Chapter 4 of Esther shows us why Esther needed to be queen. God had orchestrated all things in such a way that, when His people would be in trouble through the evil of Haman, Esther would be there to extend her arm of help toward them.
Esther’s help would not be easy. The king had not seen her for a month, and no one, not even the queen, just walks up to the king. Not if you valued your life. And I am sure Esther must have been more than a little nervous about going before the King uninvited. Esther needed guidance and encouragement in the face of hard choices and God provided her with wisdom through Mordecai.
I’m the kind of girl who likes step by step instructions, the more detailed the better because I tend to second guess myself all the time. But life doesn’t come with detailed instructions like that.
How often do we wonder what our next steps should be? What is God’s will for my life in this circumstance? Wouldn’t we all like for God to speak to us in a loud booming voice and tell us very clearly what we are to do? I sure do.
Discerning the will of God has been made much more complicated than it is. There really are only two ways in which God’s will is talked about in Scripture. One is His will of purpose, and the other is His will of precept.
Through God’s will of purpose we end up where God wants us to be even though we may not consciously plan on being there. His will of purpose is His sovereign will–what He has determined will come to pass. We see this will of God throughout the book of Esther. God planned and orchestrated all the events within this book so that Esther would end up who she was and where she was in order to save His people. No one, and nothing can stop God’s will of purpose.
“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” – Psalm 115:3
The other way God’s will is talked about in the Bible is His will of precept. This is what He has revealed to us and requires of us.
Chuck Swindoll said, “the better you get to know the Word of God, the less confusing is the will of God.” Why is that? Because He has revealed His will for us in the Bible. What does God want from me? How does He want me to live? It is right there in the Word of God.
Everything we need for life and godliness (1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:18; 1 Peter 2:15; Ps. 119:105) is found within our Bibles. That is one of the reasons we are to study it so diligently. Is it easy? No, because our feelings get in the way and sometimes we just don’t like what we read. Other times the verses take some work to understand and, quite frankly, we don’t always want to put work into it. But Spurgeon said, “Our responsibility is to seek out and walk in the good old paths (Jer 6:16), even if it goes against our own wills.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Our will sometimes hinders us in doing God’s will. We may not like what we read and we refuse to obey. This is not a godly response and it leads us to become stubborn and self-reliant. Our job is to work to align our will with God’s will–as revealed in Scripture.
We don’t have life all figured out, but God does. Esther had a hard task ahead of her, guided by God’s will of precept (protect the innocent, honor the Lord) and prepared by God’s will of purpose. She must approach the king, and risk her life, if her people have any chance of being saved.
Are we willing to follow God’s leading even if it doesn’t feel good?
Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.
One thing to remember is that, while the Bible holds the will of God for us, it is also a book full of promises. The biggest promise being that where we have neglected and disobeyed the will of God, Jesus has kept it and followed it perfectly for us. God promises that everything is leading up to the return of Jesus and the salvation of His people. This is our hope and joy.
Looking to Jesus,
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