The Bible has different ways of expressing time in various passages. Today as we read the story of Esther, we look at chronos time versus kairos time. If you are driving through a big city, it may take 20 minutes as you stop at stop lights and crosswalks in between moving from block to block. This would be the duration of time - chronos time - that you are driving through the city. But if you suddenly stop because a pedestrian runs in front of you and a significant encounter takes place, this would be a kairos moment in time.
CHRONOS: A chronological duration of time. John 5:6, Acts 1:21-22, Acts 19:21-22
KAIROS: A moment in time. Colossians 4:5, Acts 24:25, Esther 4:14; a decisive point in time when there is a supernatural alignment between the heart of God and your heart for the purpose of accomplishing His kingdom purposes.
Some Kairos moments in your life may be your first date, the death of a loved one, winning an award, etc. These can be exciting, meaningful, or tragic points when something significant occurs that can change the course of your life.
Today could be just another day, or it could be a kairos day - it’s 100% up to you.
The challenge of today is to be courageous and to step into your kairos moment. If you have become complacent or lukewarm or you have veered off-course, don’t be content to simply continue the way your life has been going. Don’t agree to carry the same burdens, stay in the same broken relationship with the person you’ve been dating, or put up with the same criticisms that drag you down. Today could be just another day, or it could be a kairos day - it’s 100% up to you.
In our story today, Ahasuerus is King of Persia. Everything has been going very well for him, so there is a major celebration and feast lasting many days, but when he summons his queen to present herself to the party, she refuses. Not wanting to perpetuate the model of disrespect, the king rejects her and essentially his servants call for a beauty contest to take place after 12 months of the beautification of the virgin contestants throughout his kingdom, after which he will choose his new queen.
A young Jewish woman named Esther, who was being raised by her uncle, Mordecai, was taken into the palace to be groomed as a potential queen, but her Jewish heritage was not revealed. When her turn came to be presented to the king, the king loved her above all the other women and chose Esther to be his queen.
Around this time, the king had also promoted one of his officials, Haman, above all the other princes who were with him and commanded that everyone bow and pay homage to Haman. However, Mordecai was discovered not to bow to Haman because he was a Jew, and so Haman became enraged and plotted to destroy all the Jews in the land. He convinces the king to pass a decree to kill the Jews because they would not keep the king’s laws.
Mordecai sends word to Esther about the decree and that she must plead with her husband, the king, to spare the Jews. Here is Esther’s kairos moment, an opportunity to do something for God at the risk of her own peril, for according to the law, anyone approaching the king without being summoned could be put to death.
We all have kairos opportunities, and potentially have one today. You may not have this type of opportunity to save a nation of people, but you do have the opportunity to change your relationship with someone, be a better mother, learn the Bible, be rid of the bondage of a sin to which you feel enslaved, take a step up in your career, attend Life Class and begin serving in ministry, act on a necessary break up with a boyfriend, or make some kind of decision that will cause your life to move in a different direction than it has been moving. Today is the kairos day that you can respond to God’s prompting, ask for the help you need, and move forward.
How does Esther reply in her kairos moment?
1. The fear of God must supersede the fear of man.Esther 4:11-17
All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go into the king these thirty days.” So they told Mordecai Esther’s words. And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him. Esther 4:11-17
Esther tells her cousin that she is not allowed to enter the king’s court without being summoned, and anyone who does so will be killed unless the king extends his scepter in acceptance. But Mordecai warns Esther that if the edict to kill all the Jews, she will not be safe anyway. Ore importantly, he suggests that perhaps Esther has become queen, even with the year’s preparations and the unlikelihood of being chosen among all the other women presented, for such a time as this - for the very purpose of being in a position to save her people.
This Kairos moment in Esther’s life is a turning point where she must decide whether to follow her fears of man or her respect and love of God. Esther is obedient to the call, regardless of whatever the earthly consequences may be.
When God brings a Kairos moment into your life, He wants to be able to influence you quickly and easily so that He can make a mark on the earth through you in a moment. If you work in an office, raise children, play in a softball league, attend classes at a university, or see the same servers in the local coffee shop every day, be open to the idea that you are in that position for a reason. God has something for you to do and say in every circle of people you can influence. Are you willing to put aside your fears of what others may think in order to focus on what God says?
In order to respond as Esther does, your respect and love for God must be greater than your estimation of the approval of people. If you are focused on receiving praise from people, then you’ll do whatever you can to please them. But your real identity does not lie in what others think of you, but rather in God’s love for you and the calling of God on your life. Your life is about more than accomplishing your own agenda or the agendas of other people, but about impacting God’s kingdom in the ways he has designed you to impact it.
2. Faith in God must overshadow personal risk.
If you have been living according to your own rules and your own goals, then agreeing to live God’s way may feel like a risk of losing who you are. Maybe you’ve been living a dysfunctional life with a dysfunctional view of your identity and you’ve become comfortable with of your situation. Or maybe you’ve been in an abusive relationship, but because you are so accustomed to those interactions, you accept the relationship as your only option and actually may be afraid to trust God for a better, kinder, and more godly partner.
When you live in dysfunction, the devil convinces you that you deserve dysfunction and that the dysfunction is who you are, but you must be willing to let go of these distorted perspectives in exchange for truth. The person God has created you to be is the best version of yourself - the most fulfilled, the most joyful, the most successful, the most peaceful. If you are willing to let go of the person you are today in exchange for the person God calls you to be, you can embrace the fulfilling life and the future He has planned for you. When you accept an identity of God’s child, the decision to follow Him is one you must continue to make every day for the rest of your life as you grow closer and closer to Him.
3. The favor of God will secure your success. Esther 8:8-12
Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews. You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.” So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language. And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds. By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions, on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. Esther 8:7-12
Esther’s obedience to God’s prompting brought about the salvation of her people. But the success was not her own victory - it was God’s! Esther likely felt afraid for her life in approaching the king and she herself was not able to ensure a favorable reply from him, yet she responded obediently to God’s calling, relying on His faithfulness to provide her safety and the safety of all the Jews. And because God is faithful, Esther’s success was secure.
God has His own reasons for calling us to act. His plans and purposes are often not known to us, but He does make Himself - His character - known to us through His Word and through prayer. When God calls you to act and the action is consistent with His Word, then you can trust that He has a purpose and will be faithful to bring His purpose to fruition.
Has the Holy Spirit been stirring in your heart? Don’t wait any longer to make the decision to change! God is with you, He will never leave you, and He wants you to live up to His expectations, not down to man’s. Don’t be complacent to walk by fear any longer, but walk by faith. Receive this kairos moment to surrender your life to the God who loves you and has better plans for you than you can imagine for yourself.