Saturday, October 31, 2009
ESTHER: The Power of God's Presence
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting thoughts from one of my favorite books of the Bible as I re-read Esther. Hope you'll keep checking back to see what God is teaching me.
I remember when I first began reading the Bible on my own in elementary school. The book of Esther stood out to me as one of the first books I wanted to read because it is one of the only books of the Bible that bears a woman’s name in the title. It quickly became one of my favorite books.
In high school, I got very excited when my youth pastor’s wife decided to do a Bible study for the girls in Esther. During the first week, she was setting up the story. Suddenly, out of her mouth, I heard, “God’s name is never mentioned in the book.”
Puzzled, I looked at her like she must have made a mistake. Thumbing through my Bible, I began skimming chapters. I didn’t want to prove her wrong, but I knew she had gotten that wrong. I had read the book at least ten times, and I knew I would find His name within seconds.
But she was right. His name is not mentioned, not even once.
Charles Swindoll may explain this best as he observed, “God’s presence is not as intriguing as His absence. His voice is not as eloquent as His silence…Yet later, we realize how very present He was all along.”
Sure, it’s awesome to read in Scripture about God speaking through a burning bush to Moses, in dreams to Joseph and writing on the wall to Daniel. However, there may not be a book of the Bible that’s easier for us to understand today than God in the book of Esther.
Think about the role of the director of a movie. He controls every scene. From the actors who play each character to the when, where and how each scene is filmed, the director calls the shots. His name is the first to appear before the film starts and mentioned first on the ending credits. While he never appears on the screen, his fingerprints are all over the film.
That’s very similar to how God works in our lives. When we express faith in His Son, we may not be able to physically see Him or audibly speak with Him, but He is always there to direct our steps.
As I was reminded of this truth today, I couldn't help but ask myself the question,
"Does my life reflect the God I serve so much that without mentioning His name, others can feel His presence?" Many times, I know my answer would disappoint me.
So today, I spent some quiet moments in prayer asking God to daily control my life and consume me with the desire to fully trust Him. As I have admitted before, I am a control freak...but the chance that others will see that God is in me and at work in my life is far more important than my initial comfort level.
Notice I say initial comfort level. Because everytime I let go of myself and cling to the Lord, that's when He chooses to use me. I love those moments when I get to praise my Savior for allowing me to be a small part of His story. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being used by Christ.
I am praying for the attitude of Paul: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Look at the picture posted with this blog. I was blown away by the beauty of this scene. God may not physically be here, but His fingerprints are all over this world. Starting today, I'm going to ask myself a new question each day:
What am I doing to make His presence known?