Lately, I have spent time studying the book of Esther. There are so many layers, truths, and treasures to be found in this one story. However, one dominate theme keeps coming forward in my thoughts. Power. We see the misuse of power and we see the right use of power. King Xerxes used his power to curry favor and manipulate others to get his way. His right hand man Haman used his power to get his way. And Esther? Esther experienced firsthand the misuse of power.
When we first come to know Esther, she has many things standing against her. She is orphaned. How powerless she must have felt. She is swept into the king’s palace. She is queen but, she is really little more than a prisoner within the palace. How powerless she must have felt. A decree is then passed. Her people were to be killed. How powerless her people, the Jewish people, must have felt.
But a defining moment comes as Mordecai, her adoptive father, challenges her with this statement about saving their people “For who knows if you have come to the kingdom for such as time as this” as chapter 4 closes, Esther rises. She rises and chooses to use power in the right way, not for herself, but for the sake of others. This would not be her final moment. This would be her defining moment.
Powerful words for Esther, powerful words for us.
Friends, we too are like Esther. We all will encounter power plays throughout life. But, we need to look to Jesus for the right use of power. For we are not powerless, we have power. The power of the Holy Spirit has been given to us. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. Even if others have used their power against you, you can still move forward and use your power as a child of the true King wisely. Jesus gives us the power to overcome, to press on, and to bless others even in the face of cruelty.
Our King Jesus, never used His power for personal gain. Instead He gave His power away. He gave it up for us, then to us. Our King gave to us what we could never earn on our own. Philippians 2:6-7 says “Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be used for His own advantage” but rather “made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” humbling Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on the cross.
It amazes me the lavish love of Jesus. He gives us His power, His Spirit to do what He calls us to do. Have you experienced a defining moment? Have you embraced your identity in Christ? And if you are already in Christ, then are you embracing your place in the kingdom for such a time as this?
Director of Congregational Care
Ladies of Central are invited to join us for the next Connecting Point event Esther: Power Play in the Palace on Friday, September 30. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.