Crazy how a simple four letter word can just captivate you. For some, maybe even paralyze. We have all encountered it at some point in our lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, fear will always have the power to stop us in our tracks, even if it is momentarily. That’s exactly what it did to my girl Esther.
For those of you who don’t know her or her story, Esther was a Jew who had become queen. She was lovely in form and feature, found favor everywhere she went, and she was also obedient. Esther was married to King Xerxes, and during this time there a was man named Haman who despised the Jews and wanted them killed. No one knew of Esther’s nationality yet, and it was her uncle, Mordecai who pleaded with her to help their people. The law of the land was that no one was to approach the King if they were not summoned and the penalty for such act was death. Esther’s story is well known because she still chose to help her people despite the law.
Esther’s story is a great one, but as I read it again I couldn’t get away from these particular verses.
“Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, ‘All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” -Esther 4:10-11 NIV
Up until this point in the story Esther had been very obedient when it came to listening to Mordecai and Hegai (the king’s eunich), but when asked to approach the king she showed something I never really noticed before.
In Esther’s case, fear didn’t just immobilize her, but it caused her to act out of character by second guessing Mordecai, the very man who raised her as his own child. That’s what fear does to us. It causes us to act out of character. Instead of living and walking in our faith we chose to speak and act out our fear. We choose to doubt those who have given us wise counsel or worse, we decide to just stop in tracks, turn around and head home. There is something that I learned through Esther’s story though that can overpower fear.
“He sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 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 4:13-14 NIV
Purpose will always drive out fear. Purpose is what will keep you going. All you have to do is remember your why then you can get over your fear. Mordecai basically told Esther that even if she doesn’t do anything, deliverance will come. In other words, even if you stay in your fear, God’s purpose will prevail. The question is, will you be a part of it?
When it comes to facing fear or something we’re afraid of, we usually say things like, “why me?” If only we could start saying, “why not me.” If there’s one thing I know about God is that He is a purposeful God. There is purpose behind everything and if God chose you then not only does He know you can do it, but there’s a greater purpose behind it as well.
This topic has been pretty heavy on my heart lately. I have experienced fear before, but this past week I had the most terrifying experience in my life concerning my health. This experience rocked me to my core and shook me up pretty bad that it caused me to act of character for a second. As I was lying in the hospital I thought to myself, “if I didn’t start Beloved I probably wouldn’t be here right now.” Crazy isn’t it? How different fear can make you sound. Even though it was just for a split second, I look back at myself in disbelief that I even thought that. I had to shut myself up real quick and remember my purpose again, just like Esther did.
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'” – Esther 4:15-16
Fear may have caused Esther to doubt for a second, but she didn’t allow fear to keep her there. She set a great example for all us to follow when facing fear. She surrounded herself with believers, prayed, fasted, and trusted God through it all.
Fear keeps trying to creep its way into the forefront of my mind, but I have to constantly flush it out with the Word. I choose to follow in Esther’s footsteps and to fulfill God’s purpose for my life in spite of the fear. That is also my hope for you as well.
Whatever dream, vision, or idea God has placed in your heart, don’t just believe in it but believe in Him. No, you’re not too young or too old. No, you’re not crazy or being too imaginative. And no, you’re not alone. God is with you every step of the way and just like Esther, you were chosen for such a time as this.
Be free and remember, you are beloved.