Growing up, my parents worked in student ministries on University campuses.  They met many international students who came to the United States not knowing Jesus Christ personally.  One student, Ming, was Buddhist.  Her roommate in the dorm, Esther, was Christian.   She did not impose her faith on Ming, but lived out Christlikeness with kindness and respect. The girls became friends and genuinely cared for each other.   Ming was introduced to Esther’s friends and invited to student ministry events.  During the school year students talked with Ming about Jesus.  Toward the end of the spring semester, Ming invited Christ into her life as Lord and Savior.  She was later asked what was said to bring her to this decision.  Ming replied, “It was nothing anyone said.  Esther, built a bridge from her heart to mine and Jesus walked across it”.  

In the light of the violent summer we have had, it is tempting to ask where God has been during all of this.  The answer is that He resides in you and me – as the temples of The Holy Spirit.  Where has God been?  Wherever we have been willing to take Him.  He has chosen to work through His followers.  When we refuse to go and minister to those in need, we limit His ability to heal the broken and save the lost.  

Today, it seems our world has gone completely mad, with one act of senseless violence after another.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.  These are over whelming times.  And we are faced with 2 choices.  We can either be overwhelmed by a since of helplessness or we can be overwhelmed by a since of purpose.  

The book of Esther recounts the story of desperate times for the Jews.  Their nation had been conquered and taken into exile. Now a plan had been set in motion for the mass genocide of the Jewish exiles.  Talk about hopelessness.  They were a people without a country or a government.  And no judicial system to turn to for protection.  The story’s heroin, Esther, was a slave in the King’s harem – a literal sex slave.  Despite being chosen for marriage by the king, this arrangement has nothing to do with love or what Esther desired for her life.  Her duty was to come running whenever the king calls and if he did not summon her she was never to approach him.  To do so was punishable by death.   Talk about helpless.  But Esther chooses to see her situation differently.  Instead of being overwhelmed by helplessness she is overwhelmed by the sense of duty and purpose.  She ignores the reality staring her in the face and chooses to believe that God has placed her there for such a time as this.  With the encouragement of a godly uncle and a group of friends who pray and fast with her she breaks the law by approaching the king to plead for the lives of her people.  It would’ve been so easy for Esther to say there’s nothing she could do and in fact, in the “natural”, that appeared to be the case.  But Esther realized that the spiritual truth is that God is always working, that God had a plan and the purpose for her life was to submit to His authority instead of man’s authority.  God used Esther’s obedience to expose the deceptive plot to exterminate the Jews and thousands were saved.   

We have in us the literal Spirit of the Almighty God who councils us, encourages us and gives us strength.  We have been promised by Jesus The Righteous that He will be with us as we minister to the world (Matthew 28:20).  And we have been given all authority to do this work in the great commission (Matthew 28:18-19) When the world asks “where is God”, that is not a condemnation of God but of His followers.  

Join me today in prayer for the boldness to do what we have been call to…empower to…and authorized to do!
Pastor Jonathan