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Read:  Esther 7 and 8

Focus:
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.  Esther 7:3-4

Wow! Talk about the climax of the storyline. Finally, Esther had her chance to save her people. God had providentially put Esther in a place of “possible” influence. (I say possible, because we saw how influential the first queen was). The people had been praying and fasting, the king “randomly” read about Mordecai’s service to him, and Esther had one successful dinner with the king under her belt. Esther couldn’t wait any longer. The moment of truth had arrived.

It is in these moments when intensity on all sides seem to be coming in, our palms are sweaty, our hearts are pumping, and we feel alone in whatever it is we are facing. Thankfully, we are not speaking to a maniacal, unpredictable king who is planning to kill us and our families. But we all face times when what we do and say can have a significant impact on ourselves and others.

It could be as mundane as a difficult conversation at work or with a spouse, or a seemingly more consequential event like being a witness on the stand or a presenter before city counsel. There are times in our lives when what we say and how we say it matter significantly, not only for us but for others. We can help prepare ourselves for these times by looking at some of what Esther did. First, Esther did the relational work ahead of time so that her words were heard when she needed them to be heard. She treated the king with respect and had not used her position for selfish gain. The king believed her when she spoke and was interested in what she had to say. Second, Esther prayed and had others pray and, third, when the time was right, she was bold yet humble in the way she brought the truth to light.

And Esther may have felt alone in that moment, but God was obviously with her. He had prepared the way for Esther’s message and he gave her the words to say. He then put a period on the sentence by tripping Haman up and making him fall on Esther at the very moment the king walked in.

God was with Esther every step of the way. He made her for this task and he provided all she needed to complete the task at hand. God puts us all in places and times for a reason. You didn’t just win the lottery of living where you live in the year 2016. Acts 17:26 says, “26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” And Ephesians 2:10 says, “10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has good works prepared for you to do. They may be small acts but they also may be much bigger than you expect. Be on the lookout, be prepared, be humble, be prayerful and know that God is with you every step of the way.

Prayer:
Father, thank you for Esther’s example. Thank you for her boldness and for her willingness to risk it all for her people. Lord, help me to live on purpose, looking for the good works you have prepared in advance for me to do. May I live as you want me to and have influence where you want me to, all the while, pointing people to you. In Jesus name, Amen

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