Looking at Esther’s life is pretty remarkable. She was had no chance to succeed because she was not basing her success on the system of the world, rather she was basing her hope on what the Lord would provide for her.
As you read through the bible one thing is striking; the world today is not that different that the world in biblical times. Yes I know we have technology and many things are different, but the attitudes, emotions and motives of the world are just what they used to be. Remember the world is ruled by the prince of darkness and the prince of darkness is very predictable in his ways. So if our world is ruled by him and he is predictable then it will not shock us that our world is very similar to the way it used to be.
In the story of Esther the king had to pick a new queen and had the pick of the litter. All of the women with the exception of Esther used everything at their disposal (in the world) to make themselves more attractive and appealing to the king. They were using their own strength and the strength of the world to gain favor in the eyes of the king. Esther however was different. She requested nothing but what the king’s eunuch (custodian) advised. The other women sound like what all almost all people in this world do; train and gain favor based on their efforts and what the world will give them.
And what was the results?
According to the Esther 2:17, “Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her,” and the king “loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen…”
Esther did not trust in her own efforts. While the women tried to outdo one another by relying on their own efforts, Esther wisely submitted to the one person who would know the king’s preferences best, and the results speak for themselves. Esther depended entirely upon the Lord’s unmerited favor. Esther did not have to struggle. When she rested in the Lord and humbled herself, the Lord promoted her and exalted her above all the other beautiful women. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Esther did not go along with the world, she did the opposite of the world. And therefore she did not get the world’s favor, she received the Lord’s favor. Which one do you want?
When you humble yourself and cease from your efforts to promote yourself, and depend on Jesus alone, the Lord Himself will be your promotion and increase. Like Esther, you will stand out in a crowd and obtain grace and favor with God and man. Also, because Esther was promoted to become the queen, she was in a favored position to protect all the Jewish people in the kingdom from being killed. When the Lord promotes you, He gives you the influence to be a blessing to the people around you. There are no coincidences, only God-incidents. The Lord will bless you to be a blessing.
Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. — Esther 2:15
When the Lord promotes you, He gives you the influence to be a blessing to the people around you!
In our world today it is promoted and accepted to be your own person, to believe in yourself and to rebel against authority. When you are your own person, when you rely and depend on yourself and when you rebel against authority in essence you are saying that you do not need God and therefore make the grace and blessings that are available for you unavailable.
In saying all of that people can also abuse power by abusing people. Many people will have the facade that they are God-appointed when in reality they are not, they use God as a blanket but in reality they are abusing and using people. This does not need to expanded upon and we all know people like this. However, there are many many people in this world that are God-appointed and have a heart that is after God and seeking God and a heart that is after the best of intentions toward people.
Most us know the story of David and Goliath but most of us do not know the full story. David was appointed by Israel to fight the soldier Goliath who was appointed by the Philistines. There was not a huge battle, just a battle between two people that would decide the fate between the Israelites and Philistines. We know that Goliath was a huge and mighty warrior and that David was just a small boy. We know that David did not have weapons and had only a sling and stones from a brook.
What many do not know is David was not even a soldier in the army of Israel. David was there just to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers who were in the army! Yet, David found himself appointed by Israel to deliver the entire nation of Israel. David was at the right place at the right time because he humbled himself and submitted to his father’s instructions to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers.
The bible says that we should not despise the day of humble beginnings. There is nothing glamorous about delivering bread and cheese, but David did not despise it. And that put him right in the Valley of Elah, the wind blowing in his hair — a young shepherd boy with no military experience representing the nation of Israel against a mighty giant who was a man of war from his youth.
This is what God loves to do. He loves to take the foolish and weak things to shame the wise and mighty things of the world. So, humble yourself and submit to the authorities that God has placed above you. And when you are faithful to carry out small tasks assigned to you, His favor is released in your life and you might just find yourself doing great exploits for God!
When you are under the leadership of God-appointed people you will have to humble yourself and submit to them. But, God will put you in the right place at the right time and that direction that you are getting can turn into directing others in the future!
Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers and ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand… — 1 Samuel 17:17-18
Submission to God-appointed leadership will always cause God’s favor to flow in your life.
God is interested in your success. If you are not the strongest, wisest, swiftest, most knowledgeable and most skillful in this world, God can still bless you with good success when you depend on His grace. You can rise above mediocrity through his unearned and undeserved favor. The system of the world only rewards the strong, while those who are weak are neglected and sometimes despised. But, in Jesus, there is hope for the weak.
God’s way is completely opposite from the world’s way. Scripture says that God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. When you give your weaknesses to the Lord, supernatural things happen. When you give your weaknesses to the Lord you stop being conscious of your weaknesses and the Lord instead supplies you with his strength. There is countless people that have given their weaknesses to the Lord only for Him to make it a strength.
Pastor Joseph Prince when he was a child had a severe stuttering problem, now he is a world renowned preacher. He turned his stuttering over to the Lord, depended on Him and in turn the Lord blessed him with a gift of speaking. In my opinion this is done so we may not boast of our own successes and power but give credit to Him who is our supply. Others can look at what we were once weak in and then say, “That must be God.”
It is those who are proud and who depend on their human strength that God cannot use. So when you look at yourself and see only weaknesses, depend on God’s unmerited favor and know that God can and will use you!
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. — 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
In God’s hands of grace, the foolish and weak things become even wiser and mightier than the wise and mighty things of the world.
In the scripture it tells us that we first increase in favor with God and then with man. Your “vertical relationship” with God should always be given priority over your “horizontal relationship” with the people around you.
Just like Jesus we can increase in wisdom and in God’s unmerited favor. Romans says that we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. To gain access we need to have is faith, faith to believe that YOU, are highly favored! One thing we do in our family and have posted at our front door is that our covenant as family is, “Because of Jesus perfect work on the cross, we are righteous by His blood and we are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved. We expect good things to come our way. We expect good success and have confidence expectations of good because of His finished work.”
What an incredibly powerful statement to be reminded of on a daily basis.
How do you we know we are greatly blessed?
Hebrews 6:13-14 says that He will bless us, the seed of Abraham.
How do we know we are highly favored?
Ephesians 1:6 tells us that by God’s grace, God made us accepted in the Beloved. In the original Greek text, the word “accepted” is the word charitoo, which means “highly favored.”
How do we know we are deeply loved?
Probably the most famous verse in the bible says that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.
Even if you do not believe what I am saying, start speaking the above that is posted by our front door. Just because you do not believe something, does not mean that it is not true. Speak this daily! Whether you want to believe it or not, the truth is you are favor ground and no longer on condemnation ground, God looks at you as His favorite child.
God is interested in your life and because we are God’s children and Abraham’s seed we are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved.
The truth is God is a loving and giving God and His favor is at our disposal all the time in a unlimited fashion. Your access to this favor is to simply believe by faith. When you stop relying on yourself and start trusting in the promises of what is and who God is then the power of God will reign in life!
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. — Romans 5:1-2
Because of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross, you are righteous by His blood, and you are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved!
Faith cannot happen without speaking it. If we are going by the bible then Romans 10 says, “the righteousness which is of the law … does … But the righteousness of faith speaks.” The law is about doing, whereas faith is about speaking and believing. It is not enough to just know in your mind that you are righteous, it is not just enough to hear someone speak and mentally agree you are righteous, you need to open your mouth and say by faith, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” Believers miss out because they are not speaking their righteousness by faith.
So when something happens in our body, when something goes wrong of any kind we have two options,
- To let the evil one win and accept and believe that we deserve this and we are no good
- Speak, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ”
Paul said, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak…” The spirit of faith is clearly about believing and speaking. So it does not matter how many sermons or books on righteousness you have heard and read. You need to believe it and speak it.
