Intentional Obedience

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Have you ever felt God was leading you to do something you didn’t want to do? Maybe you were too busy, obedience was too hard, or you were afraid. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is to obey God. It is easy for me to find excuses for why I can’t obey: I don’t have the time, the energy, the ability, or the desire to obey. I am ashamed to admit that my desire to be disobedient usually stems from my own selfishness or pride.

Andy Rectenwald, Oregon Campus Pastor, spoke about Queen Esther during the weekend message. Queen Esther and her beloved adopted father, Mordecai, were Jews. Haman, an evil man, tricked King Xerxes (Esther’s husband) to decree that all the Jewish people be destroyed. (The king had no idea Esther was Jewish.) Mordecai asked Esther to go before the king and ask that he spare the lives of the Jews.

In Esther 4:11, she replies: “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come in 30 days.”

I don’t know about you, but God has never asked me to put my life in danger for him. At times, I have a hard time obeying him because his plans for me are inconvenient or I want my own way. Yet Mordecai was asking Esther to risk her life to save the Jews. I understand why Esther initially said, “N0!”

Esther 4:13-14
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Esther loved and respected her  adopted father (they were actually cousins…see Esther 2:7) and obeyed him. She knew her obedience could lead to a death sentence. She knew she didn’t have the ability to save the Jews on her own. She requested that all the Jews of Susa along with her maids fast with her for three days and nights. Esther formed a plan and had the courage to go before the King in his inner courts.

Esther’s obedience saved the Jews. She showed great wisdom and courage. She prepared and accomplished God’s task for her. I know when I have listened and obeyed God, he has given me the supernatural ability to accomplish things I was unable to accomplish on my own. God has a purpose for each and every one of our lives. It is so important that we obey…. because he put you in that job, that situation, for such a time as this.

What is God calling you to do? How do you prepare to be obedient? What are the reasons you say no to God?

Next Steps:
Pray and fast when God asks you to do something hard. Ask others to pray and fast for you. Spend time in his Word. Join a Group. Pray and encourage others. Praise God for his miracles.

God, I am amazed that you want to use me in your perfect plan. I am overwhelmed by your grace and mercy. Help me to always listen to and obey you. Help me to bring glory to your name and accomplish the purpose you have for my life. Help me to encourage and pray for others. I praise your glorious name! Amen.

This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.

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