I am studying the book of Esther with a fun, wonderful group of women I serve with on a weekly basis. We gather after we serve, share a meal, and dig into scripture to learn from God, but to also learn from one another. Sharing and learning God’s word together is a beautiful thing, but as I learn with this group of women, I feel so blessed to share in God’s word and to share in their lives.
In the book of Esther, we discover she is Jewish. She was orphaned at a young age and raised by her uncle in the kingdom of Persia. Through a series of events, the Persian King exiles his wife, orders young women to his court to search for a new queen, and chooses Esther. Esther has kept her Jewish heritage a secret as requested by her uncle. Through a series of events, the King is seeking to annihilate the entire Jewish people in the Persian empire. In verse 14 of chapter 4, Esther’s uncle poses this question to Esther, “And who knows but that you(Esther) have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Basically, what are you, Esther, going to do to help your people?
When I read that verse my first thought was, where does my allegiance lie? What would I chose to do in the same situation? Then I began to think more about my life, how I act, the words I speak, the choices I make; do others see Christ in me?
I looked up the definition of allegiance. The Free Dictionary defines it two ways:
The act of binding yourself to a course or action, and
The loyalty that citizens owe to their country.
As a Christ follower my citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3:20) When I accepted Christ, I was sealed by the Holy Spirit and given the power to stand firm in my faith. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) Sealed and bound to Christ. Forever. I like the image this creates in my mind. It gives me confidence and strength to stand firmly upon the foundation of my faith.
I read an article today on CNN about Meriam Yahia Ibrahim (click here for article). A Sudanese woman who is a Christian, in a Muslim country, pregnant, and in prison because she is unwilling to renounce her faith in Jesus. She has been sentenced to death for her “crimes.” Meriam has aligned herself with Jesus and choses to stand firm on His promises no matter the cost.
Sometimes the cost to follow Christ can be great. It can take a life. For me, my life is not at stake, but as I seek to follow Jesus, sometimes difficult decisions need to be made. Do I follow the crowd or will I go the way He leads? I wish my life to reflect my love for Jesus and His love for me.
Where does your allegiance lie? Is the world pulling at you? As a Christ follower, will you proclaim today to stand firmly upon your faith and follow Jesus no matter the cost?