Text: Esther 4:10-17

Title: "Experiencing God's Vision For Your Life"

Subject: That God has a destiny for your life.

Intro: The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

Let me ask you a personal question. Do you have a sense of destiny, a personal vision of what God desires to accomplish in your life, your marriage, your family, and this church? Have you picked out a point on God's horizon, and set your path toward that goal even if the creek overflows? Do you see the continuing flow of daily circumstances in light of your ultimate goal, and not, as the "daily grind" or "why me"? Unfortunately, most folk's vision of their purpose in life is no larger then their bathroom mirror. And what they see is what they get!

The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

Our example in this, as in all of life, is Jesus Christ. In Isa. 50:7 He said, "For the Lord God will help Me...therefore have I set My face like a flint..." (toward the cross). Heb. 12:2 tells us to "Look[ing] unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..." (beyond the cross). Jesus, the man, had that overriding vision that eclipsed and overruled all other plans and desires, and brought them into conformity to the greater destiny of God.

The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."

We see this idea of destiny or vision at work, in the life of a beautiful Jewish maiden who went into captivity in Babylon. Though it broke her heart to be a captive, she soon became content "staring into her bathroom mirror," just as she had done in Israel. Then, through a providential turn of events, this maiden became queen of Persia, though her Jewish background was kept secret. Now, instead of a "humble bathroom mirror," she stared into the "royal bathroom mirror," surrounded with every "thing" a person could dream of! You see, she had the blessing of God back in Israel, she had felt the chastisement of God in captivity, and now she had every material thing a person could desire in the palace, but she had no vision, no sense of her destiny. And "where there is no vision, the people perish...." And so, a decree was sent out that on a certain day that all the Jews in all the kingdom, were to be killed. This left the maiden in the position of being the only Jew who had access to the king, and could, therefore, intercede for her people. But she was unaware of her destiny until her uncle sent a copy of the king's "death decree" upon her people. Would she stay at "the mirror," or would see the vision for her life that God had planned from the very beginning?

Esther 4:10-17--"Experiencing God's Vision For Your Life"--prayer

to experience God's vision for your life, you must....

I. SEE (heartfelt) THE DECREES OF DEATH (3:8,9,13; 4:1-2, 4)

A. Satan's Death Decree

1. Against God's obedient children (Mordeca-i (3:1-2); Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the furnace; David in the lion's den; John the Baptist in the prison; the unknown of Hebrews chapt. 11 in the fields, and Jesus Christ on the cross, to name a few.)

a. Satan wants to undermine your faith in God. "Has God said?" "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" 1 Peter 5:8

B. The World's Death Decree

1. Against God's compromising children.

a. The world wants to destroy your resolve.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4

1) What is it the world has given or offered that has stolen God's vision for your life? (material? religious? prominence?)

C. God's Death Decree Against the Lost

Note: Do you realize that a "death decree" has been signed, sealed and delivered against those of you who have not accepted God's gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ? That's right, you are predoomed, you are predamned to an eternal Hell! Turn to Jn. 3:18. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"

Note: If you are lost, your destiny/vision should be to come to Christ. If you are saved, your destiny is to live beyond the reach of Satan, live above the call of the world, and live to tell others of pardon in Christ.

to experience God's vision for your life, you must realize....

II. YOU ARE HERE TO SERVE THE KING (v11a) ("servants")

Note: Our context is talking about the king of Persia/Babylon. That was their king--Jesus Christ is our king!!

Christ Has the Right to Demand Your Involvement in His Purpose! (v11c)

1. Christ made you, saved you, sanctifies you & will glorify you! The condition of your body, the destiny of your soul, and the enlightenment of your spirit are in the hands of Christ!

a. Therefore, you cannot serve Christ by being fearful (v11a)

1) She feared for the life Christ had given her??? (divine

b. You cannot serve Christ by being neutral (v11c) irony)

1) Esther lived in the palace, but she didn't want to approach the king. She feared one whom Christ had set on the throne???

c. You cannot serve Christ by being satisfied with yourself

(v13)

1) Esther thought she was safe in the palace, but the only safe place to be is in the center of God's will and Christ's purpose

Note: We must move from the comfortable image in our "bathroom mirror" to the greater eternal vision God has for our lives. It is a choice of your will! "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

You are here to serve the King. Is your life, marriage, family, church service ordered after your destiny in Christ, or are you line-dancing (going nowhere) to the world's fiddle?

to experience God's vision for your life, you must realize....

