Where You Go I Will Go

A most popular yet life changing statement, You will never move forward, if you continue to look back, has resounded to many throughout the years. Yet even though we may agree unequivocally with its declaration, many of us struggle daily with actually living it out.

Of the many lessons God has taught me in the course of my journey, one of the greatest has been the importance of moving forward while leaving my yesterdays behind. However, in all truthfulness it has been the hardest to master. The enemy has persistently attacked my heart and mind by tempting me to dwell on former regrets and even previous comforts. It has been a battle hard fought, to say the least. Yet countless individuals throughout God’s Word were also required to learn this valuable lesson.

Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage and onward toward the Promised Land. However, in the midst of trials and adversity Egypt came calling in the hearts of the freed captives. A moment of looking back to what used to be, birthed a desire to return. The same pattern of temptation and response continues today.

Our journeys can often times become challenging when difficult moments tempt us to revert to our former days. Yet turning back would limit future blessings. The story of Ruth illustrates this point beautifully.

Ruth had just become a widow, along with her mother-in-law, Naomi. When the opportunity came for Ruth to return to her former dwelling, she chose instead to move forward with her mother-in-law.

Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Ruth 1:16 

As Ruth clung to her mother-in-law, she knew her hope lay in progressing forward rather than turning back. Not only was she willing to let go of her former life, she also was eager to experience a newly appointed future. Eternal rewards resulted from Ruth’s decision to proceed, ones she never even envisioned. Ruth would later be listed in the very lineage of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let us cling to God with the same conviction as we let go of our past while taking hold of the future awaiting our grasp. Let us voice to our Father, as Ruth once exclaimed to Naomi, ‘Where you go, I will go.’

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to move forward with You while refraining from looking back. Direct my desires toward the future You have appointed for my life and remove any desires that would lure me back to the past.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NASB

About the Writer:
Shea is the mother of two and nana of four and enjoys both roles tremendously. She also loves the opportunity to serve through ministry and share through speaking and blogging. A member of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Shea serves with the church’s First Impressions ministry and teaches the Strong & Courageous Sunday School class for single moms. She also speaks to women’s groups, assists with biblical counseling when opportunities arise and is constantly working to develop women’s Bible studies. Shea received her bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi; her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and will begin her doctoral work at Southwestern in family ministries in the fall.

 

 

He is in the Waiting

Have you ever been in a season of hardcore waiting? I’m talking about emotions all over the place, ugly crying, digging deep into the Word to try to find some answers, kind of waiting. Just me? Ok, cool.

I know we all have different ways of dealing with stress and seasons of waiting. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely not the most patient person. If you’ve ridden in the car with me at any point, you know. I’m a work in progress; it’s fine.

When I read the story of Ruth in the Bible, the major theme that jumps out at me is the word “wait”.  We read within the first few verses that Ruth’s husband has passed away, as has her sister-in-law Orpah’s husband. These deaths have left their mother-in-law, Naomi, childless and widowed.

We don’t have much of a background about Ruth; we don’t know how old she is or what her story is before now. We just pick up at the point in her life where she has just gone through a very hard loss. Being a single girl myself, I know it’s hard sometimes to do life alone. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a sassy, independent person who actually enjoys being able to go and do without having to be responsible for anyone but myself during this season, but I am also constantly reminded that I’m often alone in the going and doing.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that waiting is part of the process while God is preparing something about which we have absolutely no clue. Ruth 3:18 is a good reminder when I’m stuck in a tantrum of sorts about the hardship of the wait: “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out.”

Waiting can oftentimes include grief, as in Ruth’s case with the death of her husband. It can also include a season of loneliness and heartache because we get tired of waiting for what WE think would be best. But God is always preparing us for the thing which will not only benefit us, but most importantly, glorify HIM. He exceeds Ruth’s expectations by bringing Boaz into her life when she least expects it.

