Esther teaches us about Purposeful Planning.
In Chapter Four of Esther, we learn that Esther is in position to save her people, but it looks as if the only way to do so is to risk her own life to go before the King in an ‘out of protocol’ sort of way. If she goes before the King, uninvited and he does not hold the scepter up to allow her, she (and the Jews) will die. If she does not go before the King, Haman’s plan will succeed, and she and the Jews will die. Was she only afraid for her life and thinking of self-preservation? Was she looking for an excuse or way out? Did she think this was too much to put on her, and she wasn’t prepared to handle it? Often, we feel like this when we are faced with challenges brought on by ourselves and others. We will say “What’s that have to do with me?” or “I don’t know how to ---” or “That’s way too much and I am not qualified to – “ But then, as God would have it, words of wisdom are spoken that make Esther realize that perhaps she was made Queen for such a time as this! Perhaps she had found favor with the Eunuchs and with the King to be in position to be the Difference Maker. What did Esther do? She accepted the challenge, declared a fast for three days and made it corporate by ordering Mordecai and all the Jews to fast for her as well. This is a Boss Move – you want me to do what? Okay, then we are all in this together, we will all fast and prepare for my approach to the King.
Purposeful planning prepares holistically privately for God to reward publicly. (Matthew 6:6)
Esther, Chapter Five finds Esther approaching the King uninvited, but because she had fasted for three days individually and collectively with the Jews, the King held out his scepter and she lived. Who says “Favor Ain’t Fair?” I am not so sure about that statement, but that’s a conversation for another time. Now, she has the King’s attention and he is eagerly accepting of anything she wants to ask because she has found favor with him, and she prayed individually, and the Jews prayed corporately. (I just wanted to repeat the facts in a different way.) Esther has a feast with the King and Haman, and she is still purposefully preparing to tell the King the reason for all the feasts, but not yet, she is still creating the right atmosphere to tell the King. Meanwhile, Haman’s disdain for Mordecai and his arrogance and boastful spirit to his family and friends, actually help Haman set up the right conditions for his own demise. God will always work things out for our good (Romans 8:28), especially when we spend time with him fasting and in prayer to be aligned to His will. We sometimes want to rush things, but take a lesson from Esther, she created one feast to loosen them up and invite them to yet another feast. She didn’t just call a meeting and jump right to the facts.
Purposeful planning patiently proceeds at God’s predetermined pace.
Esther, Chapter Six reveals how God continues working things out in favor of the Jews. What are the chances of the King not being able to sleep, and then the very book that is being read to him finds Mordecai at the center of an honor he never received? (See, not so sure “Favor Ain’t Fair.”) Then, who is the one who determines the honor Mordecai receives, except the one who despises Mordecai the most? Yep, Haman. Only God can humble someone in public like that with such poise. The King had no clue about Haman’s feelings towards Mordecai, or even why Haman was coming to him at the very moment the King was looking for answers on honoring someone. This is how you know God is preparing your table in the presence of your enemies. (Psalm 23:5)
Purposeful planning allows God to do privately what you see the results of publicly.
Esther, Chapter Seven unfolds everything as Esther finally answers the King’s question on her request and with Haman sitting there, when she reveals her and her people will be destroyed due to Haman’s plot to kill, destroy, and annihilate all Jews. The King is livid and ultimately, Haman is impaled on the very gallows Haman prepared for Mordecai. Talk about reaping what you have sown. (Galatians 6:7) Esther perfectly planned her feasts seemingly in seamless collaboration with God. This is what purposeful planning will do, as purposeful planning is planning that is in alignment with God, even if you are unable to see the complete path, you know that Godly alignment will have all outcomes work for your good.
Purposeful planning presents itself perfectly every time.
Call To Action: Find yourself purposefully planning; and be intentional about including time with God to be in alignment for clear direction.
Read Esther, Chapters 4 - 7