Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Finishing Strong - The Inheritance!

The Promise

"And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to your word.
But truly as I live and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord,

Because all those men who have seen My glory and My [miraculous] signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tested and proved Me these ten times and have not heeded My voice,
Surely they shall not see the land which I swore to give to their fathers; nor shall any who provoked (spurned, despised) Me see it.

But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

Numbers 14:20-24, Amplified Bible.

Do you admire the stories of the people who live long, healthy lives? Like the people 80 to 100 plus years old? I LOVE those interviews. I love to hear how they did it!

Many of us have heard multiple times the story of the twelve spies. We know that of the twelve spies, sent into the Promised Land, only two men believed God for the ability He had to deliver on His promise. It is so easy to judge those who did not believe our Mighty Father.

Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we all do this on a regular basis.

I believe most of our faith failures begin when we look at the circumstances, rather than looking at our God. I should know - I am Queen of "Looking at My Circumstances Land". ;-)

What should we look at? Isaiah 26 tells us that He is able to keep us in perfect peace whose mind is staid on Him. Colossians tells us to keep our mind on heavenly things.

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What's the Secret? We all "get" that many did not, could not believe God for His ability to deliver on His Word. What we really want is to know the secret of Caleb's ability not only to believe, but to obtain the promise and Finish Strong!

Because, finish strong is exactly what Caleb did. Above, we see God's promise to him. Now let's see Caleb on the follow through, that's the part we want to follow closely, because that's what we have to do!

Follow Through on the Promise!

"Then the people of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning me and you in Kadesh-barnea.
Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout out the land. And I brought him a report as it was in my heart.
my brethren who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God.
And Moses swore on that day, Surely the land on which your feet have walked shall be an inheritance to you and your children always, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.
And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness; and now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old.
Yet I am as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now for war and to go out and to come in.
So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke that day. For you heard then how the [giantlike] Anakim were there and that the cities were great and fortified; if the Lord will be with me, I shall drive them out just as the Lord said. "
Then Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb
son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.
So Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.
The name of Hebron before was Kiriath-arba [city of Arba]. This Arba was the greatest of the Anakim. And the land had rest from war."
Joshua 14:6-15, Amplified Bible.

Phew! Back in February, the Lord impressed me with this message for our 50+ group at Family Worship Center. They are a wonderful and diverse group of people, whom I dearly love. They go by the name of Prime Timers.

It wasn't until the summer that we could actually connect to do this talk. As I read over those scriptures just now...I get so thrilled all over again. There is so much good stuff here.

As we focus on Caleb and how he pursued and believed in the promise of God for His life, and for the lives of his children, we see so much to inspire us.

He modeled something that is ours, everyone of us, by the promise of God. We just don't all know, understand or believe in it. It's the ability to pass on a rich inheritance for our children. And I don't mean just money or real estate. Follow through is essential. We want to learn to follow through! We want to obtain the promises of God,

we want to finish strong!

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Paul said of himself, he had fought the good fight of faith, he had finished his course

. There is a satisfaction that comes to our hearts when we have completed a task. We all want to know that we have obtained the full promise of God, not just for ourselves, but for those that come after us.

So, how was Caleb able to live long, and strong, take territory, fight off and kill giants, and successfully turn that over to his children for them to occupy?

Obtaining the Promise

Joshua 15:14-17 (and also in Judges 1)

"And Caleb drove from there the three sons of Anak--

Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai--the descendants of Anak.
He went up from there against the people of Debir. Debir was formerly named Kiriath-sepher.
Caleb said, "He who smites Kiriath-sepher and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife. "
And Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's brother, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife."

Looking Out For Future Generations

You gotta love this guy! Caleb not only gets his territory cleared, executes the enemy, he also, in wisdom, holds back a portion to contract it out. I do not believe it was because he was too tired to do it. No, he had successfully gotten rid of three giants. I think he was completely up to it. But, by the wisdom of the Lord, he wanted to know his daughter was well married. He wanted to know,

that when he was no longer here to look out for her,

she was married to a man who could fight like him, because to fight like him meant that person would have the faith in God that comes from knowing Him.

That was a kind of man that could be trusted with his daughter.

So, it was not that he thought of his daughter as something to give away as a prize.

Rather, the man who could fight like Caleb and win,

could be trusted with his precious daughter.