Your story may look completely different in that you are not single like me, but you could be waiting on God to answer your prayers about being unable to start a family; you could be circling back with God for the tenth time this week about that dream job you would really love; or maybe you’re waiting on God to mend a relationship that to you looks broken beyond repair. My sweet sister, don’t give up hope. If God has placed a dream, desire, or request in your heart for something that would help you bring glory to Him, He WILL bring that hope to fruition. It may look different from what you had pictured, but I can promise you it will be better.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

About the Writer:
Anna is a full-time student finishing up her degree at Liberty University while also working full-time at First Baptist Dallas in the Young Married and Singles Ministries. In her spare time when she’s not writing papers for school, she enjoys laughing with friends, road trips to new places, and drinking copious amounts of iced coffee.

 

Nice is Not a Fruit of the Spirit

 

“Some people are naturally good, you know, and others are not. I’m one of the others,”  LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.

Anne with an “e” didn’t quite get her theology of original sin correct, but she certainly voiced the experience we all have as “one of the others.” Preschool is an excellent laboratory to prove that no child ever must be taught to be selfish, but needs a basic lesson in civilization to “be kind”.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

In his letter to the Ephesian believers, Paul encouraged them to be kind, not just in general, but specifically to “one another”. Why is it easier for us to be kind to strangers and let someone in front of us at the checkout, but get quickly annoyed with a family member who has a bad day and is a bit grumpy?

If that’s not enough, Paul carries the instructions a step further when he adds the word: “tenderhearted”. And then, as if to stretch us to an impossible limit, he continues: “forgiving each other, JUST AS God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

This is one of those familiar verses that those of us who grew up in church have known from infancy. The old saying that “familiarity breeds contempt”, or at the very best “complacency,” fits well right about here. It was helpful to me to learn that “nice” is not a fruit of the spirit. Being kind and being nice are not the same thing. One can be nice and observe outward boundaries of civility and have an unkind and selfish heart. One of the most powerful illustrations of this is played out in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. The novel is a masterfully written contrast of law and grace, of niceness and kindness. Set in early 19th century France, the story follows a man imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving child. He is shown mercy and kindness by a friendly bishop and his life is forever changed. In contrast, he is hunted by a police inspector who doesn’t understand kindness and mercy, but sees them as a weakness.

The fictional story is true in that we cannot extend kindness until we realize, like Anne and Jean Valjean, our own lack of goodness and accept God’s forgiveness.

About the Writer:
Nan is so grateful to belong to God’s people. She loves getting to know all kinds of people and enjoys discovering new places, which is a good thing since she’s moved twenty five times. She has been married to Jim, a pastor, for 34 years, and together they have four grown kids, a son in love, and three grand puppies.

Blindsided

God? Wow! No idea! I think I know Him, then He surprises me again! He and I have wrestled on more than one occasion. Not quite sure why I continue . . . . it’s all pretty predictable and boils down to God giving me something I didn’t want or not giving me something I did want or doing something I don’t agree with, etc. So, true to James 4:1-3, I have a tiff with God – a fight that can end only one way for a child of God—nestled back in His loving arms, sometimes after a loving little swat on the backside from my Abba, Father.

When my fiancé and I were engaged (we should be married happily-ever-after by the time this is published), we were completely blindsided. He lost his job days before he proposed; and a month before our wedding, he still had not found a job. My daughter and I were living with my parents at the time and he was staying with an aunt and uncle to save money.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As we watched that fairy-tale cottage in the Shire—you know, the one with the little fence, all warm and cozy—fade back into the story books no matter how diligent and competent he was, we wondered what God was up to. I couldn’t help “flashing back” to my “nomad” years when I wondered where I would sleep the next night or if I would ever have a place that felt like home.

All that to say that I have to watch my mind and mouth when talking to God. I have to decide just to accept that, in some of what He allows in my life, I may later see His kindness, and some of it I may never understand. Either way, sometimes my best is to simply throw my hands up in the air and say, “Thank you, God! You are good and You’ve got a plan!” In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, God calls me always to give thanks for everything in the name of Jesus Christ. It encourages me that His purpose is we, who were the first to trust in Christ, should praise our glorious God (Ephesians 1:12; 5:20). When I’m tempted to lengthen my wrestlings with God past their season (a time to feel anger, a time to feel sad, a time to get God’s direction on how to move forward), this is the passage I read to reclaim truth from Paul’s prayer.

. . . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21

In the end, I know WHATEVER is going on is still part of His love for me, and I praise Him.

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

Stand Firm

The road was tough, the pain severe, the circumstances horrendous. The strength of one young woman was fading and discouragement was setting in. “Was it worth it anymore?” she pondered. Lisa stood at a crossroads in her mind. One way meant a great deal of work, sacrifice and perseverance, but victory guaranteed. The other road, the most popularly traveled, would certainly be the easiest but would result in little at the end.

The deceiver was attacking Lisa’s mind, and quitting suddenly seemed best. She was tired, weary, and uncertain of her future. She had almost talked herself out of the path to which God had called her. Why? She was focusing on the circumstances surrounding her journey instead of on the God who had called her to it.

Lisa, quickly realizing she was in the middle of a spiritual warfare, surrendered her thoughts and feelings over to God. As the Lord overtook the young woman’s heart, she determined from that moment on to move forward with her Father, no matter the severity of the path.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:10-13 NASB

At times, we too may find ourselves in conflicting situations. Yet we must remember that Satan longs to alter our progress by tempting us to take the easy route or even to quit the course all together. However, through Christ, we must learn how to fight the battle of spiritual warfare.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17 NASB

Pay close attention to the words, “Stand firm.” They mean, “To be of a steadfast mind.” As we support ourselves with God’s armor, we must do so by refusing to waver as a result of circumstances. Trials are going to come. Temptations will frequently persist. Satan will continue to attack until you and I go home to be with the Lord. Yet in God’s word He clearly states how to fight the good fight effectively and accurately.

Don’t allow the enemy to sway you back and forth in your emotional stance between circumstances or God. Armor up and stand firm!

About the Writer:
Shea is the mother of two and nana of four and enjoys both roles tremendously. She also loves the opportunity to serve through ministry and share through speaking and blogging. A member of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Shea serves with the church’s First Impressions ministry and teaches the Strong & Courageous Sunday School class for single moms. She also speaks to women’s groups, assists with biblical counseling when opportunities arise and is constantly working to develop women’s Bible studies. Shea received her bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi; her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and will begin her doctoral work at Southwestern in family ministries in the fall.

Are You Discontent?

What I love about the book of Exodus is that it describes a massive journey of this huge people group who look and sound a lot like our culture.

You see prior to chapter fifteen the nation of Israel was held in bondage in Egypt. Moses comes and says, “The Lord has told me we are going to get out here.” Then he goes before Pharaoh and says let my people go.  Pharaoh struggles and God brings down plagues.

Israel sits and watches God do mighty things:  water turned to blood, Locusts all over the place, frogs everywhere, the first born killed unless you had provided a Passover lamb.  That only names a few.

After the plagues they continue to watch God do mighty things to get them out of captivity, including the parting of the Red Sea.  They saw the water rise up on the sides, and then they walk across on dry land.

Moments later we find ourselves in Exodus 15.  The people are triumphantly praising God for what He has done.

In Your lovingkindness You have  led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided  them  to Your holy habitation. Exodus 15:13

 

Then we take a short jaunt to verse 22-27 and the people say, “There is no good water.  This water is bitter. What are we going to do?  Are we going to die?” The Lord in verse 25, tells Moses to throw a tree branch into that water and I will make it the best water you ever drank.

Now they have gone through the plagues, they have seen the red sea being parted, and God has now provided them with water after their grumblings.  We get to chapter 16 and the nation says, “What about food?”

They grumble again, and they are plagued with discontentment. In verse 4 the Lord says, “I will rain down bread from the heavens.”

