Why the Devil Takes Visa
Sermon shared by Brian Atwood
Summary: Wrong things to do when I’m angry, depressed, frustrated: 1) INVEST in pride; 2) BORROW bitterness; 3) TRADE relationships.
Audience: General adults
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Have you ever felt like the world around you was moving at such an incredible speed while you were standing still? I mean, have you ever wondered if maybe you weren’t going anywhere in life, at least not everywhere you want to go? Have you ever asked yourself, “Is God even at work in my life? Doesn’t He see that everything is at a standstill?” Or worse yet, “Does He realize I feel like things are going backwards in my life?”
It is when we are at these places in our lives that we are in an incredibly dangerous spot. That’s when Satan tries to take advantage of the weakness of our sinful human nature. They work in tandem. Our own weaknesses, coupled with the devil’s deception, can make for a very destructive mixture. Our lives can take some severely wrong turns when we become disillusioned and start doubting God’s involvement.
We begin a new series today on the book of Esther. She was an unlikely queen in the Old Testament. Unlikely, because she was a Jewish orphan girl who became queen of Persia! This is a truly incredible story of Divine Destiny!
The Bible is such an exciting book because it is filled with such stories! Consider the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, David, Mary the mother of Jesus, and so many more. If you read the biographies in the Word of God you cannot help but see God at work in people’s lives, especially people who trust Him and look to Him for guidance! And in each of those lives there are times when all seems lost. Things have a way of seeming to get worse before they get better.
The story of God’s work in the life of Esther begins with her in the background. She isn’t even mentioned in this first chapter of the book that bears her name. God isn’t mentioned either - not in the entire book! Neither is the devil. But God and the devil are both involved in what is about to happen. Today we consider, "Why the Devil Takes Visa – Wrong Things to Do When I’m Angry, Depressed, Anxious, etc."
Here’s the foundation of the story from chapter one of Esther.
1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes, who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.
5 When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. 6 The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.
7 Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. 8 By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted. 9
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