Feeling a little picked off, ticked off, and worn out?
It’s no wonder. We’re on the radar. We’re that bullseye on the target.
I love the book of Esther. Can’t wait to meet her someday. She’s the true Queen of Hearts.
Through the providence of God, she saved an entire people from total annihilation.
I’m as appalled as you are something like that could even happen, yet we know it wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last. Anne Frank’s diary gave us a tragic glimpse.
So how does this relate to us Gentiles?
Are we surprised Christians are continually persecuted? Martyred. Singled out in schools, universities, in the work place, in the media… Targeted.
There’s an undeniable connection on how this relates to us.
Believers believe this…
Gentiles have been adopted into the family of God. In Christ, we are part of a chosen people, a holy nation. We have been grafted into the lineage of Christ. We are of Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise. It’s divine and It’s God’s plan and it’s only through His grace and the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s our heritage along with whatever other bloodline heritage flows through our veins.
That makes me an Italian/Irish Christian girl with a Jewish heritage. I’m a combo of lasagna, corned beef, and matzah ball soup. A smorgasbord of culture transcendent of time.
So that picked off, ticked off, worn out version of us?
We need to recognize what’s happening here. The enemy is targeting us, again. And again. And again. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. We know that, right? Yet, our foot keeps getting caught in the barbed wire fence.
It’s time to walk free, walk tall, and walk worthy of the calling.
I know. I’m right there with you. I’ve used the term “throw in the towel” a few times this week.
But we’re not done. We’re just getting started. Hang on to your towel.
We are in good company and we are family. We were made for community so let’s not go isolating ourselves. We don’t want to make the target even easier to hit. Esther didn’t cower in a corner. She didn’t hide away alone. She called on people to fast and pray with her. For three days people fasted and prayed. We have a lot to learn about asking for prayer and denying the flesh, can I get an amen?
And we know how to deflect those fiery darts, don’t we? Ephesians 5 and 6.
Walk in Love, Walk in Light, and put on your armor. Every day.
I love when Esther says, “If I perish, I perish.” Courage comes from the Lord. Our flesh may fail, but our inheritance is imperishable.
We are targeted because we are chosen. We are singled out because we are set apart for a purpose.
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
Our mission may not look like Esther’s, but it’s every bit as important. Keep seeking the face of God, keep persevering in the face of persecution, and keep serving to glorify Him, because remember this:
It’s harder to hit a moving target.
For more about sanctification, check out this post on Desiring God: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/how-the-spirit-sanctifies
Grace & Peace,
By the way…
Shopping for gifts? My book, Goodbye, Regret is on sale for a limited time. Check it out here.
I have a memory to share:
As a little girl, I remember telling my dad of a bad dream.
Scared me silly.
He said next time I have one of those dreams, I need to force myself to speak to the scary and say to it you’re not real. This is only a dream, and now I’m going to open my eyes. Then force my eyes open.
That very night, I tried it.
I couldn’t tell you what that dream was about; I don’t remember it.
I only remember what my father told me to do, and how to overcome fear.
But what about when we’re awake, and the scary is real?
Fear comes in different forms.
- It comes with fancy names, a phobia for every occasion
- It comes through medical reports, relationships, finances
- It comes when we need to move on , and when the lights go out
- It comes in what may happen, and what may not
From the creepiest bug, to the most overwhelming of circumstances. We’ve all experienced fear.
When fear encompasses our day, engulfs our thoughts, our effectiveness in serving and fulfilling our calling is greatly diminished.
Of course the enemy wants us to live in fear because:
FEAR = INEFFECTIVENESS
Fear weakens our spiritual immune system, and can cause physical harm as well.
In James 4:7, the word tells us to surrender to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from us.
There is evil in the world, no argument there.
But we can easily blame the devil for our own disobedience; our own unwillingness to surrender to God. Surrendering isn’t easy, but we tend to make it harder don’t we? It’s not as complicated as we make.
We must learn to surrender our fear to God,
and this is key…
we need to stop taking it back.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
It’s time to cry Abba, Father, help me not to fear.
In order to squash fear, we need to take on a healthy fear:
The fear of the Lord. A reverent fear. A fear and awe of God.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30 NIV
Love casts out fear akin to death, because we are kin to the Bread of Life.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
What happens when we tell our kids not to do something, and they do it anyway?
Disobedience brings consequences.
God tells us numerous times not to fear. Ah, I get it.
And isn’t brave cooler anyway?
Face Every Anxiety Resolved
Let’s be resolved to trust God and not fear. Stand like Daniel; firm in faith and never wavering.
Be Resolved As Virtuous Esthers
Like Esther, we can have courage, we can be brave enough to face fear resolved.
Girls, we can do this. We can do this together. We can do all things through Christ.
Let’s fight back like David.
When he stepped out to face a giant piece of fearful, heads rolled.
Well, a head anyway, and it wasn’t David’s. We need not hide in fear, when we can crush it with faith.
Let’s remember our Father’s instructions for overcoming fear:
Surrender it to Him.
Speak to the scary. Yell if it helps.
Tell it God says I shall not fear. Then say: Now I’m going to open my eyes to His truth.
How are you fighting fear today?
Share in the comments, so I can stand with you in prayer.