S111P7 – The other side of faith: sacrifice

Est. 5:1-2

Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

He had reached a position of power in that nation, and his people were very proud of him for that.  What they had not known was that he reached that pinnacle in a less-than-transparent way.  It was no secret how certain foreigners were viewed and treated in that country, so he did not speak openly about his heritage.  However, when the legislature began entertaining laws that would disfavor his fellow countrymen, he was faced with a decision.  He could speak against those laws and, by consequence, expose to his colleagues who he really was.  Or, he could stay silent and be a party to the oppression that ultimately would ensnare him as well. 

Esther had a difficult yet easy decision to make.  The easy part was that her head would be on the chopping block regardless of her choice.  The hard part was gathering up the courage to face potential death even by making the right decision, and she would have to believe in God to spare her for her plan to succeed.  In order for her to believe and show that faith by action, she had to lead herself to almost certain slaughter and expect for grace to intervene.  That would be the proof of her faith.  To doubt God and his delivering power over her would be to miss out on one of the greatest examples of deliverance to be told even thousands of years later. 

God will call us to great challenges as a result of our signing up to believe in him.  We have enlisted in his army, and there is much work to be done.  Just like those soldiers in our natural armies, those faithful to God must be willing to put it all on the line for him.  That is a product of our faith.  Even before the example of Christ, those who followed the Lord were being led in this sacrificial way of life.  We believe, so we act, and we act as He acted.  Our faith enables us to step out in battle and expect to return to tell the tale.  Father, increase our faith to the level of those who gladly put their lives on the line for You and Your will with confidence in your power of deliverance.