The Faith To Begin
One of my favorite women in the Bible is Esther. Her story has so many detailed twists and turns. Some, you may miss if you don't look closely.
Some might say that Esther began her journey when she hid her identity and went to the King and was chosen as queen. I don't agree. I say Esther began her journey with her first decison to trust God. That moment doesn't happen until Chapter 4 when her uncle Mordecai says the famous line, "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b)
We love that line. It is a lovely motivational statement, but if you don't look closely you will miss what follows. You will miss exactly how Esther made a personal choice to trust God. Let's look at the text in Esther, her story is tucked in the Old Testament between Nehemiah and Job.
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16 NIV
The first decision Esther made was to pray. Fasting is the deepest form of seeking God. It means that you deny yourself earthly pleasures to focus on the will of God. Praying, seeking Him, trusting Him to deliver the solution you need for the problems you face. It is an act of surrender rooted in prayer.
I love that when Esther stepped out in faith she was all in. She didn't just go somewhere and quietly pray-she called all the people to pray with her.
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me."
Talk about a natural born leader. Esther knew two things. She knew she couldn't face the problem without a support system and that she needed to give others the opportunity to witness God's mighty power when He answered.
Esther continues this bold move of faith with action. Esther is one of the mothers of our faith that allowed James to preach the bold statement, "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17 NIV)
Esther then committed to taking action. She would approach the King, which normally meant a sure death, in faith that God would give her favor on behalf of the Jews. Then Esther says something that is so endearing to me. She becomes completely authentic and honest.
"When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
If I perish, I perish. How raw and honest. How brave and vulnerable. Esther is admitting that she is putting all her trust in God even though she doesn't know the outcome. This is faith my friends. This is faith in action.
Most of us know how the story of Esther turns out. She prevents a major holocaust of the Jews by making a decision to step out in faith. That's it. Just an ordinary girl making a brave choice to trust an extraordinary God.
What area of your life do you need to trust God with? Is it trusting that if you walk away from an opportunity that God has something better in store for you? Is it trusting God for a miracle in a situation that feels hopeless? Is it trusting your children will be fine with their new teacher? Is it trusting your husband to parent in his own way rather than intervening. For me it's all of the above and more.
Today I encourage you to follow the example of Esther. Invite people into your story, pray, seek God, and then trust him to provide just what you need.
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I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.