It turns out that Caleb was indeed correct to trust his daughter to the man who fought and won. He became the first Judge of Israel after Joshua.

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A Horse of a Different Color!

So what separated Caleb from the pack? What made him so special? What quality did he have, that we should pray and seek God for in ourselves?

The beginning of the answer as I see it in the Word of God, is the scripture in Numbers 14:24. The Lord said unto Moses

But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

Caleb followed fully after God, "he had another spirit with him" in words we are famliar with today - he had the right heart attitude! One that looked to God and believed what He says. THAT is what God needs to be able to work in us!

We limit Him, He does NOT limit us!

God recognized that Caleb did not submit to the same fearful, lying spirit

the 10 other spies had submitted to.

Rather Caleb submitted to the Holy Spirit of God, who was able to remind him of all the Lord had already done (note the Lord’s own words in vs 23, when He is describing the 10 who did not believe, that they had seen His glory and His miracles, yet, did not believe), and showed Caleb to believe, that work God has begun, He will be faithful to complete.

You could say Caleb was a horse of another color!

Let's Talk About the Power of Influence!

Picture this:
For 40 years Caleb is in the dismal desert, watching the people who believed the evil report die.

How sad, how dreary and unnecessarily tragic that would be.

How tempting it would be for the dying generation’s mentality to corrupt Joshua’s & Caleb’s mentality during that 40 years.

What about us? In a similar fashion, we all love and are connected to people who do not live by faith, and have a mentality that can compromise ours. You know Caleb (and Joshua) had to hear some trash talking. And it would have had to include his extended family members.

It is really hard to stand against that trash talking relative, friend, co-worker.

It is hard to not doubt, and not grow weary.

But, when we can be single-minded, and keep our eyes on the Promise Maker, and the Promise Keeper, we can choose to smile at their misguided beliefs. We can even have compassion on them, without compromising and joining them.

Instead of drying up in his spirit and then his body, Caleb stayed strong, valiant and healthy, because his focus was right. He was in the desert, but the desert was not in him.

He was already halfway in the Promised Land! His body had to go just to keep up with his mind & his spirit!

He knew he had giants to kill, and he expected to be killing them, he expected to be occupying and turning over territory to his seed.

Just like God promised.

Caleb & Joshua Influenced the New Generation! For him to stay strong, he had to keep speaking the promise of God. His speaking and Joshua’s speaking was what the new generation, the one which would go with them into the Promised Land were raised up and trained on. The generation which was promised entrance into the Promised Land, had to know their God. Know that He was and is a Mighty God, a God of great exploits, and to expect Him to move mightily both through and for them as they moved into the Promised Land. There had to be an expectancy for them to be sent, finally into the Promised Land, and to do battle and to destroy the enemy. Think about it, the generation would not have been equipped to go into the Promised Land, if they had not been trained to know their God. They had to know Him, and expect Him. The desert mentality could not seep into their consciousness or they would not be fit for the task. So part of Caleb’s job was to pass on the enthusiasm for His God and this wonderful land. (make known His deeds among the people, His exploits in the land). There had to be a looking forward to the battle mindset, so they would not faint. Only a passionate people would be able to sustain the battle. They had to be able to SEE the victory. That was a big part of Caleb’s job. And clearly he was successful. His training of the younger generation, kept him strong, it kept him focused. It helped him to tune out the dreary and tragic circumstances, and let the promises of God be more true and bigger on the inside of him. Proverbs tells us that the Word of God is health to our insides and strength to our bones. The opposite is in Prov 17 – a broken spirit dries up the bones. So, if we cling to God, bind ourself to His Word, our spirit stays strong, our vision true and clear, this impacts our spiritual and physical well-being.

QUESTION: We have to ask ourselves "Am I under the Influence? Or Am I Being the Influence?
***As I write these words today, Thursday, December 14th, 2007, I am struck with the strong impression that the answer better be that I am being the influence, BE the Salt and the Light, to whom much has been given, much is required. God is not pleased with those who shrink back, He desires us to share and be willing to trust in Him for GREATNESS!***

Proverbs tells us also, that we are not to move the boarder stones our fathers place

to mark our territory.

We must ask ourselves, what kind of boundary have we been diligent to set for our children and grandchildren to follow?

