Do you feel stuck? In your marriage. At work. At church. In school. Do you feel stuck? Do you wish you could see life clearly? Do you struggle knowing what decision to make? I think a lot of people who go to church feel stuck too. We are tired, stressed, depressed, addicted and so frustrated.
Today, I want to share with you the one thing that will change your life forever. It will give you clarity on your life. To do this, I want to share with you a story from scripture. Let me give you context of the story I’m about to read for you.
The Jewish people moved into the promised land. At that time they were the most feared and respected nation in the world. Over time, they failed to put God first and follow God. God sends prophets over hundreds of years to ask them to put God in first place in their lives. They didn’t. Because of that, God allowed the Babylonians to defeat them. Over time, the Persian country defeated the Babylonians. Our story begins around 1000 years after they were the most feared and respected nation in the world. Sadly, the Jewish people over the time period became an after-thought.
Major characters in this story. The King of Persia was looking for a new wife. Esther is forced to enter the beauty pageant and wins. She is a beautiful Jewish girl and she becomes the queen of Persia. Mordecai is Esther’s cousin. After her parents die, Mordecai adopts her and raises her.
3:13 Bulletins were sent out by couriers to all the king’s provinces with orders to massacre, kill, and eliminate all the Jews – youngsters and old men, women and babies – on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 Copies of the bulletin were to be posted in each province, publicly available to all peoples, to get them ready for that day. 15 At the king’s command, the couriers took off; the order was also posted in the palace complex of Susa. The king and Haman sat back and had a drink while the city of Susa reeled from the news. 4:1 When Mordecai learned what had been done, he ripped his clothes to shreds and put on sackcloth and ashes. Then he went out in the streets of the city crying out in loud and bitter cries. 2 He came only as far as the King’s Gate, for no one dressed in sackcloth was allowed to enter the King’s Gate. 3 As the king’s order was posted in every province, there was loud lament among the Jews – fasting, weeping, wailing. And most of them stretched out on sackcloth and ashes. 4 Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her. The queen was stunned. Esther 3:13 – 4:10 The Message Version
The order is sent out to every town. On a certain day, everyone in your local town could locate a Jewish person, kill them and take everything in their house. Mordecai sends a message to Esther, you have to do something. You have to talk to the king.
Esther doesn’t know what to do and sends a message to Mordecai. 11 “Everyone who works for the king here, and even the people out in the provinces, knows that there is a single fate for every man or woman who approaches the king without being invited: death. The one exception is if the king extends his gold scepter; then he or she may live. And it’s been thirty days now since I’ve been invited to come to the king.” Esther 4:9 – 11 The Message Version
What stopped Esther from getting involved? Possible death. The risk of losing her comfort as queen. The risk of security she had as queen. She could keep quiet and do nothing – the easiest thing – and maybe get bye. Let’s see what Mordecai says about doing nothing. 13 Mordecai sent her this message: “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. 14 If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.” Esther 4:13-14 The Message Version
Mordecai tells Esther, you can’t do the easy thing. By not making a decision, you are making a decision. You stay quiet, your family will be wiped out. Esther, you are not seeing life clearly! Then Mordecai says the most powerful thing, Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.
Let’s read Esther’s response. 15 Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” Esther 4:15-17 The Message Version
Esther says the most courageous thing, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die. What changed Esther? She saw life from God’s point of view. What happened? She just said she might not do anything, fly under the radar, do the least possible. Now she shows this incredible courage! Here is the principle that will change your life. Esther saw life from God’s point of view.
I want you to see this. When Esther saw life from her point of view, she didn’t want to take any risk. She was afraid of losing her comfort and security. She thought, maybe I could do the least possible and get by. However, when Esther saw life from God’s point of view, she saw what was at risk. She saw that she was in a spot to do something about it. She saw her value.
Is this you? In your marriage, at work, in church, at school, is this you? You don’t see life clearly and you feel stuck. You feel like Esther. If I can do the easiest thing, maybe I can just get bye. How do you live your life? Are you afraid to get involved? Afraid of taking risk and losing your security? Chances are you are seeing life from your point of view. Do you see what’s at risk? Do you see that you can do something about? Do you see your value? Chances are you are seeing life from God’s point of view.
The struggle a lot of church people have is they continue to see life from their point of view. Because of this, they don’t see life clearly. We can go to church and feel tired, stressed, depressed, addicted and so frustrated. We don’t see what’s at risk. We don’t see that we have a role to play. We don’t see our value. Ultimately, we do the least possible and wonder why God doesn’t move. Then we raise children who are bored with Christianity.
So how do you see things from God’s point of view? If you aren’t in pain, if you’re comfortable, if your greatest concern is an ipod 5, you need to engage into the pain of others. That’s the beginning of how you will begin to see your value.
Lastly, if you are younger you need to know that being raised in church is a great thing but it can also be the most dangerous place to grow up. Why? Because if you aren’t in a relationship with God, you can learn about the ‘rules’ and become religious. You may go to church and clean up your mouth but at school, at home when your parents aren’t around, the real you comes out.
The other challenge, we live in America, the most comfortable place in the world. We have so much comfort and safety that our biggest compliant is that we don’t have the most recent iPhone.
So how do you see life from God’s point of view if you are raised in church and North America? You begin to engage the pain of others.