“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NKJV
Today we complete the journey of 50 days together. I pray that for each of us that this will not end here but will be the beginning of something new and alive in our lives. I pray that we will have eyes to see that being intentional about being grateful is necessary and will produce good fruit, if we stick with it.
Whenever God is at work in us, He is also preparing us for something. It might be something huge, or something that seems small and no big deal, but either way He wants to use our lives to produce His purposes in the earth. We can make everything appear to be about us or in the midst of it all, we can see that God cares and loves people and our response to His call benefits both our lives and the lives of others.
Esther is a perfect example of this. How easy would it have been to just think that her life received a promotion. Maybe she did something right and finally it has paid off. Her beauty, charisma, or good nature has made a way for her? The truth is whether she had any of those things or not isn’t what is important here, God was positioning and placing her life in just the right place so that she could be a voice of deliverance. Her failure to act would be disastrous.
We cannot minimize the places God puts us, and the things He brings us to. If God has led you to walk for 50 days and focus on gratitude, it is because He is wanting to shift your heart. He is wanting to break off the murmuring attitudes and let your voice become a voice of thanksgiving in this generation.
Who knows, maybe your gratitude will be deliverance in someone else’s life.
We must decide that we will not revert back to old habits and patterns but that we will be a voice to a generation that needs to see men and women who stand in awe of a God who breathes the stars into being. We need to be a voice of life, hope, and thankfulness. We all know there is enough criticism, grumbling, and complaining to fill the world over, but will you and I make the choice to not follow the crowd, but to realize we have been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this? We may not save a nation, but what if our voice that refused to be silent, and expressed continual gratitude, saved our neighbour? What if?
Esther was called to deliver the Jews by using her voice to declare truth. We too are called to use our voices to declare truth to a society that can be changed one grateful attitude and action at a time. Don’t let something else have your voice. Don’t let ingratitude be found in you or spoken from you. Let’s use this body to both speak and act as people who see the Kingdom that we are called to.
This is our time. This study might be over, but our lives now become the story.
Let’s do this and let’s do it to honor the Great King who gives us all good things. He goes before us.
Today I am grateful for this journey. I have been blessed and filled as we have walked through these studies. I am thankful for every note written and the interaction of the body with one another sharing their struggles along the way. We have grown because of this journey, we are changed. I am grateful for new eyes and a fresh vision of His work in the here and now.
One final thing, “Thank you!”
Susan Craig says:March 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm
Today the Lord has brought to my mind once again Hebrews Chapter 12-the passage that encourages us to throw aside anything that hinders us and run with perseverence in the race to the finish line. How do we do that? We must fix our eyes on Jesus-the Author and Finisher of our faith because He endured the suffering and shame of the cross and He goes before us making the way for us to follow Him to the finish line. He finished the race set before Him and He then sat down. If we do not put Jesus first and foremost in our lives we will grow weary and lose heart. Yes it is a struggle as we constantly strive against sin and opposition. But we are still alive-we are still here- and God has a plan that includes our active participation in His work of redemption for mankind. Can God acheive His purposes without us- of course He can. Just as in this story of Esther, we are asked if we are willing – we are never forced or coerced into it. But there are consequences that occur when we refuse to listen to and obey the promptings of the Spirit of God. In Esther’s story, she was asked to put all on the line to plead before the King for the lives of her people. If she remained silent and did not do this, God would use another way to achieve His purposes but her family would perish if she refused to try to help. Like Joseph, Esther was positioned at a certain place and time in history for a purpose- that purpose was the redemption of God’s people.
What significance does that have for us today?
We are here at this moment in time, at this place in history, and God has a plan of redemption for this generation. After 50 days spent in the Word, we have been informed and we have been challenged to be active participants in God’s purposes- to be intentional in our daily walk – to set our hearts and minds on the race set before us and on the finish line- to fix our eyes on Jesus -to run with perseverance under hardships and obstacles and to listen,to trust and to obey. Consider Jesus-what was His focus? Jesus endured great temptation / great suffering / great humiliation / great persecution / death on a cross and the Word tells us His focus was JOY!!!!
WE have been challenged to not only listen to the Word but to trust God and to obey Him. The challenge put before us has been to check our attitudes- at ALL times and in ALL situations, we are asked to choose our thoughts, to choose our feelings, to choose our responses. Gratitude is a choice – it is a way of life that is radical and goes against our human nature, against what the world is modeling and against what Satan is doing. But it is what God is asking of us and what Jesus modeled for us and what the Word and Spirit is prompting us to do. Make a choice today to be intentional in being grateful in every situation , in every moment , in everything. The path ahead is clearly set out before us. Have we listened? Do we trust God??? We are free to make our choices but remember that freedom and responsibility can not be separated and that there are always consequences for our decisions/choices. I personally can not add more regret to my life when God has very clearly spoken to me and I have listened to His voice. I have made a decision to trust Him. I will choose gratitude. I know the road ahead of me is not the easy road-I know that there will be opposition and temptation to try to snare me. But I also know that I am not alone- I have been preceeded by many others who have followed this road, I am surrounded by others who are on this road, I have my Savior and His Spirit to guide me, I have Promises in His Word to stand on, I am closer to the finish line than I have ever been and God has promised me strength and power to overcome all opposition and to run this race. There is JOY set before me!!
