Got a purpose?
Ask God to show you something you could do if fear stepped out of your way.
Queen Esther's Challenge
Queen Esther found herself facing such a challenge. She'd risen above her difficult childhood and won a kingdom-wide beauty pageant to accept the role of a lifetime, a royal marriage to King Xerxes himself. The marriage had been a happy one until her husband fell under the spell of Haman, a nobleman with evil intent.
Haman convinced Xerxes to make a decree that on a certain day, the people of King Xerxes' kingdom could exterminate and enslave the Jews, Esther's people.
Esther was heartbroken, but what could she do to stop the slaughter? If she tried to speak up, she'd have to waltz uninvited into the king's court. That was a crime for which she could be executed. But why bother? The king's decree was irreversible.
Her uncle, Mordecai, sent Esther a message: "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14, NLT ).
Queen Esther's Decision
After Mordecai's words, and much prayer, Esther began to envision that she would speak up. She decided to confront the king and sent her uncle word of her plan explaining, "If I perish, I perish" (Esth. 4:16c, MEV).
In mustered courage, Esther was given the opportunity to tell the king of her people's plight. He was horrified at her news and soon made a new decree that granted the Jews of his kingdom the right to gather and stand for their lives and to slay anyone who would assault or enslave or steal from them.
The day of the anticipated attack came, then went, without incident. Esther had saved her people.
What About You?
Maybe, like Esther, you are a crossroads, contemplating a decision for purpose. It's time to consider your dream, the things you've imagined doing for the kingdom, like maybe running for a political office or your school board, teaching school, writing a book, studying law, volunteering a church, starting a ministry or even telling your friends and family about Jesus.
What if it's worth the risk? What if you aren't obedient and God should raise up another, ensuring that your chance for purpose should perish?
Pray, then move forward to deliver God's message of purpose on the platform God is giving you. Do it so people will live and not die.
I have three words that have been guiding me this year: vision, purpose and courage, because I believe they go together. Purpose needs vision, for without vision, the people perish (see Prov. 29:18).
So pray into God's vision for you, then invite God into your journey so He himself can supply you with His courage.
It's time for you to arise, Esther! Raise your voice to deliver the message only you can give.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a bestselling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is When You Need to Move a Mountain.
This article originally appeared at leadinghearts.com.
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