Fasting

Esther 4-7: How do we respond to God's sovereignty? - Andrew S

This message is second in a series of 3 on the book of Esther, given in 2014. Here Andrew takes us through chapters 4 to 7 and asks the question of How do we respond to God's sovereignty? The same question applies to 2019. Message 1 is not available due to recording quality.

These chapters give us the account of Mordecai and his response to the decree by Haman to kill and annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children in one day, Esther 3:13, and how he appealed to Esther for her intervention before King Ahasuerus.

We notice 4 things:

1. Mordecai and Esther fasted for 3 days. Fasting is an act of doing without to engage with God. It is setting aside something in exchange for focusing and listening to God's direction. It is not an attempt to be more pious as if the more sacrificial you can be the more God will notice through your will power. It can equally be a fasting from listening to music or social media or TV or other pleasure that takes your focus off listening for God's leading. It is a replacement with something spiritual, focusing your heart on seeking the Lord.

2. As God is sovereign He is in complete control of all circumstances. When we have to act in faith regarding events that seem threatening or risk to our comfort levels there is no neutral ground. We either grow in faith by trusting the promises and nature of God or we retreat and shrivel up like seeds on hard ground. It is a question of belief. Do we believe in the power of God who is calling you. Eph 2:10 tells us that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Divine happenings require faith and courage.

3. We need spiritual discernment for the works that God has prepared for us, and discernment only comes by spending time in prayer and in God's word letting the Lord speak to you, Psalm 119:18. Exercising your faith grows your faith.

4. We must leave the consequences of responding in faith to God.

Andrew closes this message with an excerpt from Martin Luther King's sermon entitled "But if" (12 minute mark)