For those who are believers in Jesus Christ, have you ever asked, why weren’t you raptured the moment of your conversion? It’s simple. God left us here for the accomplishment of a kingdom purpose. But, we easily get wrapped up in the wrong purpose: paychecks, power, and popularity. This one high school senior kept saying, “I am dying to graduate high school, so I can get to college.” Then she said, “I am dying to graduate college, so I can start my career.” Later, “I am dying to get married, so I can have children. I am dying to get these children off to college, so I can retire.” And soon enough, she was just dying, and her purpose was gone.
So, how do you know when it’s your time for kingdom purpose? No. 1, you know it’s your time when God connects spiritual preparation with spiritual warfare. Satan uses people and systems to hinder God’s plan and destroy His promises. Why? It’s simple. God said the Messiah would come through the Jews so all through history, there is a theology of genocide to hinder this purpose, this plan.
Let’s look at the book of Esther. Did you know Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t reference God? Perhaps it’s because many times, we believe He is letting things happen, yet we don’t see Him, feel Him, hear Him. But, if we knew He is pulling the strings, we would be able to move through life, even when it’s spiritually quiet.
In Esther 3 we see how Mordecai, which was possibly the author of the book of Esther, and one of the main characters, was being asked, along with all, to bow down to Haman as a show of respect for being the King’s promoted one.
“Some time later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. 2 All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. 3 Then the palace officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” 4 They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.” -Esther 3:1-4
It’s interesting, bowing down is immediately seen as disrespect, which reminds us of Daniel during the reign of King Darius, as well as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.
“ 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.” -Esther 3:5-6
Haman isn’t just upset at one Jew and wants to take revenge on him. No, he wants to exterminate all. Genocide enters the stage, again.
“ 8 Then Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So it is not in the king’s interest to let them live. 9 If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will give 10,000 large sacksof silver to the government administrators to be deposited in the royal treasury.” -Esther 3:8-9
Now, what get’s even more interesting is that Haman is willing to pay off the King. But why? Why this hatred, why such harsh, hasty, and immediate call to destroy a race simply because they believe in God, and have been taught to not bow to anyone? Let’s dig.
At the start of Esther 3, King Xerxes promoted Haman, and the writer was very specific to mention that he was the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. Again, God isn’t mentioned in this book, however, this is a clear sign that He was present. He doesn’t waste words, nor the use of words to simply fulfill a word count. If we go back in history to 1 Samuel 15:1-23, God gave specific instructions for Saul to kill the Amalekites; these were very bad people. He killed most of them but kept King Agag alive. You see, Saul thought he was too smart for God and believed keeping the King Agag alive would pay off some day. He kept his riches and yes, fast forward to Esther, now Esther and the Jews mentioned in this book are paying for it. The Agagite came from King Agag. Saul’s disobedience is Esther’s nightmare—it’s the fruit of a root of the same problem. By God anointing the writer, to write the Agagite, He is showing us an unaddressed sin.
Let’s pause here for a moment. How many of us are dealing with repercussions of something God told us to deal with long ago? How many of us want freedom with their unaddressed sin?
Between Esther 3 and Esther 4, details to when the genocide would occur are given; Mordecai, Esther’s cousin is featured as a man whose heart is deeply pierced with pain; and through Queen Esther’s attendant, he requests her help when she heard of his distress.
“ 7 Mordecai told him the whole story, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai gave Hathach a copy of the decree issued in Susa that called for the death of all Jews. He asked Hathach to show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Hathach to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people.9 So Hathach returned to Esther with Mordecai’s message.
10 Then Esther told Hathach to go back and relay this message to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” 12 So Hathachgave Esther’s message to Mordecai.” -Esther 4:7-10
In the chapters prior, before Esther was chosen as queen, her cousin instructed her to stay quiet about her family background and history. But now, he is telling her to tell the King. In other words, it is time to go public, it is time to get out of the closet, it is time to be moved into God’s ultimate purpose. However, Queen Esther, like many of us today, didn’t “instantly” accept guidance or truth.
“ 13 Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 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
And this is what I call a spiritual slap in the face. Mordecai didn’t accept her excuse, instead, he pushed with truth because he believed this was God’s intricate planning with impeccable timing. Esther may have thought she received the title of queen because “she was pretty,” and yes, she was, nevertheless, she was blessed to be a blessing; which is no. 2 for understanding when it’s your time. Will you leverage your influence for the advancement of God’s people?
Cousin Mordecai was wise. If we could just hear the tone of his voice when he spoke to Queen Esther’s attendant; did the attendant’s jaw drop? Mordecai, with truth, questioned Esther’s heart. Let’s paraphrase: Do you think this situation is all about you, and you think you would be able to save yourself? Let’s shape your theology with truth. No one is indispensable! God never limits himself to one person. If He can’t use you, He will use someone else, cause no one boxes Him in.
How many of us are staring at the sky and ask God, will you bless me? What does that even mean? As Dr. Tony Evans says, “There is a flawed approach to a blessing. Whenever we tell God, I want my blessing, we are prostituting the term because blessing is only a blessing, as per the Bible, when it can flow through you, not to you.”
He continues, “He doesn’t take you out of the hood and into a palace for nothing. He doesn’t move you from a bicycle into a Benz, just so you can live large. He always wants to know, how are you going to use the resources given to you, to advance His kingdom. And, if there is little concern for His kingdom, He will cut off your blessing.” But, what about the rich and famous? Many of those blessings turn into curses because they’re not kingdom focused but personal benefit with houses built on sand.
Back to the depth of Mordecai’s message. God doesn’t waste circumstances. You see, Esther had sex before marriage and technically that would position her outside of God’s will. She was in Persia and married a gentile, again another circumstance that would place her outside of God’s will. God didn’t cause these circumstances, but He surely allowed them. He knows how to take a mess and turn it into a miracle. He takes repentance and brings change. So yes, He used what He had, to get what He wanted, to fulfill His promise to His people. Again, intricate planning with impeccable timing.
Although Queen Esther was quick to say no, God stirred her heart. A destiny will always bring a test, an examination of the heart. God wants to know if we are willing to demonstrate that we are willing to deal with spiritual issues that Satan brings into our lives. “When God is ready to use someone, they may have a battle to overcome… He simply wants to know the spiritual won’t be thrown off when the physical shows up,” says Evans. If we’re not ready for a spiritual battle, or quit before it even starts, then we can tell ourselves we’re not ready to be set free for our ultimate spiritual purpose.
God is always doing something bigger than what we can see, whether He’s mentioned or not. And when His providence shows up, be in awe and grab a hold it.
How do you know when it’s your time? No. 3, He will ask you to take a risk. Queen Esther was given a spiritual battle. Queen Esther had a choice. She activated faith and chose to risk it all, even if that meant death. “Faith is risky business. What’s the opposite of faith? Sight. When we choose faith, we cannot see, we aren’t guaranteed anything. But, the greater the uncertainty, the greater the purpose,” says Evans. Queen Esther had God. Today, we have the perfect Trinity. “The greatest testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a changed life,” says Dr. Johnny Hunt. Trust God, and the promise of His Son where you are. And, if you’re somewhere where you shouldn’t be, choose to follow Him, where you are.
Photo by Justice Amoh