When you fall short of the laws perfect standard (which you will), that is the time you should exercise your faith to say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” When you say it do you know what happens? If you are angry, anxious, fearful or whatever it may be, when you speak that message of faith out-loud you will feel like you have ushered something good into that situation. You take a step back and start to relax, and all the problems and worries dissipate and you begin to realize your true identity in Christ.
Being sin-conscious will draw you to succumb to your temptation, whereas being righteous-conscious gives you the power to overcome every temptation. That is why the enemy wants you to remain sin-conscious. Confessing your sins all the time keeps you sin-conscious. It is as if Jesus did not become your sin on the cross. Righteous-conscious keeps your conscious of Jesus. So believe and speak the truth: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” Then, you cannot help but see the results of magnifying the Lord Jesus and His finished work!
My challenge to you today is to choose to be righteous-conscious. Speak that you are “The righteousness of God in Christ,” and begin to see yourself be worthy. Let that be your reality, let that be your truth and see what happens to you.
For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” But the righteousness of faith speaks… — Romans 10:5-6
Our first response when we discover a symptom in our body, when we receive a bad report or when we are faced with a trial, should always be to say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
In the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–16), Jesus knew that for 38 years, the man had been flat on his back, unable to do anything for himself or others, no matter how hard he struggled.
In the case of the woman oppressed with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10–13), Jesus knew that the woman had been bowed over for 18 years. And in that condition, she saw very little that was beautiful in life, only thedusty ground, dirty sandals and bruised feet.
What about the man with a withered hand? (Luke 6:6–10) Jesus knew from His carpenter days how a useless hand could have easily given the man a very poor sense of self-worth.
I believe that all three of them must have struggled for so long to get back on their feet, to try to lift themselves up, to attempt to do something about their situations, only to be disappointed each time they failed. In fact, they got so frustrated with striving to get better that by the time they met Jesus, they had probably given up trying to change their situations.
It was then that Jesus came and extended His offer to turn their situations around. And when they embraced His offer, they received the miracles that they had sought for so long.
You too may have been struggling to get back on your feet, or to lift yourself out of the problem that has sorely weighed you down. You have attempted to do whatever you could, hoping that it would amount to something, but you have been frustrated time and again. My friend, God wants you to cease from all your struggling and accept the offer He extends to turn your situation around.
It is no coincidence that all three of them received their miracles on the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. God’s Word says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own laboring and striving, and rest in the finished work of Christ, is the day you receive your miracle.
Jesus has done all the work. Whatever you need has been provided for at the cross. So just be at rest and receive your miracle!
Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
Do you know that we once owed God a huge debt? No, it was not a money debt, it was a sin debt. We owed God a sin debt which we could never pay. But God so loved us that He came up with a plan to pay the debt — He gave us His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus was without sin. So when He went to the cross as punishment for our sins, He paid for us a debt He did not owe.
My friend, the reality is that our sin debt has been more than paid in full. In fact, Jesus overpaid it! Jesus’ sacrifice was an overpayment because it was not just a good man, revered for his saintly qualities and good character, who died for us. It was the Son of the living God, the Creator of the universe, the perfect Man, who died for us!
Because Jesus is God, His sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of all good men — past, present and future — put together. His sacrifice avails for all who lived in the past, all who are currently alive and all who will live in the future. And His one sacrifice forever took away all our sins.
Jesus’ sacrifice was also an overpayment because His blood is of far more value to God than the blood of bulls and goats used in the past to atone for the sins of the Israelites. His blood is the blood of God Himself, not of animals. Because His blood is eternal, His blood cleanses us forever, so we have eternal forgiveness!
My friend, the next time you are mindful of a bad deed, remember that Jesus, your sacrifice for sins, not only paid 100 per cent for your sin, but His sacrifice was also an overpayment. You can therefore truly and completely rest in the presence of God, knowing that He is fully satisfied and completely at rest concerning you. He is not going to find some sin you had committed that Jesus’ blood failed to cover.
Beloved, God can righteously give you His blessings and you can expect to receive them because Jesus overpaid your debt!