Here I go…the first day at my brand new school. I’m new to this private school thing. I’m an awkward seventh grader with braces and a school uniform. To top it all off, my parents are walking me to my first class, and we are late. That I am fearful would be an understatement. I’m in a new state, a new city, and a brand new school. I do not know anyone, and on the inside I am just thinking that I want to go HOME. Home is comfortable, and change is hard. Change oftentimes brings feelings of fear and anxiety. Change is also oftentimes the more difficult option. However, I trusted my earthly dad and my heavenly Father that Memphis was where He wanted us, and eleven years later, I can tell you that everything turned out just fine.
I know that if I sat down with any girl in the world, she could tell me about a time in her life that made her feel out of control and caused her to fear. This is completely normal. When we look in the Bible, we see many people who were faced with scary situations. Esther is a woman who I admire because of the way she handled herself during a very frightening situation. Esther had two choices. She could act boldly and do what the Lord told her to do, or she could succumb to her fear and miss out on being used by God in a mighty way that would change the course of history.
You see, Esther was a Jewish orphan, who was raised by her older cousin Mordecai. She lived in Persia, and she was brought to the palace when King Xerxes was looking for a new wife. She was basically put into a giant beauty pageant, and she won! The king thought that she was beautiful, and he took her to be his wife. Esther got to live in a palace, and she had the nicest things that anyone could hope for in her day and age. One day, her cousin Mordecai reached her with some disturbing news. Haman, who was the chief minister of the king, wanted to annihilate all of the Jews. This meant that all of Esther’s family and all of her people would be killed. Mordecai encouraged Esther to use her platform to go before the king and plead with him to spare the Jews. However, in this time period, women were not held in high esteem. If anyone came in front of the king without being summoned, they could be killed. Esther could lose her life simply for going to the king to ask him a question! Today, we are going to look at how Esther decided to walk in faith rather than fear. Looking at Esther’s story, we see that when our identity is found in Christ, we are no longer slaves to fear because we have a proper fear of God.
When We Have a Proper Fear of God, We Seek His Council First
Before Esther would meet with the king, she told Mordecai to gather all of the Jews to fast while she fasted as well (Esther 4:16). Before we go out into our day, whether that is school, work, etc., we MUST meet with the Lord to get our marching orders. The reason that so many of us walk in fear is because we have not met with the Lord to get our instructions for the day! Intimate time spent with the Lord is crucial to developing a proper fear of God.
When We Have a Proper Fear of God, We Would Rather Obey Him Than Live
Esther knew that the Lord had placed her in this kingdom “for such a time as this,” and she said, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:14-16). When God told Esther to move, she was no longer afraid of the king taking her life. Esther was not afraid of what men could do to her, because her identity was so wrapped up in the Lord. Even though she could’ve been killed, she found her confidence in God and walked boldly before the king to make her request. Henrietta Mears discusses Esther’s confidence in her book What the Bible is All About. She says, “Those who walk in holy sincerity with Christ may walk in holy security among humanity.” Do we walk in the same kind of boldness as Esther did? Do we spend enough time with the Lord to let Him press upon our hearts what it is He has us in our position to do? He has put each one of us in the exact school, sport, club, job, and friend group we are in for a specific purpose. Oh that we may spend so much time with God that we are unimpressed and therefore unafraid of men! Then we can go forth boldly to accomplish God’s plan.
When We Have a Proper Fear of God, We Wait on the Lord’s Timing
Esther didn’t rat Haman out for wanting to annihilate the Jews the first chance she got. It was clear that she was walking with the Lord enough to wait patiently for exactly the right night to tell King Xerxes what was going on (Esther 5:7-8). She decided to invite King Xerxes and Haman to another banquet the next night. In God’s perfect timing, that very night was when King Xerxes couldn’t sleep and decided to look through the record of his reign as king. This reminded him that Mordecai had saved his life (earlier in the book of Esther), and he decided that he wanted to have a parade to honor Mordecai. When King Xerxes went to Esther’s second banquet and found out that Haman wanted to kill Mordecai and all of the Jews, he couldn’t believe it! He ended up killing Haman instead and promoting Mordecai to the chief minister of the king. Wow! God worked everything out perfectly. If Esther had given into fear and not gone before the king to ask him to spare the Jews, all of the Jews in Persia could’ve been killed. One woman played an instrumental role in the course of history because she spent time with God, obeyed His commands, and waited on His timing.
When I look around at our culture, I see women walking in fear and anxiety, worrying about EVERYTHING. Our anxiety is out of control, and women are twice as likely to be affected as men. Where are the women walking in faith instead of fear in our day and age? Can we please shake our bad reputation as women and learn how to trust God, take Him at His word, and walk in boldness? How will we be world changers if we constantly walk in fear?
How are you struggling with fear in your own life? Give it to the Lord today and walk ahead in the full confidence of who you are in Christ! We are no longer slaves to fear.
Almighty Father, please make me a woman of faith, like Esther. Please help me to change my surroundings by living boldly for You. I am often tired, anxious, and afraid. Help me to trade my fear and anxiety for faith and peace that can only be found in You. Please help me to remember that, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God!”
2 Timothy 1:7
No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser