Posted in Esther, Numbers

Faith or Fear?

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘We should by all means go up and take possession of it (the land), for we will surely overcome it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.’ So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out…” Numbers 13:30-33

Every day, in every problem and situation – we have a choice: will we view them through faith or through fear? Caleb and the other spies had gone into the exact same land and were facing the exact same difficulty, yet they saw through two different lenses. God is not just calling us to be saved by faith, but to live by faith. How do we accomplish this in the midst of fears?

  1. Faith remembers what God has done in the past. God had already supernaturally delivered the Israelites from Egypt; He parted the Red Sea; He gave them manna out of heaven. Caleb isn’t naïve about the size of the giants in the land, it’s just that God has proven that there is no difficulty He can’t overcome.
  2. Faith focuses on the promises and the character of God. It’s not that Caleb didn’t see the giants that the others saw; he just didn’t focus on them. He was focusing on the promise of God who had told Moses that He was planning to bring them into “a spacious land, flowing with milk (needs) and honey (above and beyond).” 
  3. Faith is not afraid to die. What if disaster happens and we die? The answer is we don’t know for sure what the end will look like, so we need to surrender outcomes to God and be willing to do what we think He wants us to by faith. Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” That conviction gave her strength to do what was right even though she couldn’t control the outcome.

What are you facing right now? I pray you’ll face it with God through the lens of faith, and not through the darkness and isolation of fear.

Posted in Esther

The Role of Mordecai

“If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (Esther’s uncle Mordecai is the one who gave her this message.)

Without Mordecai the story of Esther becomes a tragedy because Esther is so much like us. News comes about Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews and Esther feels bad about it and even wishes she could do something about it, but “any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned by the king has but one law: that he be put to death.” (Esther 4:11) Esther is saying in essence what many of us believe about ourselves: “I’m sorry that the world is going to hell, but circumstances are such that I can’t do anything about it right now. Wish I could, but I can’t.” Without Mordecai, Esther probably would have done nothing, wouldn’t have become a heroine, and most likely, there wouldn’t even be a book of Esther.

Think for a moment about the role of Mordecai. He’s the one who calls Esther to fulfill her God ordained destiny. He’s the one who encourages her to risk her life and promises to fast with her as she steps way out of her comfort zone. Because of his encouragement, she moves from an attitude of self-preservation to a willingness to lay her life down. The one who initially says, “I can’t,” now says I’ll try and “if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)

We are called to be Mordecai to the people in our lives. We are to see their destinies and to speak into them. We’re to encourage them to take risks and to know that God loves them and will help them. We’re to pray and fast for others, so they will seize the day and not let their lives pass by with the regret of never doing anything heroic to help those around them.