– March 3, 2021 –
Have you read the Biblical book of Esther recently? In my recent rereading of this remarkable story, I found eight things that are helpful for any of us in finding the connection between our daily work and our faith. I encourage you to read this book, and if you have already done this, do it again with these points in mind.
The story opens with Esther compromising her behavior in gaining a position of influence in the King’s palace. But she quickly learned that God could still use her in a powerful way in her work.
1. You may be in a difficult situation. Even if you have not arrived at your position by completely honorable means, God can still use you.
Esther did not go it alone in her workplace. Her Uncle Mordecai came alongside her in key places to help her gain the proper perspective on her circumstances.
2. Counsel is important. Do you have someone who can help you gain perspective? We all need this.
She was being challenged to take a difficult position that might undermine all that she had sought to gain in her position. She might even lose her life.
3. Have courage. Esther needed courage to enter the King’s presence, but she knew the importance of her cause.
Instead of tackling the challenge on her own, she and her staff fasted and prayed for three days, and she urged her people through Mordecai to pray along with her.
4. Prayer is powerful. You will need to be praying about your own situation, and asking others to pray with you.
When Esther gained access to power, the king promised her great reward, up to half the kingdom. And this statement was repeated three times. She could easily have given in to great rewards for herself.
5. Keep your focus on the goal. Sometimes there may be great personal benefit for setting aside a bigger goal that God has called you to, but remember why you are there.
Esther knew what she needed to do, but needed the support of the king. Rather than making demands, she spoke to this person in authority with respect.
6. It is too easy to know that you are right and turn a request into a demand, or do this in a self-centered way. Respect authority and listen carefully.
Esther had numerous opportunities to lay out her case, but she moved slowly and deliberately in pursuit of her goal.
7. If you have been praying about the situation, can you allow God’s timing to work through the situation? Give God room to intervene, don’t simply work in your own power.
In one of the most famous lines in this story, Mordecai says to her, “Who knows, but you were brought to this place for such a time as this.”
8. Serving God in our work means that the work we do has meaning and purpose for God. Our Christian life is not just for Sundays, but how we live all of our life before God, carrying out his work.