by Linda Evans Shepherd
Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? Esther 4:13-14 NASB
When the Lord called me to start planning the Arise Esther Movement back in 2018, I was reminded of Esther 4:14, which reads in part, “For such a time as this.” That phrase ignited a passion within me and I knew God wanted to call the Esthers of the church to arise to reach their families, communities, and this generation for Him.
As I prayed and worked to create this new movement, I often thought of the Esther of the Bible. She was a young orphan who won a beauty pageant to marry the King and become the Queen of Persia. All was well in her life until an evil nobleman set a plan in motion to massacre her people, all with the approval of her husband.
But what could be done?
It turned out that Esther was one of the few people who even had access to the King, but if she entered his court unsummoned, it would be at the risk of death. The idea of confronting the King terrified Esther, but her uncle’s words encouraged her to face her fears. He told her, “ If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
This scene often played in my mind, as my team and I continued to press forward with creating new social media outlets, training platforms and a brand-new virtual conference. And now, after years of praying and planning, we are finally ready to kick off the Arise Esther Movement with the first Arise Esther virtual conference this February 24 – 26, just in time for the traditional Feast of Purim, the celebration of Esther saving her people 2500 years ago.
After all we’ve been through these past twelve months, the phrase “For such a time as this,” has taken a whole new urgency. With many of our churches shuttered, and so many people suffering through the hardships of a world-wide pandemic, ‘For such a time as this,’ has a meaning we never imagined.
All I know is that even in the chaos, financial loss, cancellations, church closures, suicides, and illness, God is with still us. He was the one calling me to be ready for this future. He is the one calling you to join us so that we can all make a difference, together.
And that’s exactly what this movement, this conference, is designed to do. It’s designed to equip you to rise up, to reach your family, church, and community with the good news that God is with us! And this good news changes everything.
What was the original Esther’s response to her uncle’s warning? She asked her uncle to call the people to pray.
So as my first act of 2021, I am humbly calling you to pray. Let’s pray for our callings, our families, our communities, our nation, and let’s pray for this new year and for this new Arise Esther Movement; for such a time as this.
I hope you can join us for the conference, Feb. 24 – 26. You can find more about our keynotes, small virtual discussion groups, as well as our panels, workshops and 53 speakers at: www.AriseEstherConference.com
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of the new book Praying Through Every Emotion, and founder of Arise Daily and the Arise Esther Movement; you can follow the movement at:
Join the conversation: What has God inspired you to do in the coming year?