“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.” Esther 5:1-2
After spending 3 days in prayer and fasting with all the Israelites, Esther finally acts. Full of the eternal, confident purposes of the Holy Spirit, Esther approaches the King…her palms drenched with the sweat that reveals her nervousness, and she hears the condemning whispers around her. Nevertheless, she approaches, grabbing the scepter leaving no more question as to the intent of her unsummoned visit to the king, and in doing so, a Greater, more Worthy King and His Kingdom was exalted.
Walking back through this study of Esther for my blog has brought fresh, sweet, needed conviction with each characteristic of Biblical womanhood that she portrays. The fourth and last point remains no exception, for just like Esther, I wish to see everything through an eternal perspective.
This final characteristic in the Esther story lives not only for us women, but also for all believers as we seek to truly have the eyes of the Savior in all things. Having an eternal perspective seems much bigger than being able to loftily talk about the doctrine of ecclesiology or your own missiology–but it goes much deeper and more personal–for how does one simply become eternally minded?
The answer, as in all things, remains quite simply, Jesus. He IS the answer, and His Word remains that which always brings the convicting light of truth and love into our life that His Spirit uses to shave, squeeze, & purify. Having an eternal mindset affects your response when you wake up and see that your roommate hasn’t done the dishes for the 3rd day in a row. When eternity is stamped on your heart in the perfect lens of the cross, your attitude in the midst of every kind of transition, decision, or even just in everyday life happenings changes. An infinite perspective saturates your thoughts when you’re tempted to assume the worst in someone else’s motives, actions, responses. Eternity affects your tone of voice when speaking to nationals on the phone after a day and a half of trying to get an electrician to come to your flat (guilty). Eternity affects EVERYTHING: your clothing, speech, our relationships, how we spend our time, our money, what we pursue, EVERYTHING, because having an eternal perspective means submission–submission to something and Someone much grander, greater, and better than ourselves, and that His plans, passions, commands are infinitely more valuable than anything of which I could ever hope or dream.
He IS the answer, and His Word remains that which always brings the convicting light of truth and love into our life that His Spirit uses to shave, squeeze, & purify.
By His Spirit, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). The beautiful thing in this remains that just like everything in our lives, we must wholly rely on the Spirit of the Living God to do all things because walking by the Spirit can’t and never will be just another line on a checklist. I think a checklist would be easy–full of its own self-gratification and pats on the back–but the Spirit remains wholly different and full of love. The way of love is different, and Elisabeth Elliot speaks of this difference in her book Passion and Purity,
“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. That was the proof of His love- that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though legions of angels might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us- not from anything it takes to make us more like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”
And so I wrap up this study on Esther, hoping, praying that you’ve been just as challenged and pushed–albeit sometimes reluctantly–to the cross. May we be forever marked, changed, and sanctified by the Spirit and His work in our lives. May our confidence live in the holy, faithful One, perfectly worthy of our lives and trust. May the message we carry forever be spoken in the truth and love that its boldness brings, abandoning anything that would keep us from speaking it.
And may the One who chose us forever grant us an eternal perspective that echoes the words of 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
May we be women (and men) who look not only to the immediacy of our own emotions, actions, thoughts, decisions, our relationships that in the flesh simply live to serve myself, but faithfully, obediently, being full of the Spirit, sift them through the lens of eternity in submission to Christ.
Check out Part One, Part Two, & Part Three of this series.