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Consider. Maybe really good and righteous in some areas, and not so good in others? That's how it is in my house! We diligently try day by day, some days we seem to fall so short, others, we feel glad for the progreee we have made! But we don't let a day go by that we don't pray, seek and do the best we know to do. We can't afford to waste a day! A day is a precious thing.

Let the Lord illuminate this for you and work with Him to move and redeem whatever needs His grace in this regard.

And I ask you, I come to encourage you to not be weary in well doing.

Do not be deceived by the circumstances of this world.

Remember the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, and we can have that and pass that on in all circumstances. We take that and we occupy those situations and territories and families that He has given us to cultivate and occupy in His Name


Stick with what the Word and your heart tells you!

The Inheritance of PEACE! PEACE for our children - PEACE for our grandchildren.

Caleb was faithful in those 40 years in the desert.

He kept his focus and maintained his walk with God, he lived in a state of expectancy of the goodness, power and faithfulness of God. He trained the next generation.

And then, at the appointed time, he made a stand on the promise of God, reminded God of His promise and went to claim that territory.

Remember that in vs 25, the scriptures make a point of stating that the land promised was occupied by giants and other enemies. God promised him the land, at a given time, and with the understanding that he would have to fight for it. It would not just be Caleb transported by the Spirit of God into the land and viola, the enemy is vanished. No, Caleb would have to fight, he would have to vanquish the enemy. And he did this! Joshua 14:15 tells us that after Caleb took the land and called it Hebron, "the land had rest from war". There is a peace that comes when we push out and destroy the enemy from the promised territory for our family.

There is a peace that can be the legacy we pass on to the next generation.

Think of it, the colonists fought the fight to banish England from the US. The next generation did not have taxation without representation! World War II, that wonderful generation set us free from a type of oppression Baby Boomers did not have to face again.

We won't see peace on Earth in this current age. But, sons and daughter of the God Who Reigns, we can seek Him, learn of Him, be changed by Him and pass on a peace filled legacy of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost!

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WHAT WILL BE OUR LEGACY? What is the promise God has put inside of us? Are we keeping our focus on that promise and on our God, His might, His goodness, mercy and faithfulness? What is the territory He has given us to take and to tend?

We know that never before have the generations been so deeply divided. I don't need to tell you, your hearts already break for division between families and generations.

We must ask ourselves why? Because the stakes are high.

We cannot afford to be intimidated by the giants of promiscuity, divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, of pornography, apathy, disrespect.

We can not afford to be intimidated by the electronic and technological nature of the way our seed is inclined. We must occupy, we must fight, we must love, we must NOT give up, we WILL win, we WILL occupy, we WILL pass on peace, peace that passes understanding.

OUR LEGACY MUST BE VICTORY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, JOY it is the desire and nature of God to see and to cause the succeeding generations to increase, one after the other. Look, from Adam to Seth, from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob. From Elijah to Elisha. David to Solomon. From Paul to Timothy.

If there is breath in our bodies there is time to make in impact. Don't sell short the power of prayer. Ask God for the opportunities everyday to occupy more territory and pass it on to your family!

Fix your eyes on the prize & run! Caleb's was a mountaintanous area. Look at that mountain in your life and go get it! Take out the enemy! We have the power in the Name of Jesus! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is Your Passion? Do You Overflow?

What is Your Passion?
Genesis 4:2-8 "2And [next] she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground.
4And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions.

And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering,
5But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard.

So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed.
6And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry?

And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?
7If you do well, will you not be accepted?
And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door;
its desire is for you, but you must master it.

8And Cain said to his brother, Let us go out to the field.
And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."
Romans 12:11
"11Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor;
be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord."

What's your frustration - About a year ago, in our ladies’ meeting,
Pastor Kathy asked us to consider what one thing we had been passionate about
during the past week. Passionate enough to be angry, frustrated,
maybe even to lose our cool over it.
This thing could even have gone so well that we experienced happiness and joy over it.
The question was such an eye opener for me.
For one, being a southern lady, lots and lots of emphasis on being nice
is just sort of absorbed by osmosis as you grow up, even into your twenties and thirties,
because lets be honest, we are not done growing up at 18.
Now at 42, I can see how much of a life long process that growing up thing is.
But, that's a whole other message!

