In the spectacular story of Esther, the courage and faith of her uncle, Modecai, is often overlooked. Like Esther, he was also a hero of faith who stood boldly for the Lord. There are several thoughts regarding Modecai’s refusal to bow down to the Prime Minister, Haman. One is that the Persian custom of bowing to the king was the same as paying homage to a divine being. Another view is that the Jews had a history of not bowing to their captors when in exile. Whatever, Modecai’s perspective, it is clear that he took a stand (literally) for his faith in the one God, Jehovah.
I’m not much of a student of the laws of physics, but it doesn’t take much of a student to understand that where there is no resistance, there is no pressure. And that same law could apply to our spiritual lives as well—where there is no resistance to sin (that is, when we disobey), there is no challenge to obedience. There are no challenges…
- when you allow fear to immobilize you
- when you allow peer pressure to compromise you
- when you allow your culture to conform you
- when you allow ignorance to stupefy you
- when you allow apathy to pacify you.
But, I think better of you. I believe you are ready to accept the challenges that come with obedience. I believe you want your life to have a bold impact for God like Mordecai’s… and that you want to become a man of godly influence. With God’s help (and that’s what it will take) you are ready to be used in powerful ways by God.
Here then are a few suggestions that will help you develop a life of influence and lasting impact:
Step 1: Realize that God’s Word is God’s Word to you. As an excuse for disobedience, some people say, “If God would speak to me in a vision like He did to Moses or Paul, then I would obey.” But friend, God has revealed Himself to us! God has revealed Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in His Word, the Bible. Let’s stop making excuses and start obeying God’s Word.
Step 2: Realize what God’s commands are and obey them. What kind of commands? Commands like…
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1).
“Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully” (Ephesians 4:25).
“Husbands, love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25).
“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Step 3: Constantly seek God’s strength to follow through on His commands. “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10 nasb). What God expects you to do, He also enables you to do. The strength comes from Him. You just need a willing heart.
Step 4: Repent when you have disobeyed God’s standards. God is not asking you to be perfect, but He is asking you to progress and grow in maturity. God uses pure vessels. So…
- keep a clean slate with God,
- acknowledge your sin,
- accept the forgiveness God offers, and
- move on boldly for God.
Step 5: Rejoice in even the smallest victories. No war is ever won in one battle. And neither is your war against the challenge to obedience. Spiritual growth happens one step at a time, one victory at a time. So thank God even for the smallest of victories in Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24).
As I’ve said before, it all comes down to this: An influential life for God is dependent on an obedient life to God.
Question: What challenge are you ready to embrace this week knowing that God enables you to overcome?
For more insight into the biblical heroes of faith, pick up my easy guide, 10 Minutes to Knowing the Men & Women of the Bible.