The Esther Blessing: Grace to Reign in Life is now available in paperback, as well as an updated e-book.
It’s dedicated to those who have suffered at the hands of the self-absorbed.
If you count yourself among them, the biblical book of Esther was written for you. Surprised? Because of how we’ve typically told the Esther story, you may not realize: It shows us how to overcome the chaos and destruction wreaked by people who care only for themselves.
You may have thought of Esther’s life as enchanted and unattainable (and a story solely for women) because, typically, we’ve told her story as a sort of biblical fairy tale. In our version: Once upon a time Esther rose from nowhere to be queen of a kingdom. Her Prince Charming, whom she loved deeply and who deeply loved her, was Xerxes, king of the vast Persian empire. In due course, Esther exposed the wicked villain Haman and saved the Jewish people. Then, she and Xerxes lived happily ever after. The End.
A great story, a Cinderella story, but certainly not your story, or mine.
Would it surprise you to know? It’s not Esther’s story, either. Her life was not the fairy tale we’ve imagined. When we take off the rose-colored glasses and examine what the Scripture actually says, we can see that. Esther had a dysfunctional marriage to a violent, self-absorbed, philandering man. She faced situations that were demeaning, cruel and unjust. In the midst of it all, she learned to reign in life.
Would it surprise you to know? You can reign even more fully than she. Because we live on this side of the cross, we can experience greater favor and wield greater authority than Queen Esther did.
If you want to reign in life, then know: Embracing the Esther blessing begins with seeing – seeing Esther, grace and reigning in a new light – but it doesn’t end there. Receiving this blessing will require you to rise up, as Esther and her cousin Mordecai did, to make choice after choice to embrace grace.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has opened the floodgates of grace to you, I pray you will set your heart to experience the more-than-superabundance of his grace. I’d love to give you a nudge in that direction via The Esther Blessing.
Abusive, womanizing, racist, raging, the lives of Xerxes and Haman can show you the counterfeit of reigning that flows from self-adulation. Seeing them, you may recognize some people you know. If you keep looking, you may realize: Grace trumps power. And that may give you hope. Watching Xerxes and Haman, you may see some ways you’ve come to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. That last part won’t feel good, but it is good. Seeing where you’ve made a wrong turn is crucial to going where God created you to go.
The lives of Esther and Mordecai can show you real reigning. Seeing them, you may realize: Reigning in life has everything to do with grace. If you keep looking, you may find that grace works differently from what you’ve thought. You may begin to recognize what it looks like when grace is flowing fully and freely. You may yearn to experience its superabundance.
Yet dashed hope, dishonor, abuse or shame may tell you that reigning in life only happens in fairy tales and could never, ever describe you.
Be blessed to know: The fairy tale is an illusion and a counterfeit. Seeking it will take you the wrong way. Ah, but right there in real life – in the place where you find yourself today – that’s where, if you will, you can find grace to reign.
Adapted from chapter 1 of The Esther Blessing, © 2013, 2017.
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