I know I have said it before but we need to truly understand that these people watched God perform the plagues, part the red sea, provide water, and send bread.  And then they say, “What about meat?” We see their discontentment shine through again.

The Lord says in verse 12 “I will give you meat in the evenings and manna in the mornings.”

The struggle is real.  By now they are over it, right? You read to verse 16 and you think “Man these people need to get it together.”  They have seen time and time again how the Lord has provided.  Yet they are so discontent.  Nothing is enough for them.

You hope it is coming to an end.  Instead we get to chapter 17 verses 1-7 and they have moved from grumbling to quarreling against Moses.  Why?  Water, again!  They have made a full circle. The nation never got that God’s enough is more than enough.

When discontentment is ruling over our lives, we are always questioning how we are going to get to the next thing.  It becomes all about how I am going to get myself to the next step. The whole time, the Lord is saying “My plan for you is more than enough.  My enough is enough.” Are we living in light of God’s enough or are we struggling to accomplish the next thing we think we need?

About the Writer:
Liz is just a girl who spends her days in seminary classes, spends her afternoons interning with First Baptist Dallas Women’s, and spends evenings with her friends laughing and challenging the definition of community to be something much deeper. If you need her you can probably find her watching Dancing with the Stars while on Pinterest, challenging the worldly norm of a 28 year old.

 

 

Step Out & Speak Up

Real Talk: I wasn’t sure what to share with y’all about one of the bravest, most courageous, women in the Bible: Esther. I was chatting with a friend about the struggle of how I didn’t want this to be a cliche message that everyone has heard and already knows about the book of Esther. And that’s when she reminded me about this important truth: Esther wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the extraordinary things she did without the encouragement and push from her beloved Uncle Mordecai. As my friend was sharing with me what the Lord had been teaching her about this new found revelation from the book, I was shocked that I  had never seen the story of  Esther in this light before.

What we usually read and hear quoted most often is one of my favorite passages in the Bible because it rings true in so many different seasons of life, but I’ll give a little bit of backstory from the book first. Up to this part of the story, we know that Esther has been chosen by King Ahasuerus to be his new queen out of all the other women competing for this position. What we come to find out as we dive deeper into the book is that Esther and her uncle are Jews, and the king’s right-hand man, Haman, wants to completely destroy Mordecai and his people. What the king and Haman do not know is that Esther is a Jew as well. Mordecai hears of Haman’s plot and quickly informs Esther’s servants to relay this message to the queen.

This is where Mordecai’s words of wisdom and prophecy reach Esther’s very fearful ears.

Esther 4:14: For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther needed to be reminded of what she already knew was the right thing to do. But I tend to think, and this is purely my own conjecture, that if Esther did not have Mordecai in her life to speak the very blunt truth, and to remind her that she had an opportunity to speak up and possibly save the lives of thousands of Jews within the kingdom, would she have had the courage to speak up to the king?

Do you have a Mordecai in your life? Or maybe you’re that Mordecai in someone else’s life. When you find yourself becoming comfortable where you are, but you need to speak up or step out, do you have a friend or loved one who encourages you to take that brave, risky step? Sweet friend, don’t allow the enemy to whisper those lies that you’re not smart enough, brave enough, pretty enough, or skilled enough to do that hard thing God is calling you to do. Keep stepping out and speaking up. I promise it will be worth it!

About the Writer:
Anna is a full-time student finishing up her degree at Liberty University while also working full-time at First Baptist Dallas in the Young Married and Singles Ministries. In her spare time when she’s not writing papers for school, she enjoys laughing with friends, road trips to new places, and drinking copious amounts of iced coffee.

Why Queen Esther Matters for Feminism Today

Let me be the first to admit that when the topic of biblical womanhood is brought up in a Bible study, sermon, blog, or the dinner table, my eyes glaze over and I go to my happy place.  I have lost count of how many times I’ve heard the Proverbs 31 woman be cited as the optimal goal for Christian women. While this woman has great qualities and seems like a nice lady who puts her family first, she is not the only woman mentioned in the Bible. Can I hear an “Amen!” from all the women allergic to the kitchen?  (I’m convinced “gathering food from afar” can mean driving to Whole Foods!

