Have you ever been placed in a position of influence to affect someone in a positive way or make a significant difference in the life or lives of others? Were you afraid to leverage that power because of potential consequences? But, no matter how much you tried to ignore it and pretend it was not there, something on the inside of you knew you had to do something!
Esther, a woman in the Bible, found herself in such a predicament. King Xerxes had just made her queen over the Persian Empire. Queen Esther was a Jew, but concealed her nationality because her older cousin, Mordecai had warned her not to reveal it. Yet one day an evil man named Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews. He was in a powerful position within King Xerxes’ kingdom and with his trickery convinced the king to sign a decree to wipeout God’s people on a certain date. Mordecai found out about the plot and sent one of the king’s servants to tell Esther about the decree. Mordecai asked Esther to go before the king to discuss the matter and save God’s people. However, Esther was terrified because she knew she was not allowed to enter the king’s presence without being summoned. If she did and the king did not hold out his gold scepter, the law required her to be put to death. She was in a position of great influence but was scared to move. Mordecai responded to her by saying, “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14 NLT)?
Mordecai challenged Esther because she was given a position of power to actually make a difference and save the lives of the Jewish people. She wrestled with whether or not she could actually carry out Mordecai’s request because she thought about herself dying. Yet, despite the fear that tried to overcome her, she stepped forward with courage and went to the king. The Bible explains, “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die’” (Esther 4:15-16 NLT). Her selfless act of bravery saved the lives of all the Jewish people and God honored her before the king. In fact, once the king found out about the plot and the trickery that Haman tried to enforce against the Jews, he turned it around on Haman, killing him and all ten of his sons!
Esther was raised up for such a time as this – a time to deliver her people from the hands of an evil man!
In a similar way, God has given me influence through my writing to help rescue people from bondage. I was given an opportunity to travel and learn about a ministry called Destiny Rescue (DR) in Cambodia and Thailand recently. This ministry exists to help free children from sex trafficking and abusive situations in six nations in Asia and Africa.
On the last night of our team’s trip, we were in Thailand and several teammates and I went to a massage parlor to get an hour-long foot massage. Some of my traveling companions and I were joking around with the women trying to learn the Thai language,when all of a sudden, a tall 70 year-old American man entered the building and started yelling into the back where we were. He said, “That young lady right there, she is mine tonight. I am going to come back for her.” Again he yelled, “I am coming back for that young lady…she is mine tonight.” She was the only young looking woman in the massage parlor and she happened to be giving my friend, Beth, a massage at the time. The woman in charge of the place tried to get the young lady to go with the man right then, but Beth wanted the young lady to finish the massage in order to keep her from having to go with that nasty man! The young lady’s entire countenance changed from being joyful to solemn after that incident. We could all tell she did not want to go with him! My heart broke and I started praying for her. We eventually asked her how old she was and in broken English she communicated that she was 21! I wish I could tell you we rescued that young lady out of her situation, but we could do nothing.
However, over the next several days, I could not stop thinking about that young woman and I knew God was stirring my heart to help children and young people like her enslaved in the sex trafficking industry. But what could I do? DR just happened to be in need of a writer and asked me to come aboard and write for their organization. As I prayed about the possibility of writing for this organization or one like it, the scripture about Mordecai pleading with Esther came rushing into my heart. Mordecai said, “…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NLT)? It was like God was saying, “You have been raised up at this time to be a voice for these kids and young adults.” God was compelling me to set them free, just like Esther did for her people. I took a step of faith and said “yes” to God and now I am interviewing with DR and looking at the possibility of moving to Thailand very soon.
Is God calling you to stand up and say, “Yes – I will be a difference maker in my world…I will use my influence to help those that cannot help themselves?” Become an Esther in our generation. Do not let fear and selfishness rob you from fulfilling the very purpose you were put on this earth for! And remember, ask God for His strength to make the right choices even if it is hard and begin to experience an incredibly rewarding life – a life for such a time as this.