Monday, October 20, 2014


Imagine if you please a glorious banquet that lasts for six months provided by a King that rules the land! All military leaders, all princes, and nobles of all nations are at this party, abiding in the midst of opulent wealth, and enjoying the abundance of this King. After six months in attendance of this grand event, all the people from the least to the greatest were then extended another banquet that lasted for seven days. This time the banquet was held in the private, enclosed garden of the King's palace. White and blue linen hung all around, fastened with cords of white and purple material. Silver rings held the drapes that stretched down marble pillars. Ornate couches of gold sitting atop a mosaic pavement of marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. The royal wine is served by stewards in goblets of gold and each guest was allowed to drink all the wine they desired. With that picture fixed in your mind, now imagine that this King sends you an invitation to attend this event. He sends his servants out with a special invitation to you, with a request that you wear a royal crown, the sign that you are His. You are told that the purpose of this special invitation, the command of the King, was so that the King may display your beauty, your loveliness to all the people and the nobles. You were too busy at the time you received this invitation and you refused the King. Your choice to remain with your girl friends rather than accomodate the King's desire for you was admitedly a stubborn selfish act of defiance. Priority is hard! The book of Esther has many RICH lessons. CONSIDER the drama, the intrigue, power and romance of the TRUE story of an ORPHAN who God chose to become the Queen who would then save His people! REMEMBER: "And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." As you read the book of Esther, listen for the trumpet call! Imagine how God might call on you to save someone, or perhaps even to deliver a city under seige. Because Queen Vashti said no to the King, God used this thing to work for the good of the insecure, mortified orphan Haddassah! Her uncle named MORDACAI, a single Jew suddenly became a dad! Perhaps without the experience of being a dad or a husband, Mordacai brought up his niece Hadassah like he was raised --- with a flushing of God's word! Without a thought for her gender...Perhaps Uncle Mordie taught Hadassah/Esther scriptures! Do you think Uncle Mordie and his niece spent time in God's word? Hmmmm....she was obedient to his teachings even as the Queen of Susa. Esther was taught to respect her parents. Some bible scholars believe that the FACT that Hadassah AKA Esther had two names, that this IS significant! Consider the TWO NAMES, the two truths, of Saul and Paul? The two sides to each of us. Our born again, spirit filled soul, and our evil twin with bad habits. The two sons of Abraham. Ishmel born out of disobedient impatience. Then Isaac, God's promised seed, born unto Abraham and Sarah at the age of 100! Consider the human nature of each babe born into this world, into the traditions, the heritage, the expectations of Jewish; German; Irish; Italian; African; Japanese cultures that are under the influence of current world views. THEN consider the TRUTH of when we were BORN AGAIN! "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations." Ezekiel 36:26 ~ When we receive a new life, a new heart filled by His Holy Spirit, we are adopted into His kingdom, and the kingdom of God is within! We are infused with His power, and the all the gifts of His Spirit. At that moment we became His royal subject and given the royal privilege of approaching the King without being summoned! The Creator of our bones dwells as Holy in the hidden, unseen place of our heart. Concealed in the interior of our bone, in our very marrow, according to His will, in His design, according to His purpose we hold incorruptible BEAUTY and TRUTH in our souls ---the Holy Spirit. Many like Hadassah/Esther have lived as orphans - with absentee parents, or parents who did not know Jesus, or exactly like Esther, an orphan without parents. Hadassah/Esther was lost, and God appointed a single Jewish man who had once lived with prominence, then became a slave ~ to raise this sad little girl. Uncle Mordie taught Hadassah/Esther that they must trust that God has a plan for them, regardless of their current circumstance of poverty. Hadassh/Esther grew in God's favor and her beauty was attractive to the king. She was taken from Uncle Mordie into the palace and prepared as one of hundreds to be presented to the king. Uncle Mordie warned her to not reveal that she was a jew and to change her name to Esther. She was crowned as a royal Queen, she lived in the palace with incorruptible beauty dwelling inside her --- she was lovely --- but with the inner conflict, the memory of who she was, as her constant source of humility --- which God used FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS - Now in 2012 those who have been chosen, who have been inhabited by the Holy Spirit have the same Royal heritage! The root meaning of the name Esther is --- to conceal, hidden. Our royal heritage is a fact, and we all must remember who we were when we were called. God uses our weakness, our sin as He builds our character --- for His purpose, that we might have compassion for others with the same sinful nature...