The overrating of NICE - Isn't it true, Ladies?
When you think about it, don't you realize you know to be "nice"
and you can't even say how you know?
I know I can’t tell you how I know to be nice.
It really isn’t that I ever remember someone telling me,
"Maria, you are a lady, and ladies must be nice."
No, it was never anything like that.
Just something you pick up from listening and living and learning.
So, because of this whole “nice” thing,
a lot of times we have this vague feeling that to be frustrated or angry
is a bad thing, unfeminine, inappropriate,
and then, once you are saved, you often feel it may even not be Christ like.

Are you seeing why her question was so liberating to me?
I have not been able to let it go,
and I truly hope that God will allow me to keep this revelation,
and grow in it and share it with others, all my life.

Why was this question such a big deal?
In the first place,
when we believe we may be behaving inappropriately
in the feelings department,
we sometimes sort of try to gloss over what we are feeling.
We don’t really want to take that feeling and look at it
and figure out where that frustration, or anger or desire is coming from.

Dangerous to ignore - How many of us know by now,
that this will get us in trouble if we don’t deal with it a good way?
Even though it's not smart to ignore these feelings, many times we do.
Many times we miss discovering what the source of that frustration is,
by asking ourself some questions.

Ask the Question - When Pastor Kathy asked that question,
I did not have to think hard about what had been my source of agitation the past week.
It had to do with a situation, that I was indeed passionate about.
All of a sudden I realized, that no,
I was not behaving in a spoiled fashion,
I was not pouting, (not that I haven't on occasion).
But, rather I was feeling strongly motivated about a purpose that I was wired for!

Viewing the situation I had experienced that week
through those colored glasses,
took a load off my mind, renewed my focus on what was important
and even refreshed my zeal for the task.

Understanding that the whole point of my frustration
was a concern for my mission, my calling,
and wondering at the perceived obstacle and its impact,
gave me permission to feel irritation, as long as I handled it properly.
As long as I did not become pouty, manipulative, or disheartened.

The question of "what was my passion"
allowed me to perceive that my frustration did in fact have purpose.
And, since this occasion, I did not behave inappropriately (3 cheers!),
I was free now to keep moving forward,
and embrace that it is quite alright with Our Father, God to feel strongly on a subject.
He feels strongly about everything.
I believe He is pleased when we do as well.
People that are passionate are interesting.
They generally seem to be honest, because they just can’t help themselves.
I like that!

As I have thought about this over the past few weeks.
It has begun to soak its way into my being, my mind.
As I was reading a book recently, about what our Christianity means to our everyday life,
the author mentions how centuries ago, there was a class of Christians
who would wander the streets, flailing themselves with a whip or something like that,
to punish their body, which they had so many issues with,
and thought of as a hindrance to closeness to God.
They were misguided.
But here is what the author pointed out;
the times we live in, may seem just as strange,
when a future society reads about the accounts of marathon runners who punish their bodies with grueling daily jogs/runs, miles and miles long.

Epipheny - And all of a sudden I really couldn’t focus on the book at all anymore.
I really just started mentally considering how cool of a God we have,
that He has actually wired us each and every one to be so unique,
and in a truly unique fashion to be able to connect with Him,
and experience Him in a completely individual to us.

I know, I know, You are saying, Maria we all know this, Maria, this is Christianity 101.
And I just have to say, yeah, I know, I knew it, too,
but now I REALLY know it, in a brand new way.

I got so excited thinking about those
that are designed to meet with God on the early morning run,
seeing Him in the changing leaves, and the smiling faces of the people they will pass.

Or the way the guy out in his garage working on his car
will experience his growth, his zeal and his moment with God, when he gets the timing chain set just right!

I was so exhilarated to know that not only was it Ok,
that I am wired to study and write and teach,
and that everywhere I go, I see a principal at work or a lesson to learn,
or something that God is saying to the Body of Christ through the world around us.

All these things were great, but
it got even better,
when I put all that together
to realize that means
I can really learn to rest about everyone else’s faith in the orbit of my life.
The people that God has blessed me to share this journey with.
You know, Ladies...the ones we worry about!
No, their faith and my faith will never look exactly the same,
and sometimes our faiths may even look worlds and worlds apart,
but they can be, and I can be,
still fulfilling that upward in the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Work vs Serve -And this epiphany led me to this thought.
I have been studying Genesis in the early days, a lot for a project that I am working on.
Have you ever noticed there are times when your studies show up everywhere you look?
This study has been like that. Now, this whole thing with Cain and Abel. Very disturbing.
How does it pertain to us?
Well, I offer you this. Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Strong's Concordance indicates this word for the work he did implies, that Cain had a job,
he worked, he toiled.
It does not reflect a calling, any pleasure, or passion.

Abel on the other hand is said to have been a keeper of the sheep.
The wording implies a different picture, something he may have taken pleasure in.
Again, Strong's paints a picture for us. It's an act of service, rather than work.
Work implies a sense of “here we go, I have to do this, not gonna get done if I don’t, woe is me”.
Service implies, "I care for those I am serving, that's what makes it all worthwhile.
I am wired for this."

Ya' gettin' the subtle difference here?
Think of Paula Deen versus us when we are not in the mood to make dinner!
The attention to the little details that you are inclined to give,
when you are doing what you are made to do, what you are wired for.

You do a great job at the things you enjoy, that you like, that you care about.
The joy that your passion, or your goal gives you
makes you able to endure hardship and not give up hope.

Hebrews 12 tells us that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him.
In other words, He was created for a destiny, for a purpose.
He had an ultimate goal, that made Him able to endure the horror of living in a fallen earth,
and allowed himself to endure much abuse, much scorn, and even torture and death,
because He had His eyes on the prize.

Oh, that we could get our eyes so fixed on the prize that we would not lose our joy,
that we would serve unfailingly, that we would not be weary in well doing,
for in due season we will reap a harvest, IF WE FAINT NOT!

See, the "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to work we go!" is more the mind set of Abel,
not so much Cain.
Cain and Abel show us what happens in the Body of Christ
when we are not in our correct position.
I submit to you, we are none wired for something that will be a drudgery for us.
whatever God has set us apart to do, will allow us to flow in the anointing.

Yes, it will require effort, and seeking and depending on Him.
But it will be satisfying and the result will be a life that overflows.

Remember that Jesus says in John 10:10 – we all know this, "the thief cometh not, but for to steal, kill and destroy, I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly," . That word means, overflowing, superabundance.

Abel’s care of the sheep, his tending of the sheep resulted in an overflow,
where he gave back to God from the best that he had.
It's like that when you enjoy what you do, when it is an act of love.
Because, when you love what you do, you want to SHARE it, it just cannot be contained.

Cain, on the other hand -his work of tilling the land,
his "have to get this done" mentality resulted in a grudging gift of obligation to the Lord.
This was more of a leftover sort of thing, not an overflow.
It was more of "Let’s see what I can live with out,
I have to give something, and this doesn’t look like it will make much of a meal.
It will make a good offering, He doesn’t need this anyway,
what is the point of whatever small thing I have?
(Can't you just hear God saying - "You know - you just keep that, don't do me any favors, son.")
Cain continues - What I have is so hard to come by,
I don’t think He would want me to just give it to be burned."
When we dread what we do, we are not honoring God,
and we are cheating ourselves out of a fulfilling, overflowing life.

When we perform our work, rather than performing a service, an act of love,
there is no joy set before us.
Judas, worked, Judas grudged, Judas betrayed.
Cain worked, Cain grudged, Cain betrayed.

Here is what Cain could have given...

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Left overs -Instead Cain gave the left over. This is what the word study implies.
The wording of Cain's giving compared to Abel's shows right off the top giving (Abel)
as compared to bottom of the barrel giving (Cain).

This would be more like Cain's gift...
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Drudgery vs servanthood - See how the mentality of drugery "have to get this done"
marks every area of our life?
When we do not find or pursue our passion,
we not only will not get to hear “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.
But, we also become dangerous,
because that part of us that is unfulfilled, then jealously watches others’ successes,
and wants that success, that favor of God for ourselves.
We begrudge someone else’s success, the fruit of their labor of love.
Pursuing our Passion - But, when we find our passion, Look out!
Our biggest danger then, is to the enemy!
Look at little David, he was such a good son, such a good shepherd.
He was prepared through his labor of love, in so many ways, for the next steps of his life. Because he embraced his calling, he was ready when it was time
to serve his father and brothers and bring the food to the troops, and get a report for his Father.

This preparation put him him in the path of his destiny,
and he was ready mentally, physically and spiritually for the confrontation with Goliath.
God was personal to him.
The same God who gave him strength as a shepherd,
and helped him in all those ordinary battles,
would now give the victory over the real battle in his life!

