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Use Your Influence

 

Esther 4:13-17; 8:3-8
Bible Studies for Life, May 8

 

Think for a moment with me. Who has been the biggest influence on your spiritual life? How did they influence you or what did they do to influence you? Every believer can influence someone, whether it is good or bad.

We will look today at Mordecai and how he influenced and challenged Esther.

So I ask you today, who has God placed in your life to remind you of your potential?

We see that Vashti has been removed as queen and the king is searching for a new queen. Mordecai, no doubt, was terrified at the thought of the men coming and knocking on his door regarding his cousin, Esther.

Mordecai had taken in Esther as one of his own children since she had become an orphan. The king delighted in Esther, even though she was not the most beautiful of those assembled together, and she found pleasure in the heart of the king. When Esther saw that the king would make her queen, she surrounded herself with great servants to remind and influence her in her upbringing as a Jew.

She never told the king of her Jewish heritage. He only knew that she was an orphan. Mordecai was concerned for Esther and went to see her on a regular basis because he knew of the uprising against the Jews. Mordecai was given a prominent position in the kingdom because of his willingness to defend the king and his life.

Here comes Haman, a descendant of Amalek, and he wanted nothing more than to put those around him in bondage. When Mordecai saw Haman and the idol on his chest, Mordecai did not bow to him and Haman became very angry. Haman made a deal with the king to pay the kingdom silver to destroy the Jews. The king allowed it and set it in a decree.

When Mordecai heard this (4:1) he cried out, tore his clothes, put on sackcloth with ashes and sat in the middle of the city. The word was sent to Esther regarding what Haman had done and she was told by Mordecai to go before the king and speak to him about this issue.

Esther told Mordecai that she had not been called to appear before the king. If the king did not summon one to appear before him, this would mean death to anyone who came into his presence without being called.

Now Mordecai is challenging Esther (4:13-14) that God has a purpose in placing her in this position at such a time as this. Esther was undoubtedly afraid and had questions about what to do and how to get these things accomplished.

Mordecai was placed in Esther’s life to help her recognize the potential in her life. So I ask you today, who has God placed in your life to remind you of your potential? Can you help someone realize the potential God has given to them?

Too many times we have the tools and the influence to assist those around us, but we do not act on it. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”(Luke 12:48). God has given each of us the ability to influence people, whether it is good or bad. Let me also add that you, as a Christian, can influence unbelievers just as much as you can influence believers.

Esther is faced with a tall task. She is being told to step out of her fear, in which she had no promise of a successful outcome, and to do what was right. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. once said, “Do right though the stars fall.” God has placed you in this location, in this position, at this time, and in this place so that you may have an influence on those around you. “Thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Esther is now looking to God, who is the ultimate influence in her life. She realizes that she cannot do this alone and requests that Mordecai and all the Jews fast for three days and three nights, along with her and her maidens. Esther was dependent on God, but it greatly helped her to see those around her supporting her. This gave her affirmation that she was doing what God had asked her to do.

Let me also say that just because we acknowledge that God is influencing us and is in control, it does not give us the excuse to not follow through with what He has asked of us.

Now Esther has found favor in the king and he recognizes her and gives her the time to speak to him in the court (chapter 5). Esther requests the presence of the king and Haman at a banquet she has planned. Haman receives the invitation to the banquet and is excited to attend but as soon as he sees Mordecai, he becomes full of anger. Haman goes home and begins to tell his wife and family about his anger towards Mordecai.

Haman’s wife, Zeresh, tells him to have gallows made for the hanging of Mordecai. In chapter 6, Haman begins to plot against Mordecai and lays out a plan to hang him. In chapter 7, the plan backfires on Haman and he ends up hanging from the gallows that he had built for Mordecai.

Esther approached the king with great humility and respect (8:3-8). She influenced the king by conducting herself appropriately and in a godly manner, while dealing with a tough situation. Esther fulfilled the purpose that God had for her (4:14) but it all started with a reminder from a person of influence – Mordecai.

Are you a Mordecai? Are you an Esther? Whatever God has given you to do, be an influence that reflects the ultimate influence – God!