Here’s a post I originally wrote for the Chosen Women’s Conference.
“…And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14
Ask five people what their favorite color is, or what their favorite flavor of ice cream is, or whether they prefer to stay at home and read a good book or go out to a movie. Even among a small group, you’ll find everyone has a different answer.
That’s because God made each of us different. Not only that, he made each of us different so that we may make a difference. We each have unique desires, talents, skills, and abilities that God has gifted us with. And he’s designed each of us to use those gifts for a specific purpose.
So how do we know what our specific purpose – or calling – is?
Let’s take a look at one woman in the Bible who was chosen for something daring, something that would make a huge difference for all of mankind, and what she did when she figured it out.
Esther was a Jewish orphan, and was chosen as a young virgin to marry King Ahasuerus. She became Queen of Persia in place of the exiled queen Vashti. Her adopted father, Mordecai, was an advisor to the King and when he discovered a plot to kill all the Jews in Persia he knew that God had put Esther in her position for a reason.
Mordecai called on Esther to plead with the King to intervene, knowing that appearing before the King uninvited was punishable by death – even for his wife. She was in a unique position to help, and Mordecai was betting that it was by no accident.
Ultimately Esther agrees to use her position and her talents to do whatever she can to persuade the King, even though it may mean her death. However, what Esther does first is important to pay attention to, as we can learn a lot from her on how to discern God’s calling on our lives – particularly in difficult situations.
As we read in Esther 4:16, she replies to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
When you are trying to discover God’s calling for your life, there are four things we can learn from Esther’s example:
- Gather support and help from others. Esther asked for all the Jews to pray and fast with her. Are you asking your friends and family to support you with prayer and fasting?
- Spend time with God. Esther took three days to fast and pray. God is not limited by time and circumstances. Take the time to slow down and listen to God.
- Fast. When facing difficult decisions, fasting from food can help you focus on God. When you are dependant on him to sustain your health, you learn to be dependant on him for everything. If going without food isn’t an option for you, look for things in your life that are distracting you from listening clearly to God, and do without them for a few days.
- Have faith. When you are called by God, he will help you fulfill your mission (2 Chronicles 7:14). Esther knew her mission and went all in, knowing very well that even if she perishes, it would be for God’s glory.