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November 20, 2015

For Such a Time As This

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “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 royal position for such a time as this?” 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 maids 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 4:12-16 (NIV)

Esther was one of the most remarkable women in the Bible! Her heroism has been celebrated for generations. She is credited for saving the entire Jewish race because she seized the moment and shattered the darkness of evil in her time! We have all been placed by God, purposefully, in the time and space for which we have been created. Like Esther, we are challenged to understand the times and respond with faith and obedience. Paul recognized this, in his time, when he wrote to the church at Ephesus with this challenge:

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Eph. 5:13-17 (NIV) 

To make the most of every opportunity, we must wake up and recognize the times in which we live! It’s time to rise! It’s time to rise in prayer. When Esther saw what was at stake, she sent this word to her cousin, 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 maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king….” Esther 4:15, 16a (NIV) 

Before Esther would approach the king, she appealed to the King of Kings for help, courage, and favor. One reason we don’t recognize our time is that we don’t pray. Why don’t we pray more? It may be because we forget how powerful God is or how much He cares. It could also be that we’ve been lulled to sleep in our own comfort zone and we don’t realize what’s at stake. To rise to the challenges of our day, we must align our hearts with God’s heart through prayer.

It’s time to rise with conviction. It’s been said that a belief is something you hold to while a conviction is something that holds you! What are your convictions in life? Is there anything in your life that is worth dying for? If there is nothing in your life worth dying for, then you have nothing worth living for. Esther risked her convictions. She determined to approach the king, knowing that it could cost her life. She said,

“I will go to the King, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16 (NIV)

It was time to act. John appeals to Christ followers to put their faith to action. In 1 John 3:18 he says,

“… let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.”

Conviction will lead you to action!

Finally, it’s time to rise in faith. We must believe, like Esther, that God has called us for such a time as this. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are ambassadors for Christ. Together, we can shatter the darkness of our world!