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS! The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit and says "YOU CAN DO THIS". In the book of Esther we are first introduced to King Xerxes and Queen Vashti. In chapter two we are introduced to a new character, Mordecai the Jew, a captive of Israel, not in his homeland. God commanded that the Jews not worship other Gods, but they did, and they got "carried away". In the KJV of Esther Chap 2:6 God repeats His point of this Jew named Mordecai "who had been "carried away" from Jerusalem, which had been "carried away" with the King of Judah, who the King of Babylon had "carried away". We are getting to know God, through His eyes, through the testimony of Mordecai, that Jew --- as God tells it. APPLICATION in 2012? WOMEN OF THE WORD We cannot get to know one another unless there is truth, a window of transparency between us ~ about who our parents were, where we were born, and those things that we get "carried away" with. Like chocolate, men, appearance, pride, and what caused us to take that second helping! If my story was documented as a testimony for teaching, in the records, on the roll call of God, it may read like this: Barbara, daughter of Earl from Arkansas, and mother Maria, from Germany, who was "carried away" from her family to the USA. Maria gave birth to Barbara in the village of Modesto, who had been "carried away" from Modesto to Stockton. Barbara weds Robert and gives birth to one son named Jason, who is "carried away" away by the ways of the world. Barbara had been "carried away" looking for love in all the wrong places. My captivity, my prison, my bondage was to the enemy of my soul! Guilt, shame, worry, concern of how the world perceived me, not thinking of how God loved me. Has anybody else ever been carried off into the bondage of self-condemnation? Barbara finally accepted that she was forgiven, that she has been purchased, adopted, and redeemed ~ filled with the Holy Spirit, today, she trusts that she is as a princess in the eyes of God. There is nothing to say to convince anyone of my truth, or of the reality of the story of Esther. OKAY back to INSIGHTS on the TIME of Mordecai and Hadassah, otherwise known as Esther, the Jew. The upper class exile Jews in 597 BC were taken into captivity by the King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar as trophy's. (Ezra 2:2)lists Mordecai as an exile who was set free to return to Jerusalem. Much happens in the letter of Ezra, then in (Ezra 7:13) A decree from King Artaxerxes says that anyone who wishes to go home can. (Ezra 8) Lists the family heads that returned with Ezra and that list does not include Mordecai. So Mordecai was an educated, upper class Jew who had possessions, then became a slave who had nothing. By getting to know Mordecai in the book of Esther, we learn that this Jew had a position inside the palace of King Xerxes in Susa. Mordecai could have gone to his homeland, but he did not, therefore he was a part of the 6 month party inside the Kings palace. The COMPLEXITY of Mordecai's inner soul is known by God, the same as God knows our hearts and how losing a mate, money, or our position in life tends to wind our clocks pretty tight! Mordecai might have needed time to battle it out with God, to humble himself, lose his pride, and confess his bitterness, his sense of entitlement, his unforgiving spirit. We must ask ourselves why God chose to introduce us to this man who lost everything? Did we, like Esther have a terrible loss, with great victory to follow? Consider the characters throughout the bible that God chooses to raise up and place in positions of influence? Moses stuttered, Jeremiah resisted, the widow Ruth, the prostitute, a fisherman, Mordecai and an orphan named Esther. Were they given positions of influence for their will or God's will? As we root around in His word, we find more HOPE in what God does with our weakness. The trials of Mordecai produced a humble character that God could use. We are all chosen by God, beloved by God, disciplined by God, forgiven by the GOOD SHEPHERD and then used by God, to encourage, to energize, to inspire others! Now I am getting "carried away" again! TIME TO REWIND our FAMILY HISTORY: How about that pain, the grief, the loss that lingers? How about that cousin, that aunt, uncle or parent who struggles quietly with their past? Praise God for the emotions He gave us, for the compassion we are called to employ. "Love ourselves as we are loved, and love one another as we are loved" As God tugs on our soul, when stuff comes up, we write it down, and take it to the King of Kings on bended knee at His throne. As we consider our past, our unfaithful dad, the grandpa who had a house, money in the bank, a retirement fund, and lost it all in the depression. Or maybe we lost our job, mate, money or position? Now, praise be to God, we can now look through the eyes of Mordecai and Esther and feel connected to their weakness. Let us gladly surrender and choose to confess to God our need for deliverance and restoration. Are ye listening to what the Spirit is saying? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to increase our love for ourselves, our JOY, and our peace that comes with understanding. Uncle Mordie held onto God in his grief and difficult circumstance ~ WHY? Because the prince of lies fights to steal our joy and convince us that we will never be good enough. The deceiver is the one who defeats us with depression and excessive mourning over a loss that God uses to build our character. All emotions are a gift from God, and they are complex --- just like an intricate embroidery with many colors all woven together to make a beautiful tapestry. Mordecai was entangled in the weave of God's love and his immediate needs. In the midst of it all, he suddenly inherits his orphaned cousin, a Jewish girl named Hadassah (which means fragrant) to care and provide for. "Whom he had brought up because she had neither father or mother" So the past tense of God's word tells us that this girl had come from the trauma of losing her mother and dad at an early age. Esther had a devastating loss as a child, and her sadness was to be somehow comforted by her uncle Mordecai --- but who was to teach her how to be a lady, a queen? She was described as an orphan and lovely in form. With Esther's character firmly established we can follow God's purpose in His word for us. (Esther 2:8) "When the king's order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai." Now consider her past and what courage it took "in" Esther to be "carried away" from uncle Mordecai, the only father she knew --- and trust the Lord that all things are used by God for good! The words are not in the text to describe the condition of Esther's heart as she was swept away, but if it were me, I would be inconsolably hysterical! God knew the heart of this Jewish girl and God chose her for His will to be done in this exciting drama. COMING UP NEXT, KEEP READING: A true story of amazing redemption with a twist of God's wonderful humor! What a Father we have, that gives us a detailed look at our family album, the Holy