“…If I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16 (NIV)
Self-preservation can be the biggest stumbling block to a fruitful and fulfilled life. This is a learned behavior that develops over time through our life experiences. Perhaps, you were orphaned as a child; was bounced around from foster home to foster home; or simply was the oldest child who felt they had taken second place because of a sibling who required more attention than you. Or maybe you were the youngest sibling who was made to look up to your older brothers and sisters. There are many scenarios that could cause your spirit to fight for a place of recognition.
Esther, a Jew living under the rule of the Persians, was one who had learned the rule of self-preservation. She was an orphan who was living in the house of her uncle. As such, she had to maintain a lifestyle that didn’t bring attention to herself. But, the King of Persia had deposed the Queen for not doing what he asked, and was looking for a new Queen—he noticed Esther’s beauty—so much for being inconspicuous. But, she was well adept to her own self-preservation, so when the King summoned her to be his wife, she met his every wish. She was under his rule. You might ask “What was a Jewish woman doing as the Queen of Persia“? Well, God had a plan.
If it hadn’t been for Esther’s vision and acceptance of God’s plan, not only she, but the whole Jewish nation may have perished. But, Esther grit her teeth, and stood up straight, and marched in to see the King unannounced [a person was subject to death if they went in to the presence of the King without his knowing you were coming] and successfully saved her people. However, she did this only after 3 days of prayer and fasting asking for God’s wisdom and direction. She also called upon her uncle and the Jews in the region to join her in prayer and fasting. Only in relationship with God and man can great things happen. Because she knew she was going against the King’s edict, Esther’s last statement before going before him was, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
The fact is we cannot save ourselves—no matter how many good works we do or how many church services we attend. In the end there is no such thing as self-preservation. God made you and He said it was good. Sometimes there is much suffering that occurs before we realize the goodness, but you must not give up!
God has a purpose for you—only through prayer and fasting can it be realized. And whatever you hear God calling you to do, He will not send you to do it alone—He will be with you.
When you read the story of Esther in your Bible, you will see that because of her vison, her people were saved from destruction and she from a life of hiding her identity.
Dear Lord, help me to be who you have created me to be. Lead me in your righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 (NLT)
Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. Psalm 119:2-3 (NLT)
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)