fast and pray, she resolved to do what she was called to do: “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
The cost I face isn’t the loss of my life, but sometimes I protect myself like it is. There are believers in other countries who face much more dire circumstances for sharing their faith than I do. My cost is having someone think I’m weird, crazy, a Jesus Freak, too radical, narrow minded, etc. Are these really what I’m unwilling to pay for the eternal life of another person? My resolve must be – if I perish, I perish.
6. She built credibility and favor while she allowed God to prepare the heart.
The king accepted Esther with his golden scepter and she was in. When he asked her what she wanted and offered her up to half of his kingdom, she could have told him then, but she knew he wasn’t ready for her message yet. She set her plan in motion, and allowed God to prepare his heart.
The king’s heart was prepared when he called for the book of memorable deeds and read about how Mordecai had saved him from a wicked plot on his life.
If I want people to hear my message, receive it well, and do something with it, building credibility and favor with them is necessary. Does my life show evidence of what I’m asking them to believe? Sometimes my greatest testimony is in what I do and not in what I say.
7. She knew her enemy and devised a plan.
Esther knew that Haman was behind the decree to destroy the Jews. She knew he was powerful, and she couldn’t discount him, so she invited him to the banquet with the king.
Satan is a formidable enemy. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Jesus says in John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The God of angel armies is on our side, and we can walk in confidence that He will give us strategies to overcome the enemy.
8. When the time was right she spoke humbly but without fear.
After all of Esther’s preparation she finally had her chance to tell the king what she wanted. Her humility showed her respect and honor for the king, but her confidence in speaking left no doubt what she was asking for.
Confidence in what I know to be true is the key to sharing the gospel without fear. When God brings an opportunity to share His truth, speaking with respectful confidence will cut through any misconceptions the enemy has devised.
9. She knew the decision wasn’t hers to make.
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.” When the kings eyes were opened to the truth of what was happening he wanted to know who the culprit was. Esther was quick and lethal in pointing out the true enemy. It was then the king’s decision to make.
True humility is one thing that can’t be faked. Humility comes when I honor and respect the person enough to leave the decision to them. All I can do is be obedient to what God is calling me to do and share from my heart, then leave the decision to them.
10. Blessings come with radical obedience.
In the end Haman was hanged, Mordecai was honored, the Jews were saved from annihilation, and Queen Esther was given the house of Haman.
Radical obedience always brings God’s blessings. When I accept His calling on my life and realize that I am not my own, but I’ve been bought with a price, it becomes clear there is so much more for me and everyone else than I can see in this temporal world. Blessings of peace, fulfillment, and purpose fill the empty places. Fresh vision for the eternal brings understanding and wisdom. Esther changed her world through obedience to her calling, and I have an opportunity to make an impact in mine as well. Won’t you join me?