Rise to the Occasion!!
Are you aware of your purpose? Do you even know you have one? Did you know God has a plan for you? Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.” In the book of Esther 4:14, her cousin Mordecai writes to her and proclaims, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.”
According to the Bible, Hadassah (Esther) was an orphan (Esther 2:7). During her young years, both parents had died and her cousin Mordecai had graciously taken care of her. God has not forgotten you and He did not forget Esther. She had lovely form and features, and was taken to the King’s harem in what seemed like unfair circumstances. Some would ask the question, “God, this poor girl, isn’t it enough!” But God, in His infinite wisdom, had a plan.
Before we move further, let’s review the situation in which Esther was taken into the king’s palace. King Xerxes was celebrating. He was celebrating himself. This display of self worth went on for many days. With all the princes, nobles, officials and military leaders, this room full of prideful, powerful, and famous men of the kingdom must have star struck many except Queen Vashti. She was a beautiful woman whom the King loved to put on display. The Queen resented being a trophy wife, put on display for a bunch of drunken men to approve and ogle her. In a bold display of self respect for she had had enough of the nonsense, Queen Vashti did not submit to her king’s demands. Well, King Xerxes’ fury commanded she never be brought into his presence again!
As the saga continues, bthe king is looking for a new wife. All the young women are taken into the king’s harem for a year of beauty treatments; herbs and oils, cosmetics and jewelry, a spa day for the women of Esther’s time. The Bible does not say Mordecai objected, but he himself a wise man, may have seen the special purpose for this intrusive, gentile brute force of taking women against their will.
While in the harem, Esther found favor with Hegai, who had charge of the harem. Immediately he provided her with treatments and special food. Hegai assigned to her seven maids selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem. Esther had God’s favor. The favor written in the book of Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” When God is for you, who can be against you!
Not only did Esther find favor with Hegai, but the king favored her as well. This arrogant, prideful, pompous king fell in love with a young, Jewish orphan who would prove to be a wonderful wife and queen to all people. But……there is always one who can cause a stir. Usually one who manipulates, causes strife and is determined to glorify himself. This man was named Haman. Haman was a royal official who had also gained the favor of the king, but hated Mordecai. As a Jewish man, Mordecai would bow before no one but the living God. Haman expected everyone to bow in his presence and demanded all revere him in awe!
Haman, by manipulation, ordered all Jewish persons be killed and exterminated due to Mordecai’s selfless act of devotion to God. Getting word to Esther, Mordecai writes, “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.” Esther replies, “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) These powerful words from a young woman who loved her people would be written down and celebrated to this day.
Queen Esther was selflessly rising to the occasion in which she was destined for. God had stirred this woman’s heart for preparation, strength, determination, and the willingness to die for her own people. Jesus of Nazareth said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Esther knew if the king did not lift his scepter to receive her, his order could be death.
She was willing to take that chance; she was willing to perish for God and willing to give her life in a time as this for her people.
What are you willing to do for God? Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone? Are you willing to take missions trips to unknown parts and evangelize different cultures? Are you willing to move and plant churches for the Kingdom of God? What is the plan God has for you? A re you praying and seeking his guidance and counsel, biblically searching for Truth and worshiping our Savior? What is your plan?
Esther does accomplish her plan. The Jewish people were indeed saved and she is revered even today. There are two things I encourage you to think about. The first, find time to read the book of Esther and pray how her plan can influence you, pray to God how you can affect, influence, and spread His Gospel encouraging the Kingdom to prosper. The second, Mordecai wrote something that is interesting. He wrote if Esther did not rise to the occasion, the help God needed to accomplish saving His people would come from somewhere else. If you choose not to rise to the occasion, God will find someone else.
Jesus says in Matthew 22:14, “Many are called, few are chosen.” In the book of Revelation 3:11, Jesus encourages, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
The book of James 1:12 inscribes, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” This crown, this faithful life of living for Christ, under trials is rewarding and challenging. Do not give up. Do not quit in the midst of battle, but prepare your heart and mind for action (1 Peter 1:13).
My sister, when you are asked about your faith, you can give a seasoned word. I pray when God gives you the desire to do something for Him, you do it obediently, faithfully, and blindly. God told Abraham to leave his family and He would show him where to go. The Lord did not give him a googled map or GPS to follow. If God tells you to move, then move. Maybe there is someone He wants you to meet. If He tells you to pray, then pray. Maybe your prayer will encourage a new believer not to quit. If God tells you to teach, then teach with all your heart. Maybe there is a young woman who does not know how to respect her husband. If you are called to serve, then serve from a willing heart. Your gentle spirit, may inspire another who is contemplated her own service calling.
I pray this has encouraged you and made you think about your own calling and plan from the Lord. Bring it to the cross, bring it to the High Priest and pray to the Living God for his favor, timing, season and strength to rise to the occasion.
Pray the Prayer for your Purpose and Plan under our Prayers for Every Circumstance Page. The full teaching is available under our Resource Page, One a Day; 30 Days of Prayer with the Women of the Bible Book 1