III. YOU ARE HERE TO FEAR THE KING (v11b)

Christ has a Right to Expect Deep Reverence & Respect

1. His holiness vs our sinfulness demands our reverence

"God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him." Psa 89:7

Fear Him because you must...

A. Be Called or Be Killed (v11) (law of death = 10 Command.)

1. All are called to repentance & faith in Christ

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13

2. Or killed by the penalties of God's Law

a. The 10 Command. are not a "way to God." You won't keep them: you can't keep them: you never will keep them! They are the "way" to Christ and His death on your behalf!

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24

Fear Him because you must..

B. Be Called and Be Accepted (v11) (golden sceptre)

1. All are called to repentance & faith in Christ

2. And be Accepted

a. Acceptance is in the Sceptre ("rod, staff")

"I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel..." Num 24:17

Fear Him because you may...

C. Be Called and Be Self Deceived (v13) ("that thou shall escape")

1. All are called to repentance & faith in Christ

2. Found to be Deceived

"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven...And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt.7:21-23

to experience God's vision for your life, you must realize....

IV. YOU ARE HERE TO GIVE ACCOUNT TO THE KING (v13)

Christ has the Right to Receive an Account of Your Stewardship

1. All we have is His, all we are is His, all we do is His

A. Think About It ("think not with thyself")

1. Mordeca-i said to Esther, "think!" consider! Don't kid yourself

"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom 14:12

B. Prepare for it ("no escape")

"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." 1 Peter 1:17

1. You can't prepare to stand before Christ by staring into the bathroom mirror! Your vision must extend beyond self!

to experience God's vision for your life, you must realize....

V. YOU ARE HERE TO TESTIFY OF THE KING (v14)

Christ has the Right to Expect to be Glorified (made known)

A. You are Not Here to "Hold Your Peace"

1. I wonder how much eternal damage that has been wrought in others lives because we held our peace?

B. You Are Responsible For Your Generation --Right now ("if thou; at this time")

1. Your vision should be for your generation

a. Vision of enlargement = "respite, relief"

b. Vision of deliverance = "deliverance/salvation"

2. If you refuse to leave the bathroom mirror, your destiny will be fulfilled from another place (God will not fail, even if you do!)

C. You Are Responsible For Your Family's Spiritual Condition ("thou and thy father's house")

1. Serve the King, or wither and die spiritually

D. You Are Responsible For Your Own Spiritual Insight (14d)

1. Who knows? God knows! (But you should have a clue!!)

Note: God's providence has brought you to this time. God's purpose is to be fulfilled through you. God's design is to bring about success. But God's plan is often unknown until the thing is accomplished. "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9 Here is your destiny!

to experience God's vision for your life, you must realize....

VI. YOU ARE HERE TO SEEK THE KING'S WILL (v16)

Christ has the Right to Expect to be Consulted

A. By Being in One Accord with the Saints ("gather together")

1. In worship, fellowship, soul-winning

B. To Fast/Pray With the Saints

1. In the public places (Shushan palace) (Heb. 10:25)

2. In the private places (Col. 2:5)

C. To Determine To Do the King's Will ("I will go in")

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)

D. To Endure Persecution ("if I perish, I perish")

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Tim. 3:12

Note: We often shrink in the face of peril or loss, or we think we are excused from service if danger is involved.

Concl: What is your vision, your destiny before God for you, your marriage, your family, this church? Is it part and parcel of all that God is doing, or are you content to linger before your bathroom mirror? Self-centered or God-centered? It is time to look out and up to the greater glory of Christ. How to experience God's vision for your life?

#1. Realize the death decrees affect every man/woman/child you come in contact with. #2. Realize you are here to serve the King, and so arrange your priorities. #3. Realize you are here to fear the King, and conduct your worship. #4. Realize that you will give an account to the King, and thus consider your ways #5. Remember that you are here to testify of the King, and so reflect on your witness. #6. Realize you are here to seek the King's will first and foremost, and so, set aside self.

First, are you called and accepted in Christ? Are you saved?

Second, do you have a vision of God's destiny for you or has sin muddied the waters? Repent and confess today. 

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