While it’s important to look at the biblical model for households, it is also equally important to look at how God used women to accomplish His goals outside of the kitchen. As a Girls Minister, who works with teenagers for a living, let me tell you, one of the reasons women young and old have rejected biblical womanhood is because most teaching leaves out exciting Biblical stories with women in the starring roles. Thus enters the allure of the feminist movement.

Today we are going to look at a woman with a leading role in the Bible and in history, Queen Esther. Esther lives a real-life Cinderella story, has an entire Biblical book named after her, and manages to change the mind of a king and the direction of a country through her wisdom, beauty, timely words, and place of royalty. EScreen Shot 2017-05-23 at 5.19.51 PM.pngsther has an important message for Christian girls and women who desperately want an exciting life and an impactful existence, and who secretly wonder if they must side with the feminist movement in order to accomplish these goals. Let’s look at why Queen Esther matters for the feminist movement of today.

Esther 4:14 is the most quoted verse in the entire biblical book of Esther.

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 your royal position for such a time as this?  Esther 4:14

This is her uncle appealing to Esther to stand up for the Jews who were being mistreated and to use her high position in order to get her convictions heard before the king.  The verse directly contrasts the idea that the Bible oppresses women.  God placed Esther as Queen in order to lead a revolution!

  1. Esther only used effective methods and means. If Esther lived in 2017, she would not have attended the Women’s March. How do I know this? She had seen the King’s first wife, Queen Vashti, behave in a feminist protest by refusing to obey her husband, to submit to his God-given authority, or to follow the norms for the culture of the day- which resulted in her losing her crown. Esther was not about to repeat the same mistake.
  1. Esther had a systematic plan in mind and motion. Esther was not interested in merely yelling loud enough or long enough to get someone’s attention. She wanted results and to keep her husband’s heart, interest, and trust. Esther did not make him change his mind as a result of a tantrum. She carefully planned and respectfully appealed to her king and husband.
  1. Esther kept her dignity resulting in her keeping her crown. Esther was not rash in the way she planned to confront injustice. Esther did not demand action, but requested her voice be heard and her plan carried out. Because of her patience and calm demeanor, her husband was open to hearing her concerns.
  1. Esther was her own person while remaining submissive. Esther had her own ideas about culture, society, justice, and equality – and that is more than okay! In fact, Esther’s differing opinion from her husband’s is a main plot of this story! She was her own person, with her own ideas, who respectfully brought her request to the king, and he listened.

There are ungodly and unequal ideas, laws, practices, and crimes that must change for women in 2017. Culture needs to progress in how women are treated, and Christians need to stand for those who are mistreated. In the midst of creating a better world for women, there is value in learning how women in the Bible used their power, influence, grace, patience, beauty, and position to change the minds of kings and the direction of history.

About the Writer:
Julia is the Girl’s Ministry Director at First Baptist Dallas. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who trained at the world-renowned Meier Clinics.  Julia is a professional speaker for Just Say Yes, speaking nationwide on the topics of suicide, depression, self-harm, and eating disorders. Julia is passionate about her three favorite topics theology, psychology, and ryanology. She has been married to her junior high sweetheart, Ryan, for eight years and loves ministering to teenagers alongside her best friend and favorite boss. Julia has a heart to see people experience the same freedom through Christ that she has experienced!

Respect and Influence in Your Home

In the story of Esther, we see that the queen of the land had the ability to influence not only the king, but other women in the kingdom who were watching from a distance. While the cultural practices are very different today from those in Esther’s day, I think that we can glean a very challenging application from these pages.

God’s divine providence placed Esther in a role where she had the authority to sway the heart and the actions of King Ahasuerus. She had great favor in his eyes. (Esther 2:17) If we step back and look at our spheres of influence, we might realize that we are all given more authority and ability to effect change than we realize.