Everything in his ordinary life,
was practice for this and future battles,
and shepherding of his mighty men and kingdom.
It was unthinkable that an “uncircumcised Philistine”
be permitted to slander the Name of the Most High,
the same who was his daily and nightly companion.

He was ready when time came for him to care for the down trodden,
the oppressed people who came to him and he was able to shepherd them.
He was then ready to be King, because of his many, many years of preparation.

Do it with your heart! Whatever you do, do with zeal. Do it with your heart!
If there is no zeal, pray, seek God, miss a meal or two.
Ask Him to let you see what you do with a fresh sense of purpose,
to be useful to Him.
Or to redirect you day by day, until you can begin to see that yes, you have begun to overflow.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Introduction to A Study of the Preparation of Esther

Two years ago I woke up one night with a strong urge to read and study the Book of Esther, immediately. I did, and it was so rewarding. I feel impressed to share with you what I found, and I also will be studying and sharing more, as I am sure there is much more to be found.

Before we get into to the study, I want to explain a couple of things, including why we should be interested.

  • First of all, when we go to the Word of God, we must come expectantly, and in an attitude of utter dependance on The Holy Spirit. John 14:26 "But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you." Amplified Bible.
  • Secondly, the Word is meant to be considered as layer, upon layer of meaning. Considering we can trust The Holy Spirit to teach us, and there are so many layers to the Word, I ask you to be open to the possibilities that Esther is a picture of several things in the eyes of students of the Word. But, for this study, I want to focus on Esther as picture or a "type" of the Body of Christ corporately and individually, as we who make up the Body of Christ.

The first part is a little studious, but if you will trust God to guide and be willing to press through, it is more enlightening and uplifting on the other side of the studious part. If you hang in there, I don't think you will be disappointed. As I learn how to bring my documents over from Word and adapt them for blog enjoyment, I expect to learn how to make it more fun and easy to read. So, pray for me, to get better at this, and I will pray for you to get all the richness of His Word you desire!

Esther's Preparations to Meet The Mighty - The Place, Means and Purpose of Her (& Our) Preparation

NOTE: Parentheses indicate Strong’s translation for certain key words. What is in PINK italics is the actual KJV scripture, and the parentheses indicate Strong’s translation of the preceding word. ** indicates this is the use of a word that is unique to Esther.

In Chapter 2:3 it is decided “3And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan (Place in Persia, to be bright, cheerful, be glad, make mirth, rejoice, joy, lily {because of whiteness} straight, trumpet {because of a straight, trumpet shaped flower}) the palace,(castle or palace) to the house of the women, unto the **custody (the open hand – indicating the power of) of Hege (Enuch) the king's chamberlain, (enuch, valet of female apartments) keeper (to hedge about, keep, protect, attend, preserve, to guard, watch, wait for, save) of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: “. This pleased the King & so it was done. In vs 9 we see that Esther pleased Hege and he “speedily” (which means to tremble inwardly, to palpitate, to be suddenly alarmed or agitated, to hasten anxiously, to be amazed, to thrust out) gave her all that she needed for purification plus seven maidens. Hmmm…Following in vs 12, we see:

Esther 2:12Now when every maid’s (from child to adolescent) turn (succession, sent to be excellent) was come (to lay hand on, a euphemism for “to lie w/a woman”, to reach, to arrive violently, to defeat, to destroy, to be able, to beat, bring down, cast, draw near, to join, to reach up) to go into King Ahasuerus (The Mighty) after (extremity, finite progress, the end) that she had been 12 months according to the **manner (a royal edict or statute, law or decree, commandment) of the women, [for so were the days of their purifications (rubbed with perfumery, for unction, consecratory gift, to be anointed) accomplished (to be full, satisfy, confirm, consecrate, to be at an end, expire, have wholly, replenish, overflow) to wit, six months with oil (to make shiny with richness, fruitful) of myrrh (distilling, bitter) & six months with sweet (fragrance, spicery, from the balsam plant) odours (same as sweet meaning) and with other things (words, matter, cause) for the **purifying (scouring w/soap or perfume for the for the bath or purification or cleansing, to shine, to sharpen, to polish, to make bright) of the women.

