18 January 2016

More Worthy

The story of Esther's reign begins with the end of Vashti's.  Take a look with me at what reduced the worth of one and increased the worth of another. 

The king sat on his royal throne, in the kingdom where he reigned. He gave a banquet for those who regularly spent time in his presence. Here, he displayed the riches of his royal glory, and the splender of his majesty, for many days.

Then, he gave a second banquet. This one for all the people, from the greatest to the least, inviting them into the garden court of his palace. He served the royal wine in a variety of golden vessels. No one was compelled to receive more than he desired, but he could have as much as he liked, for the wine was plentiful from the kings' bounty.

The queen, having full access to the king's bounty, also gave a banquet for all the women in the palace. These, were those who spent time in her presence. She spent many days serving in her area of the palace.

On the 7th day, the king desired to have his bride come into his presence. He wanted her to come wearing her royal crown. He wanted display her beauty to all those who were in the house. But, the queen was busy with her own banquet and refused to come before her bridegroom.

The queen is Vashti.

So often, when we look at this story, our attention is focussed on Esther, as "another, more worthy than she (Vashti)". But, let's back track a bit, and do a little role play, as we look at the first chapter of the story, in first person. Jesus is King. "You" are the golden vessels and "I" am Vashti".

Now, in the days that Jesus walked the earth, He brought His kingdom with Him, everywhere He went. It seemed like an endless banquet to those who were in the house. He displayed the riches of His glory, and the splender of His majesty, in the lives of all who came near, to share in His presence.

When His days on earth were complete, He gave another banquet that continues to this day. This time, it is not just for those in the house but, includes outsiders, as well.

As this banquet is reaching it's peak of divine pleasure, you have been filled with the royal wine of the kingdom. That is, Holy Spirit. The Royal Wine continues to flow plentiful from the King's bounty, into your unique, gold form. Anyone may drink from you. No one is under compulsion. Each one is free to drink according to his own desires.

I too, am giving a banquet. You see, when I was chosen to be queen, I became worthy to access the King's bounty, in all it's fullness. The King Himself provided those who are regularly in my royal presence. It is my great pleasure to prepare and serve this banquet for them. This is a royal opportunity that only I have ~ to serve those who serve me.

I have heard the call of the King. He desires my presence, but I am very busy with these people that He has so kindly given to me. Surely, He doesn't want me to leave this place of royal service ~ right now, does He?

He has requested that I wear my royal crown. He wants everyone to know who I am. But, how can I properly serve the wine while being distinguished from the rest?

The call comes with more emphasis. He wants to display my beauty! What? Doesn't He know that there are more important things to be done? I haven't got time to don my royal crown and be put on display. I'm busy! I am the wife of the King!

If you don't know the end of the story, I'll share it with you.

My refusal to come into the presence, of my beloved, has revealed to Him (and to those in my own presence) the value that I place on our relationship. My refusal to wear my defining crown of royalty has stolen the awareness that the wine of plenty flows from the bounty of the King. My contempt for being displayed as the King's masterpiece has hidden the beauty of all His creation. What can He do, except give my royal position to another, who is more worthy than I?

Repentance is a beautiful thing

Repentance is the act of coming into agreement with God. You change your mind (and your behavior) to that of God. There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold ALL things become new. We have an advocate with the Father Who is Jesus the Christ. If we don't do what we know is right, we can come into agreement with God concerning that, and He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If you are in Christ, all things have been made new. You have become "another, more worthy" to come into the presence of your Bridegroom, more worthy to wear the royal crown that defines you as His Bride, and more worthy to be displayed as He very own Masterpiece.

You alone have the opportunity to reveal the value of divine relationship, to display the plenty of the King's bounty, and to expose the beauty of all of His glorious creation. 

Let's return to the story

Allow me to introduce myself. "My name is Esther. I am the beloved of the King. His desire, is for me to be with Him,  adorned with the crown He has placed on my head. He takes pleasure in making sure that others know I am His queen, and He calls me beautiful.

I come running when He calls, and often when He doesn't. I invite Him to my banquet, where I can freely lavish my adoration on Him. I wear my crown with honor and take my seat with dignity. He has chosen me as worthy to rule and reign with Him. 

In our lives we seemlessly move from purpose to purpose and place to place. In one moment we are the gold vessel pouring forth the royal wine. In the next, we are the queen being beconned by the King. Still, in another, we find ourselves as the other players in the story - being served by the very royalty we are called to attend.
How often have we been Vashti? Too busy to respond to the desire of our King, the very Lover of our soul?
If you find yourself identifying with Vashti and the business of your position in the kingdom, today, you can choose to become Esther.

"You...have attained royalty
for such a time as this..."
Esther 4:16
With His Heart,

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