lift me up

Living like Queen Esther – Learning to obey in such a time as this

I don’t often compare myself to a queen. Never, actually. That is until I met Queen Esther. She wasn’t born into royalty, neither was I. She didn’t expect God to use her, neither did I. She was scared to obey and take risks when the Lord called, so am I. She questioned and prayed, so do I. Reading her story, I see bits of my own. If you look closely, I think you, too, will find yourself more like this queen than expected.

If you have not read all of Esther’s story, I encourage you to do so. It is a beautiful example of God’s unfailing love and sovereignty. It is also proof that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things

Today, we see Esther on the brink of a decision. Her choices?

A} Make an attempt to save the Jews from a declaration to destroy them by risking her own death in going before the king without being called.

B} Remain silent and risk the destruction of her people.

We hear her cousin and father figure Mordecai pleading with her to take the risk, to step out in faith and serve her people and her God, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

I notice a couple of things about this plea. First, deliverance of the Jews does not rely on Esther; it relies on God. If Esther chooses to keep silent, it doesn’t mean that the Jews will perish. It means God will find another who is willing to carry out His plan, “…relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place…” (Esther 4:14). God does not need you and me to complete His missions here on earth. If we are unwilling to obey and fulfill His work, another will rise. Not only does this show God’s sovereignty over all things, even when we make choices against His will, but it also shows that God desires to use us. Though he doesn’t need you and me, He wants us. He has called us to do His work. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). God created Esther to save the Jews from the hands of Haman and prepared that moment, with her on the brink of decision. We, too, have been created to do His works. He already has plans to use us, but we must choose obedience when He leads us to them.  

The second thing I notice is that Mordecai proposes that Esther was given her position as queen for just this moment. Esther becoming queen was unexpected and unlikely. There is no logical reason that she should have been given such a position. There was a divine reason though. God created that opportunity for her, and Mordecai revealed this possibility with his question, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Thinking about my own life and situation, I ask myself whether I have been put in this exact moment, this situation, for such a time as this. “But I’m not a queen,” I think, “the extinction of a nation, a people group, does not depend on me. I’m not that important.” And then I look at God’s word and realize that He needs workers in the little moments, too. You and I don’t have to be at the brink of some major decision to serve the Lord and be obedient where He’s placed us. Remember the widow of Mark 12? The woman gave two small copper coins, all she had, as her offering: not enough to save nations, but enough to serve God. She felt the tug at her heart saying, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

You might feel the tug while in line at the grocery store, urging you to compliment the person in front of you. Maybe you feel it in the workplace, offering to cover a shift for a coworker. Perhaps you are at the brink of a major life-changing decision and the risk seems to great, but you feel God pulling. The tug might be urging you to share the gospel message with a friend. Or maybe while in line at Casey’s, you suddenly feel the tug to buy the coffee the momma behind you has in her hands while trying to get her children to wait patiently in line.

How often we ignore these tugs, thinking maybe next time. Friends, don’t ignore the subtle prompting from the Lord. Even the smallest gesture can be magnified to bring great blessing to others and glory to Him. God puts us in situations, big and small, where we can be used for His purpose and glory. How will you respond when you hear the Spirit prompting you?

God placed Esther in the king’s court at the time when the Jews most needed her. God puts you in places and situations every day where He most needs you. When you feel Him prompting, consider this verse. If you remain silent or inactive, God will find another way, but what He really wants is your obedience. He has placed you in that moment for such a time as this.

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