The second character who took a risk for God was a young Jewish girl named Esther. Living in exile, Esther was chosen as the unlikely queen to the Persian King Xerxes. After assuming her new position It came to light that there was a conspiracy within Xerxes’ government to exterminate the Jewish people. Esther finds herself in a position to make a difference, but at great risk to her personal safety.
God Doesn’t Need You, But He Wants To Use You (v. 14)
Mordecai reminds Esther that God placed her exactly in the position that He wanted her to be-not for her own benefit, but for the good of her people. Not to bring herself glory, but to bring God glory.
Mordecai also put her in her place a little bit-he reminded her that if she did nothing she was going to die and God would use someone else to accomplish his purpose. Some people think that life is a movie and they have the leading role. Well, life is real-it’s not a movie, and though God wants to do something amazing in your life, He doesn’t need you and if you choose to follow your own path-He will raise up another. This church does not revolve around your pastor, or any one person here. If we ever get the idea that this place would fall apart if we left-watch out! That’s not God. God has been working in this church long before any of us got here and if He tarries, long after we are dead and gone.
But. . . God so wants to use us to accomplish His plan! I mean think about it. God could have called down fire from heaven and delivered the Jewish people-but He didn’t. He chose to exalt one of his precious daughters to the highest position she could attain, make her Queen to a pagan King, and use her to bring salvation to a nation. While there is only one way for God to provide salvation; there were numerous ways He could have used bring his message to the world. Instead He chose us! He chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
God Has a Plan and Ultimately He’s in Control (v. 14)
One of the things that made Esther hesitate was her fear. She feared her lack of ability for the task and she feared what the king might do. -Were she to appear uninvited before the king, it was punishable by death. That was her first response to Mordecai-he could kill me unless he invites me, and he hasn’t invited me in about a month.
We can let fear paralyze us in following God’s will for our life; the fear of the unknown, the fear of the future, the fear of what might happen, the fear of failure. We must remember, however, that God has a plan and ultimately He’s in control. When we realize that God is in control; then it frees us to follow Him.
How do we discern God’s will for our life?
through Scripture; what does the Bible say about where you are in life? Don’t know? Is it because you’re not spending time one-on-one with Him and His Word? It’s one thing to sit under biblical preaching and biblical teaching, but another thing to sit directly under the Bible. That is what Godly men and women in our past went to the death for-for the freedom that you and I have to hold a copy of the Scriptures in our hands.
through prayer; this involves asking God to show you, to speak to you; this involves talking to Him, but also listening. Are you listening?
through Godly counsel; have you surrounded yourself with people who are going to tell you what you want to hear or are going to speak wisdom to you? Who are going to tell you how they feel about something, or what they believe God would say to you?
God has created you for a specific purpose and its not to eat, sleep, and breath air. It is to bring glory and honor to Him and be a powerful agent of hope to this dark world! How are you being part of God’s plan for you?
We Must Prepare for What God Wants Us To Do (v. 16)
Esther didn’t just jump right out-she prepared and earnestly sought the Lord. She called every believer she knew and asked them to fast and pray with her for 3 days. A fast is when you cease eating for a spiritual purpose; when you deny your physical hunger in order to focus spiritually on an important decision or task ahead. We sometimes wonder why as Baptists we don’t experience revival like we wish because saying fast to a Baptist is a four-letter word. Notice, though, she’s not fasting to draw attention to herself, but she’s fasting because she could die and all of her people if God doesn’t do a miracle.
We have to prepare for what God wants us to do.
-we have to prepare ourselves spiritually
-have we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior?
-have we dealt with any unconfessed sin in our life?
-are we walking daily with Him through prayer and Bible study?
-are we actively growing, serving, and giving in a local body of believers?
We Must Step Out in Faith (v. 16)
After preparing herself, Esther stepped out in faith and approached the king. As we continue reading we see how God used her in a powerful way. Like Peter who saw the Lord walking on the water and he stepped out of the boat, Esther stepped out with nothing but God to catch her should she fall. It’s not enough to know what to do, if we never step out to do it.
We must step out in faith once we have sought God’s will and prepared
We minister to a lot of firefighter and first responder families here who train and train and train and train; why do they do all the training? So when the time comes they can put their training into action and everything clicks-they have so trained their mind and bodies what to do that they don’t even have to think about what to do next.
Do they train so they can talk about how trained they are? We have one of the few swift-water rescue teams in the Upstate. If someone gets caught in one of our rivers or streams, our men and women are trained in how to safely get them out of the water. They have spent days, dollars, and a lot of time in the water learning how to do that; so that they can use that one day to save a person’s life.
There comes a time when training is done; it’s time to go and do what God has called us to do. It may mean that we step up this year in sharing our faith; being a verbal witness of what Christ is done. It may mean that we step up this year in ministry; in caring and serving others that need Christ.
One way you can train as you go is on our mission trip. God has blessed us this year and we have room. You’ve heard the testimonies from those who have gone before-haven’t you wanted to go? Right now if you can take the time off from work you can go on this trip. I know of few churches who do mission trips every year where about the entire cost of the trip is already paid for. We don’t go to go on vacation; though when we’re together we have fun. We are there to serve and share the gospel alongside each other; and bringing that same compassion and action back home with us throughout the year.
Whatever your next step is, are you prepared and ready to step out in faith, taking a risk for God?