Monday, November 2, 2009
Esther . . . Part 1
As I was reading in Bill Johnson’s book Dreaming with God he was talking about how the disciples went from a servant to friend relationship with Jesus in which Jesus said, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). As Jesus’ friends He shared with them the things of heaven, the things His Father shared with Him.
It reminds me of when Jesus told Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). I believe God stands ready to share His voice and thoughts, and reveal secrets of His heart from heaven, to those who will be His friends. He has, I believe, created us for intimate relationship with Him which involves a sharing of hearts. For a variety of reasons we don’t always hear (or recognize) His voice as easily as other times, but I believe the invitation is there for us to pursue.
While talking about that change in relationship with Jesus that the disciples experienced (from servant-based to friendship-based) Bill mentioned casually that of the people of old the one who might really understand that would have been Esther who went from captive to queen. As God so often does for me, a comment made almost in passing can change the entire direction of my study or thought. I found myself looking up the book of Esther and from there starting to read it, and I was caught up in excitement as my heart was quickened to so many things in that book that I had never seen before.
I plan on sharing some of these things in some upcoming blog posts. I shared a few at church yesterday and I want to state something here that I stated there, which is this: In what I will be sharing that He showed me I am not saying that God meant these things to be symbolized as He authored Esther (that He intended the symbolism or wrote it to symbolize them). I believe the book of Esther to be a true, historical account that stands as it is written without there needing to be symbolism in it (though, maybe He DID intend it, I just don’t know). What I am saying is that He is USING the story of Esther to illustrate some things for me. As I told the church, I don’t believe God created seeds and soil simply to illustrate evangelism, but I believe He USES seeds and soil to illustrate evangelism. Likewise, I don’t know that He authored the book of Esther to illustrate the things I will share, but rather that He is using the book of Esther to show the things to me that I will share.
The first of the things that I felt God showed me was the invitation to us all to move from captives to a place of intimacy with the King. Esther was an orphan, and a captive, living in a land not her own (the least likely, in other words). Then, one day, she finds herself the Queen of Persia, and in a place of intimacy and relationship and favor with the King—still living in a land not her own, but now positioned to hear the King's voice and to influence the land from her place of favor with the King. We all are captives to sin and slaves to Satan until we accept the blood of Jesus as our sacrifice for our salvation. When we do we become the Bride of Christ, the children of God, colaborers with God, citizens of heaven living on earth (not our own land) with a tremendous potential to have tremendous influence over our regions because of our place of favor with God and our new identity as His children and dwelling places of His Spirit.
So, I encourage you to pick up your Bible and read through Esther. It’s not too long. Tell me what God shows you. I’ll be telling you what He has showed (and is showing) me.
Your friend in the journey. Love ya all. Erick.