The cost of inaction
Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, “All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come into the king these thirty days.”
And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
While I was still in the brainstorming process of the verse map journal, I had some major freak out moments. I felt so inadequate to accomplish what I knew God was calling me to do. I reached out to a close friend and asked her to pray for me. Very simply, she said, “Have faith like Esther.” Her simple, straightforward response has stuck with me all this time.
Here’s the thing, Esther risked her life. I have so much awe and respect for her courage and boldness. She acted in the face of fear and uncertainty. And here I was, not risking my life but rather a little pride and embarrassment. Esther seemed so much braver than I could ever be. But you know what, Esther was scared, too. In fact, she almost talked herself out of going before the king. She needed some tough love. She needed a dose of reality. She needed to understand the consequences of her inaction. It was Mordecai who warned her of this grave truth; her lack of action would cost her, her family, and her people. This was the truth Esther needed to hear to propel herself forward, and I think it’s an important one for all of us to be reminded of as well. There is a cost to our inaction. When we don’t act on the things God is calling us to, it will cost us, our family and our people. The impact is always felt far beyond just ourselves.
What is the cost of inaction in your life? Maybe it’s costing you personal joy. It’s hard to be fulfilled and content when we aren’t being doers of the things God is placing on our hearts. But what if there is a bigger price being paid? What if it’s affecting your family? Maybe it’s costing your family a blessing. Maybe the impact of inaction is reaching your community, your church, or the kingdom of God as a whole.
I’d like to take a moment and be your Mordecai, if I may. It is a challenging position because my nature is one of encouragement and acceptance and all the hugs. But it’s important to understand that when we don’t move on the things God is calling us to, we let down God, we let down ourselves and we even let down those around us. God is always ready to use our situation and our circumstances for His purpose but only when we are willing to take action. When we are unwilling, we become like tasteless salt, useless (Matthew 5:13).
We must remember that the experiences and opportunities we are granted are not solely for our sake but for the sake of God’s kingdom. It is amazing when you think about God’s kingdom and how it is packed full of ripple effects. How small endeavors can have great, life changing impact far beyond what we could ever imagine. But good intentions don‘t cause ripples! Only action does!
By nature, we can become so self-centered that we think our disobedience is a personal problem but friend, we need to understand that it’s a kingdom issue. We believe our inaction is only hurting ourselves but there is so much more at stake, so many more people that will be affected. Who is God trying to reach through you? Even if you don’t understand the scope of His plan, I promise it goes beyond just you...it always does.
Is action hard? It can be. Is it scary? Sometimes. Is it uncertain? Yeah, it often is. Does it take faith? Absolutely! It can be hard to see past the cost of obedience, the fear or discomfort we may have to experience. But the price that is paid when we neglect to act is considerably greater, I promise.
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
There is nothing we can do to thwart the plan of God. Thankfully, we are not that powerful. However, when we don’t act, He finds someone else who will. God will accomplish His program with or without us. This is a hard truth to swallow. The Bible says God is actively looking for faithful people whose hearts are fully committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). Are you willing to idly sit by as the Lord searches for someone else? I hope not! I hope you realize that there is a reason you are where you are. There is purpose that goes beyond just yourself. There is something that you are being called to do. I pray that you will start making ripples in the kingdom and that the cost of inaction will be more than you’re willing to pay.
Digging Deeper: What do you need to take action on now? Are you sitting on something that is robbing a blessing from others?
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