TEXT: ESTHER 2:5-8, 3:12-16
When we think about Queen Esther, we often imagine a beautiful girl in a pageant show; but there was so much more than that to her life. This beautiful girl was taken from her home by force. Esther's life was already full of pain -- she was an orphan living with her uncle, a Jewish girl whose whole people group had been taken from their homeland as slaves and were now living in a foreign land. And although the Persians had proved to be somewhat kinder than the Babylonians, Esther was snatched away from her uncle's home to become a part of the Persian king's harem. While the king was only looking for a beautiful new queen, God had more in mind for this beautiful orphan girl; He would use her to save His people!
Perhaps your life is never going to be exactly like Esther's. You might not end up in a castle married to a king, but did you know that you were chosen by God for this time, for this hour, to make a difference where you are now? Esther was made Queen so she could stand up for her people, stand up for God. Right now there are people around you hoping that someone will stand up for them, waiting for someone to let them know that there is still hope and that God still performs miracles. You were born with that purpose: to bring hope to the hopeless in your house, in your workplace, and in your school; to point people to our God who is just as powerful today as he was in Esther's time.
The book of Esther is an amazing tale about an Ezer fully living out her calling. Esther provides HELP and HOPE when it is desperately needed; and she doesn’t back down even when she must risk her life to save her people. The story of Esther and Mordecai teaches us that there are two key ingredients to being God’s agent of hope: (1) prayer and fasting, and (2) courage and boldness.
Esther’s first step is to pray and fast. She fasts for three days and asks everyone in her community to fast with her. She knows that standing up to evil and fighting injustice is no small matter, and that she can accomplish nothing in her own strength or by herself. She can only succeed if the Lord gives her great favor and wisdom. Just as Mordecai reminded her, the Lord is the one who will bring deliverance, and she must act according to His will. Oh, how often do I act before praying! Or how often have I prayed a quick prayer for protection and blessing instead of spending hours -- or even days -- in prayer and fasting! As Ezers we must learn to begin every action with prayer and to rely on the Lord when bringing hope to the hopeless.
After three days of prayer and fasting, Esther acts with courage and boldness. She does not delay to act or hope God will send someone else. No, she steps forward in courage and faith, risking her life, believing that God will provide. Once given entrance to the king, she is wise and bold in her requests. She does not hesitate or lose courage, but she continues to walk as a courageous, faith-filled Ezer. Esther is the perfect mix of waiting on the Lord and also walking in faith. She imitates her Ezer-warrior God in every way.
Where is God calling you to bring His Hope? Where has He placed you so that you might fight against injustice and protect His people? Where are you confronting Evil on a daily basis? Have you spent time in prayer and fasting? Have you sought the Lord’s will for your life and the situations He has called you to? Or maybe you have spent time in prayer but are hesitant to act? Are you waiting for more signs or for God to send someone else? How can you step out in faith today? How can you live out your calling with courage and boldness?