|Prophetess hilda arredondo|
ESTHER, A WOMAN OF PRAYER
Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the things pleased the king; and he did so.” Esther 2:2-4. I want to share with you about precious Queen Esther. Yet, I cannot share with you about her without first talking about Vashti, the woman she replaced, and why. The above scripture says, “And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti.” Oh what a sad statement to the ears of Vashti. Vashti was the queen, and given such a valuable and responsible position, but when she refused the order of the king “to come” it brought a terrible change to her life. It displeased the king so much, that Vashti was set aside as his wife and queen. You see, Vashti did not please the king in her response. Rebellious people have a character trait that can be spotted a mile away by those with a discerning spirit! That is, they never humble themselves to please others. If you’re humble, you will be submissive. Submissive means to be yielding to the authority power, etc. of another, obedience, and meekness.
Vashti was the exact opposite. To please means to gratify; to give pleasure to; to be the desire of; to like or choose. The act of not responding when the king called for queen Vashti was very disrespectful. Her disregard of his commandment raised pubic eyebrows in protest of her behavior and revealed her heart of rebellion and disobedience. Because of her position as queen over the 127 provinces of that day, King Ahasuerus and his close associates felt that she had set a very bad example to the rest of the women in the provinces. They decided that Vashti needed to be set aside as wife and queen. “And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not. Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.” Esther 1:16-18 In other words, they advised the king to put Queen Vashti away because many women would begin to follow her bad example of rebellion, disrespect and disobedience in not obeying their husbands. You see, the word of God is true, “…to whom much is given much is required!”
THE QUEEN IS SET ASIDE
Vashti and her improper rebellious behavior were in the spotlight of all the provinces. Her position of influence upon the other women would cause them to begin to follow after her bad example and this was not good. The king was convinced by his close officials that putting her away was the best thing to do; therefore, he put her away. Yet in a few days he began to miss his wife, the queen, so his court officials decided to cheer him up and bring fair, young virgins to him so he could choose a new wife a new queen! So far all these “happenings” in the book of Esther began to point to the God of Providence. The God of Providence is the God who times situations, circumstances, and events perfectly to meet His future needs or plans. He is the God of “timely care” or “advance preparation”, acting with His divine foresight in providing for future needs without any help from us.
Now, He doesn’t need our help, but He does need vessels and chooses them very carefully. Most of the time, those called are trained and developed to just move, do and obey. Their sole trust is in an unseen God who is in control of their lives and affairs and who is at work as the “God of Providence!” There is no room for rebellion, disrespect and disobedience in the hearts of those chosen vessels that are being “especially” prepared for the “God of Providence’s” purposes and plans on this earth. Vashti’s character of rudeness, rebellion, and disrespect had disqualified her as the woman needed to meet God’s need in a crucial time of planned destruction for her people.
GOING HIS WAY
So many times, people want to be used in a great way by God and try to incorporate God into the place where they are comfortable and secure expecting no change in their familiar surroundings. But really it is the other way around. God incorporates us unto His plans and purposes and most of the time, the place that is comfortable and secure ceases to exist. We have to come and follow Him as the “just” and learn to live by faith, just as Queen Esther. As modern day Christians we hear so much teaching and receive so many prophecies, thinking that God is going to use us as He comes “our way” in accomplishing His plan and purpose.
Beloved, when it is “our way” nothing really sacrificial is required, but when we go “His way” there will be a disturbance to our lifestyle and routines. When the true call comes to us as it did to Esther, we can expect changes, just as the call did to her. Yes, it is so very true, that we have a free will to choose Him or not and we also have a free will to come follow Him. But, if we say yes, then it’s His way and He will disrupt our plans so His purposes and plans for us can come to fruition. God had a great plan and a purpose for Esther’s life but she would be required to follow Him. The place she was at had sufficed for that spiritual phase of her life but now she had to go to the king’s palace to accomplish the purposes and plans of the “God of Providence”. Her lifestyle, routines, and familiar surrounds changed. “So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.” Esther 2:8.