Lord, I thank you for your promises that are true and for your Spirit to guide me. Father I trust your faithfulness to finish the work what you started in me. I pray for strength and power to keep Joy set before me and to remind me to stop and check my attitude whenever I am being tempted to choose anything but gratitude. Help me to see You and keep my focus clearly. Change me Lord because I choose You and Your way and I am human,I am weak, I know how quick I can stray freom Your Will and Your Way. I need You Lord to give me the power and strength to overcome in this area of my walk with You. I know You have much more to teach me. Lead me Lord in Your Way. Thank you Lord!!!
Thank you Freda for these 50 days in the Word! May God continue to bless the work you are doing for Him. 🙂
Susan Craig says:March 14, 2015 at 4:47 pm
Oh,and one more thing-Thank you to all those who shared this 50 day journey with me-for your comments that the Lord has used to teach me and to help me to grow. For the times you prayed and for the hearts that reached out and the healing in my heart and mind that occurred because of your love for God and your love that extended to me. You are a part of me as I am a part of you-God has joined our hearts together in a bond of love. Thank you! God is Great and God is Good!!! 🙂
Pat McRae says:March 15, 2015 at 9:58 pm
Sorry to be late with my post but I could not get WiFi at the hotel to work yesterday and today was a full one. I had an amazing time at the Women of Destiny Conference but wanted to finish my last day. 🙁 I can’t believe how fast fifty days go by but it has been great. We all love the same Jesus and in His amazing way He personalized His Word for us each day. I have loved the journey with you all and have enjoyed all the comments and pondered some thoughts for a time. I always see that some people hit the like button and wonder who you are and what you liked, but that is just me, I think some people would call it being nosy :).
The portion of this verse that grabbed me today was: and who knoweth whether thou be come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Have you ever known the feeling of being in the right place at the right time? No matter what happens or what anyone has to say you just know and they can’t shake you from knowing? Well that is me today! My life has prepared me to be a vessel for the Master’s use. The making has worked out the stress points, strengthening them to hold more. The travelling from place to place and situation to situation has left some worn spots in places, some chips for character and even smoothed out some of the rough areas. The original paint is almost gone in places, but it has left a beauty that only comes when life has been lived. It has all prepared me to be me, for this hour, this season, in God’s kingdom. He wrote my story long ago, he handed me my script and said He would be there for me.
As I peek back and recognize some of the situations, they give me no more pain because the foot steps leading away from them show me His love and faithfulness to me. In some places there are large heavy steps, only one set and I remember I needed to be carried from that spot, wounded, hurt, rejected and alone, but Jesus came! In another spot I see large steps and many small steps no pattern, not organized just all over the place, like someone was dancing. I then realize it was me happy and thrilled so full of joy, because I had the victory over the situation and realized I was a conqueror. And then there was one where two sets of prints showed a determination and a forward March. I remember how He held my hand and said “Come walk with me, I will show you the way!” Oh such love! 🙂
Today I am thankful for everyday of my life! Why? Because they have taught me that I can trust God with my life. I gave Him all the broken pieces of my heart and He didn’t patch it up, or just repair it He gave me a brand new heart, a flesh heart, no more stony places. I am thankful that God has taught me it is ok to be different, unique and has even shown me where I belong on this planet called earth. I am grateful that this weekend at the Women of Destiny Conference, everything that He has been speaking to me, he confirmed through prophecy, the messages and His still quiet voice.
Yes, I know I was born for such a time as this!
Sue Holmes says:March 16, 2015 at 11:46 pm
Better late than never …
That line probably works for blog comments (at least I hope so) but I wonder if it holds true in the Christian world.
We live in a very time-centered world. There are schedules, agendas, timetables, deadlines and they all seem so important. They can crowd in sometimes to the point where they can overwhelm. Did Esther felt this way … overwhelmed?
“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
“We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are? And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip.” (Wesley’s Notes On The Bible)
Wesley implies that we should live our lives constantly aware that God has placed us here for a purpose and we should always be ready to serve as if we were serving God.
We may have never been in a more “Esther-like” era than this evening … the eve of the Israeli election. Esther’s calling was to use her position & voice to deliver the Jewish people. We are called to use our voice in prayer & to bow our knees (position) for the apple of God’s eye.
Wesley indicates that we serve God by serving others. i wonder how often we miss out on serving God’s purpose by paying attention to the urgent matters rather than the important. Everything that shapes our path is capable of being used by God for His purposes. And if I have learned anything over the 50 days of gratitude it is to meet our path & our purpose with gratitude. It changes our whole attitude. It changes our zeal. It changes our faithfulness.
I am grateful for each one of you who have interacted with this blog … either online, in your homes, or via Facebook, etc. I am grateful for the impact that you have had on my journey. And I am grateful for God planting the seed of this blog in the very willing heart of our Pastor. Who knows that she came to His kingdom for a time/purpose such as this. I am grateful that this doesn’t end here. It is indeed a seed of gratitude. Seeds are meant to grow and produce fruit and out of that fruit more seed. I am grateful to be part of such an amazing portion of His body. Thank you God and thank you all. 🙂