Week of Monday, May 24 ­– Saturday, May 29
Step Up – Man as a Defender

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” —Esther 4:14

“For such a time as this…” That famous phrase is known among most Christians and maybe even a few not in the faith. There are moments that come along that call for courage which are potentially destiny shaping. As you look back on your life, you can probably point to a single bold decision or courageous action that set your life on a definite course that was transformative for you. I certainly can. There are a number of key decisions I made and actions I took after seeking the Lord that were life-changing for me and had a deep impact on the people in my charge. For some, their bold and courageous actions can literally impact the destiny of a nation.

So it was for Esther. God used these stirring words of Mordecai to encourage Esther to take a bold act of courage in defense of God’s people. In most cases it takes great courage to be a Defender. Admittedly, stepping up as a Defender can be risky because it can be costly. It can cost us emotionally, socially, financially, and many other ways. In Esther’s case, defending the Hebrews could have cost her everything, including her life. So, when Mordecai did his thing as a mentor and counseled Esther to talk to the king, she had a tough decision to make—and she didn’t seem to immediately sense God’s firm direction. After all, maybe God could save the Hebrew nation another way. Esther could have chosen to play it safe, be cautious, and keep her mouth shut, looking out for herself. Instead, she chose to put herself at risk for the opportunity to be used of God to save her entire nation. Today, we see a lot of Christians who would have taken the view that “God is in control,” meaning that they don’t have to do anything. That is just wrong. God works through his warriors many times and we should be seeking God’s direction and will for our lives. That is what Esther did.

Mordecai reminded Esther that she was put in a position of power in a particular place and time for God’s purposes, “for such a time as this.” It was not by mere chance that God had given her favor with the king. God had specifically arranged Esther as queen to be the rescuer of her people. It was all a part of His providential plan and purpose. She just needed to step up, and step up she did. Let’s be honest, this woman showed more courage than a lot of men would in that circumstance!

Have you considered that God may have providentially and strategically placed you where you are right now for such a time as this? Maybe your bold act of courage is to step forward, enlist in the military, and literally defend your country. Maybe your Congressman or Senators are considering some “progressive” legislation that effectively funds the taking of innocent pre-born human life or strips our First or Second Amendment freedoms, so your bold act of courage might be to step up, call them up (or better yet visit their offices), and let them know: “Do this and I will do everything in my power to get you out of office.” Maybe your school board is considering a radical sex-ed or corrosive anti-American curriculum, so your bold act of courage might be to attend the public meeting, step up, and tell them: “Not on my watch!”

Perhaps it is simply that God wants you to step up and defend an individual from an eternity in hell by confronting that person with the claims of Christ. You may be the only believer on your block. You may be the only Christ-follower at your workplace. You may be the only Christian in your family. And even if you are not the only one, you may be the only guy who has the right kind of influence over that individual who needs the Lord. What if God placed your yard guy, your doctor, your grandson’s little league coach, or fill-in-the-blank in your life so you can act as their spiritual defender? There are spiritual needs all around you—people living in darkness and headed for hell with no hope. Will you rise up against the evil that holds them and join God for their rescue? Will you use your influence where you are, when you can? Will you step up for such a time as this?
  • Look for your moment to step up and stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. They happen more than you may realize. Ask God to give you opportunities this week to speak and act courageously for those around you who may have great spiritual need.
  • Maybe God has already put the opportunity in front of you. What selfless and courageous act is God calling you to pursue? What will you do to step up for such a time as this?
  • Praise God that there are no accidents of timing or coincidences. God is providentially guiding people, circumstances, and events according to His master plan and uses all things for our good and His glory. Surrender to Him to be used in those destiny-shaping, “for such a time as this” moments.