THE PREPARATION OF ESTHER
Esther had to go into “preparation” and it could not be done at the place or the spiritual level where she was. She had to be willing and obedient to follow Him through Mordecai and Hegai’s instructions In Esther 2:4, it reads, “And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.” So on with the beauty pageant for King Ahasuerus. One of the first things that happened, “And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai when her father and mother were dead took for his own daughter.” Esther 2:7. Esther’s name speaks of her character and her date with destiny. Esther in the Greek means “star” and the Jewish name Hadassah means myrtle. To see a star in the heavens, you have to look up and a star can’t be hid, but rather is in open view to all. Her name speaks of her destiny and calling—that others would look up to her and her position would be a transparent one in open view to all.
A star in our modern day understanding makes us think of a movie star, a performer, an entertainer in the world. God has stars in His kingdom and like Esther are meant to bring light to a dark and dying world, just as a real star was created to bring light to the night season. Her Jewish name meant myrtle. The myrtle tree gives out a sweet, wonderful fragrance. Esther was a fair and beautiful woman on the outside, but her fragrance of obedience and holiness inside the heart was far greater. The first person she pleased was Hegai, the keeper of the women. I’m sure that Hegai had seen and dealt with many women and knew with discernment how they could be but the minute he met Esther, he knew she was not like all the rest, but rather there was something special and different about her. She carried the "aroma of obedience" and the fruit of being pleasing was evident. It is so important to be pleasing to God and in doing so, we automatically please others. “And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her things for purifications, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.” Esther 2:9.
THE BEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE
Esther got the best room in the house assigned with seven (7) maidens who would assist her in her preparation for her commission. Just think of the humility of these seven (7) women who were called to support Esther. They were content in just serving and working with Esther so she could accomplish her appointment with destiny—saving a nation! They were not jealous or envious of her or her position, but rather loved her, supported her, prayed for her and were simply satisfied to ride in the back seat, so to speak, with much joy as they watched the plan of God evolve in saving a whole nation. These women were also carefully selected to accompany Esther, God’s chosen vessel. If not carefully selected, they could easily be used against her. Jealousy and envy could make them compete for her position, interfering with God’s plan for her; therefore, their hearts also had to be pure and pleasing to the Lord. Had they not been tested and cleaned out of jealousy and envy, someone that close to Esther could be used to thwart God’s plan.
Over the years, I have seen more women pushing themselves forward manipulating situations and circumstances, opening their own doors to make “their ministry”. Others just copy and emulate another ministry’s personality. The reason this happens is because we are not waiting on God to make us in His image, so we can come forth with our own “shine” as a star for Him. Rather we try to take shortcuts and rub that other person’s “shine” on ourselves. What we don’t realize is that an outward “genuine spiritual shine” that we see on another person comes from the heart of holiness that pleases God. It is the result of their inward personal relationship with Jesus. That personal inward relationship has been used to scrub, instruct and teach that soul inward holiness and obedience and now the outside shine that is visible to us is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit inside their heart.
ONLY ORIGINALS – NO IMITATIONS
I heard T.D. Jakes say one time that someone had given him a wonderful compliment. The compliment was that he was going to be the next Billy Graham to America. He thought about that compliment for a minute and replied something along this line. “Thank you for that wonderful compliment, but there is only one Billy Graham and he is an original, therefore, if I become like him, then I would be only an imitation of the real original.” So many people are satisfied to be an “imitation” of an “original” because it is easier to sit at the feet of men, emulating them, tapping into someone else’s soul power instead of the feet of Jesus, who will help us find out who and what we really are, letting God work on us—and as we do, an original will come forth in His image (Christ) and in the power of the Lord of Glory and His Spirit.
THE WIFE OF A KING
Because Esther’s fragrance was one of obedience, she pleased God and others. She found great favor wherever God placed her. Esther gave much pleasure to the Lord and He loved her because of that obedience and eventually she would be an obedient, submissive, and loving wife to the king. I remember years ago, as God prepared me for ministry, He pointed out to me that I was to obey my husband in the smallest chore requested by him and that I was not to lead him anymore. Now, for some time I had done that, and he had allowed it, but now God was taking over to teach and lead my husband. I realized that I was always telling him what to do.
