What do we do when God calls us, and right before or after we step out in obedience, God says “Not yet?” Here’s the third installment of my Esther series.
In the first part of this five-part blog series, we see how character place a crucial role in God’s calling. You can read about it here.
In the second installment, we see that challenges are not necessarily indicators of not being where God wants us to be, and we read here about how Esther responded to the challenge she faced when she was already where God wanted her to be.
In this third post, we see that there is a right time for everything. Sometimes God plants a seed in our hearts and we become so excited to move forward to a new season, a new marching order. It is exciting when God allows you to smell what He’s brewing! But just like a fruit that is not yet ready for the picking, God tells us, “not yet.” Sometimes after we have stepped out in obedience after He says “go,” we encounter what seems to be delays; God is telling us to wait yet again.
The Story & My Thoughts
4:11 It is unacceptable to go to the king without being summoned by him. The law is that they will be put to death unless the king spares their lives.
5:1 Esther went to the inner court, ie, to the king, without being summoned.
5:2 The king was pleased with her and spared her life.
5:3 The king asked what was her request and said that even up to half of the kingdom will be given to her.
Recall that Mordecai and the others, together with Esther, prayed and fasted for this moment—to receive the king’s favor, for the king to spare her life when she approaches the king. Answered prayer. God pulls through for Esther.
5:4 use of the right words, “if it pleases the king”
5:4 first banquet (king, Haman, Esther)
5:7 use of the right words, “if the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king…”
5:8 request for second banquet (king, Haman, Esther)
I don’t know why Esther didn’t ask for it yet and let two opportunities pass, when the king has shown so much favor to her already and asked her twice what she wanted, that even up to half of the kingdom will be given to her. With those words of the king, he would have been obliged to give whatever Esther asked. He said so himself in 5:6. God has already pulled her through. Surely it will happen again.
Perhaps it was not yet time? As I’ve heard countless times, “A good decision at the wrong time can be as dangerous as a bad decision.” Perhaps God told her as she prayed and fasted, “Not yet. Not yet.”
We need to inquire of God every step of the way before moving a step beyond what He has previously asked us to take. As we look back, we get to then understand His perfect timing.
In Esther’s story, something happens before the second banquet that helped me understand why it was a “not yet” for Esther before then. Read the fourth installment of this blog series here.
I am the author of the book, When God Could’ve But He Didn’t. I am the happy wife of my happy husband, Pao. As I write this, both of us are happily hoping for at least two more children. I’m excited that the first paperback edition of my book is going to be available soon!