The beautiful saying that many Christians desire to hear. “I’m chosen by God for such a time as this.” I have heard this scripture preached in many sermons and on many platforms. This saying is usually presented in a way that God has something great for you his purpose; you were called for “such a time as this!” When I would read this passage in Esther I would often romanticize it seeing Esther as God’s beautiful, worthy, chosen vessel by God to save the Jews. Although that may be true to some degree, more recently, however, as I began reading verse fourteen, I was suddenly struck with the fear of the Lord on this passage. I had a revelation of the weight that came with Esther’s “chosen” moment. I always knew that Esther was placing herself in danger by approaching the king. Still, I never realized the ultimatum God had given her by a word from her uncle Mordecai.
We usually hear this scripture preached from a place of Esther’s heroic decision to place God’s people before herself. Still, if you look closely at the text, you will see that she originally Esther had no intention of going to the king. In fact, when she first heard the news of Haman’s evil plan to have all the Jews executed, her response was… “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” She was basically telling Mordecai, “I could die, I don’t want to do what you are asking of me.”
Mordecai hears the fear in Esther’s voice over her own life and responds with, “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” What was Mordecai saying? Get over yourself, girl! Your family is about to die and don’t think for one moment that you will be saved just because you are in the king’s house. Basically, Esther was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Mordecai is prophesying by informing her how God would save his people one way or another. This was her opportunity to be God’s strategic piece in protecting the Jewish people. Esther had a decision to make, and you can tell by her response that she was scared. Her last response to Mordecai was to have all of the Jews fast by not eating or drinking anything for three days straight. Esther’s final answer was, “When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” She recognized the risk involve; her life was being put in jeopardy for her people, yet she acted out of the fear of the Lord, not fear of man.
How many times has the Lord asked us to take a risk for him, and we back down because we are scared? When I read this scripture, the weighty fear of the Lord fell on me along with the responsibility that if God asks me to place my life on the line for him, will I do it? This once fairy-tale like scripture brought me a sudden shock of reality and burden of the cost that Esther had to come to terms with to save God’s people.
If you have been told you have an “Esther calling” on your life, I encourage you to recognize the weight of what God is asking you to do. This isn’t merely having grace and favor with men, but it’s about the purpose of accomplishing the will of God no matter how difficult the situation looks at hand. The boldness of Esther didn’t come from Esther but from God. Esther was favored because she had God on her side. She was important because God is important, significant because God is significant. She had to become fully aware that she could not accomplish this within her own strength but that she needed her power to come from the Lord.
Esther’s bold response (I’m sure as she was trembling in fear) to approach the king paid off. Her willingness and fear of the Lord outweighed her fear of death. When she approached the king, not only did he grant her access by holding out his scepter, but he offered her up to half of the kingdom!
I wrote this blog not to scare or intimidate anyone but to help the body recognize the importance of fulling the assignment God has placed on our lives no matter the cost. There should be a fear of the Lord in your obedience to walk out your God-given assignment. God may be requiring you do something that you don’t feel qualified for, or perhaps it is something where you are really putting yourself out there by being vulnerable. Whatever the assignment, if you know God has asked you to do it, then do it, because he’s God and has chosen you!
There may be something God is asking you to do that feels risky. Still, I encourage you today to make the decision that Esther made fearing the Lord above all else. I truly believe in this time it is the risk-takers that are going to pioneer the next great awakening of God. The boldness and courage required will not come from human bravery but by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”