THE GOOD PART: In other words as we try to assimilate the Strong’s translation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit – we could say it this way:

  • Queen Vashti was put aside for disobeying the King, (whose name means The Mighty).

  • A royal decree went out for all the fair young virgins to be gathered to the Palace Shushan (the palace of lily white brightness, straight, joy, mirth making, cheerfulness)

  • under the authority of Hege the King’s chamberlain (who does nothing of himself, but always acts on the King’s behalf),

  • for Hege to hedge in, protect, save, attend, preserve, watch, wait for, the women.

  • Esther found favor with Hege & he speedily (with a sense of urgency & expectancy you could say)

  • gave her what she needed for purifications, along with seven maidens for her.

  • She was purified (so as to polish, to shine, to sharpen & cleanse) & anointed (made to shine, consecrated with oil of myrrh {used for embalming [death to the flesh] & used as sweet fragrance preceding intimacy})

  • & sweet odors (fragrant perfume of the balsam),

  • prior to reaching up, when her turn came to be sent to be excellent was come, to join, to lie with,

  • to have intimacy with the Mighty

  • & to be able to destroy, to cast, to bring down through this intimacy.

  • Meaning her time of purification was accomplished, had been fully satisfied, had reached its full end, had been replenished.

  • And the King loved Esther above all others & he set the royal crown on her head, & made her Queen. And the King made a feast in her honor & gave gifts.

More Plain English, Please! I see here a picture:

  • Of the Mighty (The Lord Our God) putting away Vashti (Israel) {in no way a picture of Israel being abandoned by God, that will NEVER HAPPEN, Romans shows us there is a season where those outside (Gentiles ) are invited in, 'grafted into the vine', eventually Israel will be reconciled as a whole, in the meantime individual reconciliation occurs}

  • & calling the Church (represented by fair young virgins) into the palace Shushan, which is a picture of the Kingdom of God. It is named for its lily white brightness & straightness (representing righteousness) and also, it’s cheerfulness, joy, & mirth making. (Romans 14:17 “For the Kingdom of God is not meat & drink; but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”).

  • The Church is sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph, 1 & 4), who leads us into all truth and tells us only things pertaining to God, never directing attention to himself (he is a enuch), which is reflected in Hege’s care for the “fair, young virgins”, his authority in the keeping of them, and his call to “keep” them through waiting for them, watching them, saving, hedging in, protecting & preserving them.

  • This is all done while they are purified by scouring, cleansing, polishing, shining, to be made bright, by the use & rubbing in of oil of myrrh (to symbolize death to the flesh & preparation for intimacy with the Mighty) & sweet odors, so that we become the fragrance of Christ among the lost and are ready to meet (rapture) the Mighty King & reach up to join with Him, to be able to cast, to destroy, to beat through our intimacy (all the strong holds of the enemy!).

  • Once the Church’s time of preparation has been completed, expired, reached its full end. At which time, if we have been obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit we will find favor with our King & receive our crown of righteousness & have the marriage feast.
  • The appointment of the seven maidens by Hege (who is clearly a type of the Holy Spirit) to assist Esther in her preapartions, pointed to the seven-fold wisdom of God, which we have through the Holy Spirit.

We know the Lord is faithful and merciful & I believe He is calling us to help prepare the part of the Body of Christ which we are called to teach & minister to (women). Here is something I wrote several years ago that I think pertains to the call God is sending out:

  • We know from God’s Word that Jesus is coming back for a Church “without spot or wrinkle” and that this occurs through “the washing of the water” (The Holy Spirit) “by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26-27).

  • God’s Spirit is able to go to work in our lives when His Word is proclaimed. For example John the Baptist was the forerunner for the arrival of The Messiah. His job was to make straight the way and to prepare people to receive Jesus. He prepared people by proclaiming the Word of God through prophesy, reminding people of the need for repentance and reminding people of what the prophets had written in the Old Testament.

  • Then came Jesus Christ, The Beloved Messiah, The Word of God (John 1:14). We know from Jesus’ own words that is was necessary for Him to come, obtain our salvation and break the curse; and then leave for us to be able to receive The Holy Spirit, who would
  • 1 be the “Comforter”, would
  • 2 “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”,be
  • 3 The “Spirit of Truth”,
  • 4 be our “guide into all truth”,
  • 5 “show you things to come”,
  • 6 He shall “glorify” the Lord by “showing ” of the Lord “unto you”.