Bible! Can you just give Jesus a sincere, heartfelt praise right now! What depth has He lifted you out of? Every soul has a deep sorry spot from which a seed of faith grew. Thank God for it, and lets read on about the DESTINY of Esther, Israel, and the DESTINY God has planned for those who believe in Him! By the power of His presence, right here and right now, may the Holy Spirit cause a internal combustion in your soul as a result of what is possible for those who trust and believe in our Sovereign Lord! GOD knew us before we were born, and He pre-destined us to fulfill an important role in His divine plan. A big lesson in the book of Esther is that we must NOT attempt to amputate our past, or minimize it's importance in the development of our character. Our past is a vital part of who we are, it adds depth and compassion to who we become for God, for His purpose. AMEN. Without gratitude for our history, we cannot appreciate the opulent opportunities before us. Truth is, for most of my life I would have quickly traded my history for most anybody with a square root family! But as I get to know God, and appreciate what He has done in me, and through me, in spite of my poor choices, or my genetic heritage, I would not switch with anybody! God has given me lots of grace, lots of time to reflect, and to enjoy many makeovers! I have been a Blondie, a redhead, and a size 6! But in the story of Esther we read that God provided Esther with a year off to reflect, to be pampered in beauty treatments, and consider her chance to rise above the circumstance as queen. HEAR YE, RIGHT NOW HERE YE! We are the KING OF KINGS, adopted daughters, that makes each of us a ROYAL PRINCESS. Esther's greater beauty was her childlike heart, her ability to open up and embrace what was before her. Her time alone allowed her to remember her father and mother. Every day Mordecai walked near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was doing. WATCH as the purpose and destiny of GOD enfolds in Esther's life, and while reading this consider who has been a praying encouraging Mordecai in your life? (Esther 2:19) "But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai's instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up." How has the evil one decieved you? What voice are you listening to? Lord reveal to us what conspiracy has attempted to destroy your plan for us. Give us discernment Lord that we ASK for prayer to silence the voice that is not from Thee. Uncle Mordie over heard a plot to kill the king and tells Esther. As a result Mordecai the Jew was recorded in the book of the King. (Esther 3) Haman, the Agagite was elevated to a seat of honor, higher than all the nobles. All officials of the Kings gate knelt before Haman, but Mordecai refused to kneel to any man, only to His Sovereign Lord. This outraged Haman and he convinced the king to issue a decree to kill all the Jews. (Esther 4:12) After immense remorse, wailing and several nights crying out to God, Mordecai writes to the Queen "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have COME to royal position for such a time as this" Mordecai did not forget how God provided for him after his captivity, that God is great, God is capable, and God will not forget His promise of deliverance and redemption. WE must also not forget how God delivered us from our slavery, from our bondage, AND that is why we are not to amputate our past, but let our past fuel our JOY in what the Lord has made of it! Let us TAKE the COURAGE and pray in the Spirit. "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" JUDE 20 NKJV ~ Let our tongues loose all that is within and pray to God in a language of the Spirit, that He may build us up in our FAITH in His plan to use us for His greater purpose. The word courage comes from the Latin root word COR which means heart. We are to TAKE COURAGE and TRUST in GOD completely, without the doubt that fills any IF. Any human prayer with the preface of "IF it is in God's will" is a prayer spoke in doubt and fear, without trust. We cannot TRUST GOD completely when we have not allowed God to take hold of our tongue and speak beyond the flesh of our human understanding. IF God answsers my prayer, THEN ~ I will trust Him, this does not work! IF God will let me hang onto ...? IF God will heal ...? IF God will provide? We are called to TRUST GOD completely without any IF's! Esther fasted for three days - and with courage, knowing in her heart that God loved her, that He will walk with her, that His plan for her was greater than life itself, Esther then said "If I perish, I perish"! She chose to TAKE the COURAGE that God offers all of us! Esther relied on the power within her, she TRUSTED who God is and that all that she will ever have comes from the Lover of her soul. She saw her future as God promised and there was no fear of death in her! Esther approached the king without being summoned. She was a noble woman, as courageous as any soldier, she was prepared to lay down her life for God! Pride comes before a fall, and in the story of Esther, Haman was certain that when Esther approached the King without being summoned she would lose her life! READ chapter 7 and discover that Haman fell as a result of his pride! He lost his high position in the Kings court and his life. Haman hung on the very gallows he had constructed to hang Mordecai and Queen Esther was given the estate of Haman. NOW IS THE TIME TO PRAY in faith and boldly "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." ACTS 4:31 NKJV ~ It is TIME to seperate the liar from the truth and rejoice in our victory and hang the liar, the voice of doubt and fear! "For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor". Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and reveal His lesson in the book of Esther. Delight in your God ordained DESTINY in 2012. Perhaps your triumph and victory to overcome trials has brought you to your knees in gratitude to our King! Perhaps you have come to the royal position in the court of Jesus for such a time as 2012 to deliver His people from bondage with a revival like Azusa street! GET UNDERSTANDING: "For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying?" 1 Corinthians 14:14-16 NLT

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