“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
The impact of a single life that is fully devoted to God cannot be overstated. When believers become Christ-focused instead of church or self-focused, that’s when we’re able to make God real to others.
Christ showed us the power of surrender when He said these words that will resound throughout eternity. “Not my will…” How many of us can freely echo those words each day of our life? Is our time at God’s disposal? Do our talents belong to Him alone?
Christ’s example challenges us to rise above ourselves and mold our nature to His own. Like Christ, we are in this world to display the glory of God. It’s not about us; it’s about HIM. Without that “death” to ourselves, there can be no “resurrection” of Christ’s life in us.
Submitting to the will of God is not easy—as Jesus also showed us when His sweat became like blood. Confessing our wrongs, forgiving others or resisting popular opinion to stand with God’s Word is never easy, is it?
I’ll be honest and say it’s not.
But it’s what Christ’s Church was born to do.
As we approach Good Friday, let us not only consider what surrender cost the Son of God but let us also ask ourselves if we are willing to surrender our will to our Heavenly Father every day.
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
My mother couldn’t have children.
She suffered from ovarian cysts and, after 6 years of trying, the doctors told my parents that nothing could be done.
But there was one thing that the medical team didn’t take into consideration–the power of prayer.
My dad and mom went into serious prayer about the issue and God answered. They were blessed with not one… not two… but three children all of whom are following God. What was once considered impossible is now history.
That’s what faith does. It turns tragedy into triumph and transforms victims into victors. If we turn it loose on our circumstances, we’ll realize that impossibilities are really only miracles yet to happen.
The world is full of failure because it has forgotten the power of faith.
But that doesn’t have to be your story.
Believe. With God, all things are still possible.
Faith turns tragedy into triumph and transforms victims into victors. Experience the power of faith.
Because of the sins of her ancestors, Esther was born into a life of exile far away from the land of Israel. But the sinful lifestyles and consequent defeat of previous generations didn’t mean that God was finished with Israel. To the contrary, He was hard at work, sparking a new beginning.
In like manner, you may feel that your life has been marred by tragedy, sin and defeat. But if you can move beyond the past and identify yourself with God’s Word for this hour, you’ll see that His hand at work in you.
Esther was chosen–ripped away from the one man she could call family (Mordecai). But this trauma was necessary for the greater plan of God to be accomplished. Without this harsh reality, the girl would never have become a queen and her destiny would have been obscurity.
God demands a separation from the past in order for His plan to be accomplished in our lives.
This process is sometimes painful and filled with fear.
Imagine it for a moment: as a beautiful young woman, you’re kidnapped and thrust into the very heart of sedition and political intrigue that made up the court of Susa. What emotions were going through her heart?
Esther would lose her carefully guarded virginity. She would never go home again. But there a purpose behind it all.
Many quote Jeremiah 29:11 but fail to grasp the significance underlying this powerful verse of promise. One of God’s main purposes is to reveal Himself through His people (Col. 1:18 AKJV). To do this, we must accept His Will for our lives, no matter how difficult it may be at times. By surrendering to Him, our character is molded to Christ’s own character (2 Peter 1:5-8) and have our character molded to His own character.
And the King is all about character.
When Esther was summoned for that one night which would change everything, she made a startling announcement. Instead of taking advantage of the king’s offer to take anything she wanted from the gilded harem, she would go just as she was.
King Ahasuerus was no stranger to beauty. But, unlike many professing Christian women, Esther’s emphasis was not on how sexy she could look. This king wouldn’t make his choice based on sex appeal. Instead, she wowed him with a transparent character. And by the time morning came, Ahasuerus knew that she was indispensable.
Our King is not impressed by our religious works, the amount we pay into our churches or how beautiful our music can be. A humble, repentant heart that responds to His Word is what He’s seeking in His Bride.
Is that you?
Eleanor’s faith is pushed to the breaking point when her infant daughter is killed in a German zeppelin attack. Where is God in the midst of her pain? Northshire Heritage Book 1. Start the journey>>
The Book of Esther is one of the most fascinating in the Old Testament. While it is true that the word “God” does not appear in this beautiful book, it is nonetheless full of glimpses into God’s heart and gives purposeful insight as to what God expects from the Christian life.
Esther was more than just a queen—in her time, she was doubtless the most powerful woman in the world. Her husband, King Ahasuerus, ruled a vast empire that stretched from India to Europe. But Esther isn’t remembered for her wealth, beauty or power.
She is revered for her character. It is this last that makes her such a compelling example of the church that Christ died to redeem, the church for whom He is soon coming.
Let’s look at her story in closer detail with the goal of discovering what God wants from each of us.
First off, Esther’s story doesn’t begin in a palace. She was a nobody—a Jewish orphan who, had it not been for one life-altering event, probably would have lived and died in the shadows. Perhaps, like Esther, you don’t appear to be much on the outside but God knows just what you have to offer on the inside.
Christ isn’t attracted to beautiful church buildings or fancy LCD screens. Remember, He chose to be born in a manger. It’s what inside us that gets His attention—the potential that each of us has to be a vessel through whom He can work.
So what changed Esther’s story?
When the king’s wife, Queen Vashti, refused to obey his commands, he divorced her. Whether or not 21st century women agree with the concept, the truth is that Jesus Christ holds the same rights over our lives. We need Him but He doesn’t need us. He can dispose of us at any time, but we need Him with every breath that we take.
Too often, we treat Christ as though He were our servant instead of our God. Too often, we ask Him to bless us, to protect us etc. but we don’t devote ourselves to doing His will or even ask Him what He wants from us as an individual.
Ask yourself: do you obey Christ’s commands? When He compels you to pray, are you too busy?
I myself have been guilty on this one.
Here’s another toughie: as a married woman, are you willing to let your husband be the leader God calls him to be?
I can’t help but wonder how many Christians miss out on the beauty of God’s presence simply because we refuse to surrender our will to His.
We love God’s grace but never mistake grace for a “get out of jail free card.” Grace is there to forgive our mistakes and to give us power to live above sin. But the Bible gives us a stark warning about the purported Christian world in the last days.
They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Vashti’s story is there for a reason. It’s a warning that we all need to hear. If we don’t live in harmony with Christ then He will find someone else who will. The warning of Revelation 3:11 is worth repeating,
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (NKJV)
Each of us has to choose every day whether we will be a Vashti or an Esther in our walk with Christ. Our choice will determine how close we remain to our King.|
In the Shadow of Your Wings An unforgettable historical thriller. Watch the trailer. Read the book.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
The Bible teaches us to be careful about what we think. Our thoughts can become words, our words become actions, and our actions become habits that are difficult to break.
This week, instead of focusing on spiritually draining things like problems, past failures or regrets, choose to focus on the spiritually uplifting things like the power of God’s Word that is transforming your life.