One day my husband was going to work and asked me to do something simple like maybe taking his clothes to the cleaners. Well, the day went by and as I looked at the clock, he would be home in a few hours and I had gotten so busy that I forgot to take his clothes to the cleaners. I started to shrug it off with the thought, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But the Holy Spirit reproved me, telling me that I was not honoring my husband. By not taking him seriously enough to run the errand he requested—I was being disobedient. Quickly, I jumped in the car and off to the cleaners I went. Another time it was a request about his mail, or an envelope I was wasting that I didn’t take seriously. I thought, “This is so minor” but the Holy Spirit reminded me that “little things” done in the form of disobedience form bad habits of disobedience and are displeasing to God. Yes, my beloved brethren, I was learning some great lessons in obedience.
A SEASON OF PURIFICATION
Now, Esther stayed in the place that God had placed her until she was called upon and the work was completed in her. She spent a season in purification and preparation with oil of myrrh, sweet odours and with other things for purifying the women. Then it was time for Esther to stand before the king. She dressed according to Hegai’s instructions for he knew what kind of apparel would please the king. Sometimes the apparel we wear is not fit for a king’s court and we need to be taught to dress modestly. Dressing for God is very important when we are being prepared to stand in the king’s court, representing Him as the bride of Christ.
Today, many women dress seductively and indecently, imitating and copying the styles of the world, many times exposing their bodies, when rather we should be covering our bodies with modest clothing. Years ago, as I sat in the "school of holiness" of the Holy Spirit, He taught me His way is a highway of holiness, and modest clothing is part of that highway. He showed me that the world’s designs are to promote sex the majority of time. He said, “The world’s idea of beauty is "sexy". Sexy promotes sensuality, but My way is "Holy" in all things, including dress. I want to show you My way. When a man looks at you, my dear daughter, I don’t want you to turn his head because you are dressed sexy. Rather, when a man looks at you, I want you to provoke this thought in him with the way you are dressed, “There goes a holy woman of God”, therefore, promoting purity in his heart”.
WHAT’S IN MY HEART
I remember years ago Mr. Farrakhan, while visiting New York City, had an article in the newspaper. I remember reading his comments about an immoral America who claims to be a Christian nation, yet promotes her shameful sensuality, with its almost naked women. In so many words he was saying that the American woman was taught to dress the whorish way. He went as far as to point out that the popular American Barbie doll promoted ungodliness of dress. There was no way that the Barbie doll would be allowed in his country, teaching women that womanhood was all about figure and dress that reveals a woman’s body. He said that in his country (one of the dolls from his country was shown in the newspaper article) they taught their women how to dress properly by covering their bodies. Although God has never spoken to me about being dressed from head to toe (as their women dress), but he sure was making a point on how American women dress so immodest.
Church, just because it is proper dress for the world does not mean that it is proper for the women of God. Four things the Holy Spirit taught me in dressing for the King of kings. It is a simple “rule of thumb” for me—too short, too sheer, too tight, too revealing, does not please the King of kings in my life! Esther, a woman of honor, knew how to dress properly. “Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai, the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” Esther 2:15. Here in this scripture, Esther required nothing, meaning that Esther did nothing extra to her appearance and dress, other than what was required by Hegai-the minimal requirement. Esther radiated a beauty from inside that was irresistible, not an outward beauty, although she was a natural beauty, but the inward beauty of holiness and obedience captivated any audience. “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.” Esther 2:17.
SEXY WOMEN vs. HOLY WOMEN
Esther was chosen over all the women, not because she looked sexy, but because she had traveled the highway of holiness with the Holy Spirit. This is the kind of woman that our God is looking for to empower with great favor in her prayer life. Now the hour of deliverance had arrived and God had a vessel of honor that He would use to help Him spare His people. In Esther 3:13, it reads, “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” God’s people were going to be destroyed by the enemy and God needed Esther. Now she was in a key position—like a spiritual pawn in the Hand of the God of Providence!
A PAWN IN HIS HAND
God’s love for His people cannot be underestimated. He had prepared a woman for the hour of deliverance and the man that would support her all the way—Mordecai. Esther was now in the position to petition the king—she had found favor and was a pleasing wife to him. Just when Haman’s plan looked as if it would come to pass any moment, Esther steps into the picture. “And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces: For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?” Esther 8:3-6
She was a woman of compassion, mercy, and action!! The tables were turned on Haman; what he planned to do to the people of God came upon him. “Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.” Esther 8:7. What this evil man wanted to do to the people of God instead came back upon him, and the good people of God had a celebration and rest. When Paul journeyed on the road to Damascus with plans to kill the Christians of that day, a light suddenly shined down from heaven and Jesus asked him, “…Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Acts 9:4. When Satan rises up against you and I, the attack is not against us, it is against Jesus, the Son of God, who lives and dwells in us. America needs a modern day Esther who can stand before the King of kings in this crucial hour on behalf of our nation.