In the first chapter, a story unfolds where the previous Queen Vashti was insubordinate to the king and, in response, one of the princes suggested that she be removed from her place of honor, with the reasoning that “the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women causing them to look with contempt on their husbands.” (Esther 1:17) By contrast, Queen Esther’s words and actions towards King Ahasuerus were humble and respectful even in a time when she could have approached him with extreme emotion and haste.

Instead of running immediately to the king, she gathered information, prayed over several days, and prepared a plan. When it came time for Esther to meet with the king, she demonstrated her respect for him by the way in which she approached him. She was patient and gentle with her words and her actions. How different could my home look if this were the manner with which I approached my husband every day, in an attitude of prayer, humility, and respect?

As wives and mothers, we make decisions throughout the day that influence and set the tone for our families. The positive or negative energy that we display to our family is reproduced and multiplied around us. In this power, we carry both a great responsibility and a great opportunity.

Instead of reacting quickly out of emotion, let us act with patience and courage. Let us pray and take careful measure in the way that we respond to our families. For we are each placed into these roles by God and He has plans to use us for a specific purpose.

About the Writer:
Audra has a passion for encouraging women in their roles at home in both marriage and motherhood. She enjoys sharing her journey of refinement and learning through these important transitions on her blog called The Homegrown Project.

For Such a Time as This

The Old Testament is filled with the heroes of faith from Noah, Abraham, and Moses to Gideon, Samson, and Samuel. (Hebrews 11:1-40) But tucked away between the pages of Nehemiah and Job is the small book of Esther depicting the story of the beautiful Esther, a Jewish heroine of faith and courage.  Her life is a wonderful example of the true providence of God in our own lives when we walk in faith and give all our worries to Him.

Resembling a character in a fairy tale, Esther grows up an orphan, only to become the Queen of Persia, wife to Xerxes (Greek for the Hebrew name Ahasuerus), king of Persia from 486-464BC. Not too long into her reign, Queen Esther is sent a message from Mordecai, her cousin and former caregiver, to make intercession for the Jews with the King. Haman, the arrogant antagonist in the story, has devised a plot by lying to the King and convincing him to sign a decree allowing Haman to destroy Mordecai, and all the Jews for not “observing the kings laws” by their refusal to bow down and worship, or pay homage to him.

At first, Esther objects to Mordecai’s request to make intercession with the king; and rightfully so because, if anyone, including the Queen, approached the King in the inner court without first being summoned, that person is subject to death unless the King holds out the golden scepter.  Through a messenger, Esther expresses to Mordecai her hesitancy to do as he has requested.

 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14

Scripture tells us Esther requests Mordecai and all the Jews of the land to fast with the purpose of prayer for three days, as would she and her servants. Our story ultimately has a happy ending, but not without prayer, fasting, AND God’s divine intervention! Through a sleepless night, the king “accidentally” reads that Mordecai once foiled an assassination plot against the King and decides to reward him.

In an recent article titled “The Moral Tipping Point”, Franklin Graham points out we are perilously close to the moral tipping point for the survival of the United States of America. Truth is sometimes covered in lies and deception, making it difficult to discern. So, what can we do? The only hope for any nation, family, or person, is our God. Do you ever wonder why we are here at this time in history?

So, what can we do? We walk in FAITH, (Hebrews 11:1) with endurance and not by sight, always submitting to the leadership of the Holy Spirit who resides within us to serve and disciple others in His Word, praying unceasingly (I Thess. 5:17).

Not all of us can fast because of work, health issues, or other reasons, but we can all pray. Are we praying for our spouses, our children, and our grandchildren to continually fear God and hate evil? Are we praying for our friends and families to apply scripture in all areas of life, and for His truth to prevail? Are we being called “for such a time as this?”A Gift Like No Other


If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked was, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

About the Writer:
Beverly has been an educator, administrator, educational sales representative, Sunday school teacher, and mentor; but most importantly is a wife, mother, and grandmother with a passion for sharing Christ.