Today, as I was reading my Bible I came across the following in Esther chapter 4.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
It caused me to stop and really think about what Mordecai was telling Esther. He had sent a message to her and had told her to go before the king to fight for the lives of the Jews. She has responded with fear and concern for her personal safety. She knew that the law said that if someone came before the king without being summoned, they would be put to death unless the king held out his scepter to grant them an audience with him. She was responding as most of us would. We fear risk and fear for our lives.
Mordecai responded and encouraged her that she was the one to do this and she was called for this purpose. However, Esther still had a choice. She could have chosen to step back, attempt to protect herself and as Mordecai pointed out, someone else would have stepped up to the challenge. If you notice in verse 14 Mordecai says, "then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place." This line really caught my attention. Mordecai knew that Esther was in a position, placed there by God for this purpose. But, he also knew, without a doubt, that if she did not choose to follow the path set before her, that God would still come through and deliver the Jews. He had strong faith in the promises of God to keep His people. He knew God would do what was necessary to protect and keep His chosen people. He knew God was faithful.
Esther could have hidden or stood back and waited to see if her position as queen would have kept her. This would have caused God to act and bring a different person into the picture to fulfill his promise of deliverance. Esther, however, would have missed out on fulfilling the plans God had for her. She would have missed out on the blessings and seeing the mighty hand of God move through her actions. The mighty story of Esther would have been one of sorrow and disobedience. It might have not even been part of the history we now can read.
So, now I have to ask myself: How many times have I allowed my own fears and concerns of personal safety or comfort to keep me from fulfilling the purpose God has for my life?
Have I turned and hid myself or stood back and waited to see if my place of choice would keep me safe rather than obeying the voice of God? How many times has God had to act and find someone else to fulfill his promise because I chose not to obey?
Sometimes faith demands us to take a risk. Sometimes faith demands we go against the flow. Sometimes faith demands we to stand up for right and speak out in the face of sin or attack.
God does not ask for these things to cause fear. He asks for these things so he can fulfill His promises for us and for His people. In 1 Samuel 15:22 we are told that to obey is better than sacrifice. God is asking for obedience and for us to stand upon His Word. He is asking someone to step out in faith and allow His glory and power to operate through them so His purpose can be done. He has a plan that we need to operate in. He has a purpose that will be fulfilled. It is our choice to be used or not.
Esther chose the good part. She chose to follow the path set before her. She went to the Lord in fasting and prayer, told God she would obey no matter what, then went before the King. Through her act of faith and obedience, God delivered the Jews from slaughter and revealed His glory. He performed this in an unexpected way. This deliverance generated a celebration honored by the Jews. Esther became a hero to her people. She was the instrument of the deliverance
We can all learn from both of these people.
From Mordecai we can learn that God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Mordecai never waivered in believing that God would be there and deliver. We need to have that kind of trust and faith in God. He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He promises to fulfill His word. It may not happen the way we think it should happen, but God will do what He says He will do. Faith should never waiver in the face of adversity. Deliverance will arise.
From Esther we can learn that God will use us and if we don't allow him to do so, we are the ones who will miss out on seeing His mighty hand move. We would miss out on seeing His glory. It is better to step out in faith and allow God to do what He plans. If we are to know what God is asking of us, we need to spend time speaking and hearing from God. Sometimes that means fasting and prayer and time spent only with Him. (Matthew 17:21, Daniel 9:3, Psalm 35:13) That is the place of strength and resolve. In those times of intimacy with God, is how he prepares us and gives us what we need to go forward in His purpose. Esther knew this and went to God first. Be an instrument of deliverance.