A PRAYER THAT MOVED HEAVEN
There are four things that are very important and powerful in Esther’s prayer that moved heaven.
- Number one, Esther’s prayer was full of humility as she approached the King’s throne.
- Secondarily, she said, “If I have found favor in your sight.” She knew she had to have favor; therefore, she requested favor. Favor means kind regard, good will, to advocate, approving, and pleasing.
- The third thing was her request, “Does my request please the king, or am I asking amiss in this situation?” She gave God room to move in the situation. So many times we lock God into a selfish prayer that is only our desire to please ourselves or the solution that we feel is needed to perfect the situation, not allowing the God of Providence to have His perfect way. As a modern day Christian, we hear so much about coming boldly before the throne of grace, thinking that it means that we are to dictate to God what to do and how to do it.
- And last, but not least, Esther asked, “If I be pleasing in your sight?"
Today, as praying people, we could ask the same question, “Lord, Jesus, are my ways pleasing to you, or do I have a rebellious way in me?” We know as we read this book, that Esther found great favor. She had the care and concern of others and because she obeyed and pleased God – the plan to save a whole nation was put in her hand. How can we endure to see our nation destroyed through abortion, murder, violence, pornography and the throwing out of our Ten Commandments? Let us take our prayers boldly before the throne of grace and find help in time of need, as Esther did. Esther had an audience with the king and today you and I need an audience with the King of kings. Besides our nation’s problems, many are the problems with our families, children, marriages, and churches. Let us learn from Esther and get results from our prayers as we pray our victories in! Our Lord wants to turn the tables on our enemies of our lives.
THE FRAGRANCE OF OBEDIENCEY
Years ago, I used to have my favorite fragrance that I would splash on daily. As soon as I ran out, I was running to get another bottle. One day, I ran out and I was going to buy another bottle of perfume as usual, when the Holy Spirit stopped me and said, “I don’t’ want you to get any.” My immediate response was, why” Is it wrong or have I done something?” But the Holy Spirit very clearly said, “I want to give you a new fragrance." So time went by and on occasion I would secretly smell my flesh on my arms to see if I was going to smell some supernatural fragrance, but the smell was just simple flesh.
About six weeks or so went by, and one morning the Holy Spirit and I were conversing about my new fragrance and when it was coming. The Holy Spirit softly whispered, “Yes, you have a new fragrance.” And I said, “I do? Why can’t I smell it?” He said to me, “It is the fragrance of obedience! It is the sweetest aroma to the Father’s nostrils. You obeyed me and I needed that obedience from you so that I can continue to prepare you for my work of prayer.” He said very gently, “You can go now and buy your fragrance if you so desire—you have My permission.” Well, I knew that I had used that same perfume for many years and it was time for a change.
I started looking and could not seem to find one. One evening upon coming home (I always left my front door open) I found on my kitchen table a bottle of perfume with a small offering. A good friend in the Lord had dropped it off to me. I knew that this was heaven sent. The name of the fragrance was “White Linen.” I couldn’t believe it, I was so thrilled because this was a prophetic answer; God was speaking! White Linen is the righteousness of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8 reads, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” That fragrance would mark my spiritual walk for the next “ten (10) year season” of my life where I would stay in constant prayer for the saints, the lost, and our nation. Here I am today, writing to you and sharing God’s grace with you. All of you are so special to me and as we continue our battle in prayer for the nation, the lost, and the church, God will hear and answer. And as we continue to work on our "fragrance of obedience" we will also have an audience with the King of kings. To God Be the Glory!
Written October 2004—Reprinted 2009
Thank you so much for reading this Prophetic Message. If you would like to make a copy or copies of this newsletter, you are welcome to do so. Make sure your copy is in its entirety and the message should not be changed. Judgment messages are very serious and those declaring them carry a big responsibility.
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