Esther: Steps in Spirit Warfare
From 'Called' to 'Chosen' - Esther 2:19-23
The Success Factor
Success may be defined as "the attaining of a favorable or desired outcome." In Esther's case she and all the other virgins housed in the harem had had a single goal in mind: to become the queen. They all knew only one of them would actually reach that summit, but they all tried to attain it.
They prepared for a whole year, learning everything necessary to impress the king and how to function as his consort. Yet, though each of them studied the same curriculum, only one was privileged to put ALL of it into practice. Esther alone succeeded.
People approach success from one of two basic viewpoints. Some think of success as being a pinnacle from which they can look down on others who didn't make it to the top. Their attitudes and actions convey an air of superiority or exclusivity by which they distance themselves from those beneath them. We label such individuals as proud, stuck-up, snobbish or conceited.
Others view success as a monument to those who helped them get there. Could that be the obscure meaning of the phrase, "the second meeting of the virgins?" Does it indicate, perhaps, that Esther gave a party or tea for those girls whose turn to meet the king would have followed hers if she had not succeeded? Did she perhaps fete them to let them know she didn't view herself as being better than they were?
While we can't prove the truth of that proposal, Esther's character and attitude about her success is better conveyed in an incident which happened soon after her ascent to the throne as queen of Persia. After so much happiness and celebration, trouble was sure to follow, and it did!
Ahasuerus' life was in danger!! Mordecai found it out while serving in his official position as guard at the gate to the palace compound. Serving rather like an FBI agent with his eyes and ears open, he overheard two palace employees grumbling together about something King Ahasuerus had done.
At first, Mordecai blew off their threats as two guys venting and letting off steam. But the longer he listened, the more he realized they were serious, especially when he overheard parts of their plot to attack and kill the king! He had to warn Ahasuerus, and now Esther was his inside connection.
Immediately, she went to the king, being careful to credit Mordecai for the disclosure. Ahasuerus dispatched several of his loyalists to investigate the report and they found it to be true. The two culprits were either hanged or impaled (a sure deterrent to crime, wouldn't you say?), which was a Babylonian method of executing criminals. Most importantly, a permanent record of Mordecai's heroism was written into the Chronicles of the King.
For all intents and purposes, that appeared to end the incident. But God was working through the life of faithful Esther to change the future of the Jewish people, though she had no idea how she figured into it until much later.
The Meaning of "Chosen"
Within the four verses of our study, God reveals several underlying truths about our walk as a vessel chosen for His use:
- Becoming Queen of Persia did not mean Esther had "arrived" for her personal gain.
Instead, it positioned her at a new vantage point for the sake of the kingdom...for God.
- Esther became a true intercessor that day.
In her new position of authority, she gained knowledge of a plot against her own husband, the monarch. It was no ordinary threat. Not assuming more authority than she should, she told Ahasuerus and he took care of it.
- Mordecai used Esther to reach the king.
The Holy Spirit uses chosen instruments to intercede with God, being one with Him in overcoming the forces of evil.
- A true intercessor never receives "credit" for interceding.
Notice that Mordecai's name was placed in the Chronicles of the King, not Esther's. Esther was essential, but almost transparent in the entire situation. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes intercession possible and all glory belongs and goes to God.
- Esther still obeyed Mordecai like she always had done.
Her elevation to being queen did not affect her attitude toward her father. Esther's obedience was the foundation for intercession, which became her added privilege and shared responsibility.
To wrap things up, being chosen as Esther was is comparable to being filled with the Holy Spirit and His fire and being dead to self! Seek to know Him in all His fullness. Die out to yourself and what you call your rights. Let Him have complete control of you and all your faculties. Intercession is one of the blessed responsibilities and privileges you will enter as you move into His fullness. And intercession takes you into the realm of Spirit warfare.
Until now, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, you have fought against the enemy in his war against your constant obedience to Jesus. Faithfully, you have resisted temptations to go back and you've refused to give in to the world's pressures to perform and accommodate all its activity and thinking.
The infilling and baptism with fire of the Holy Spirit brings you into the realm of intercession. Let your hunger for more of God increase until He is all you want! All you need! All you have! Ask Him to fill you NOW and believe Him to do it!
Next time we shall continue our journey by looking at Esther chapter 3.
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