I was in church recently and heard this teaching:
Young Esther was to be presented to the king, king Xerxes, a great king who reigned from India to Ethiopia at the time. (If you look at a map you’ll see that’s a huge amount of territory.)
But before Esther could be in the company of King Xerxes, she had to “soak” for 12 months, 6 months with oil of myrrh and 6 with perfumes. (Esther 2:12)
Our God loves the smell of sacrifice. Beginning with Noah’s sacrifice after the flood we often see in scripture how sacrifice is pleasing to Him. (Genesis 8:18-22) So even as Esther sacrificed a year to soak, to prepare herself for her king, we can soak in Jesus, in prayer, in praise, in His word, to prepare ourselves for our King with a capital K. Soaking in this way is never a waste of time.
When Mary wiped perfume on Jesus’ feet with her hair, she took on the same fragrance as Jesus. But to do it, she had to be broken, she had to break her box of perfume. Praise like Mary’s requires sacrifice. (Mark 14:3)
Nothing is more important than sacrificing your time to be in God’s presence in this way. Esther soaked for her king. So soak. Soak in Jesus, soak in prayer, soak in praise, soak in His Word–to prepare for your King.
If you don’t experience His presence after 12 minutes then soak for 12 hours, or 12 days, or 12 weeks, or 12 months like Esther if that’s what it takes. Do whatever it takes, because nothing is more important.
I so needed to hear that teaching in this season of my life. I’ve had to do a lot of “tent making” the last few months and have a lot of tent making ahead of me still. But it doesn’t matter, I need to do whatever it takes to sacrifice my time to soak in Him.
I hope you will too. If you do, you won’t regret it.
Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus (Xerxes), after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) Esther 2:12
You might also like 7 Ways to Draw Closer to Christ.
- I might have been the person in the congregation who most needed to hear that teaching on that day. I am so grateful for my church. Time and again I hear precisely what I need to hear. I can’t imagine living life without regularly hearing God’s word in that way. If you want to hear the whole Bible study, presented better than I could ever say it, or write it, click here: Jon Courson teaching, 5/21/2014
- Many of you already know what “tent making” means, but for anyone who might not remember: Tent making is what Paul did to support himself while he taught the gospel. So tent making for you and for me is just working to support our families and ourselves. (Acts 18:1-4)
[Image by Jonathan Kos-Read – Creative Commons]