Time to Shine
"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a TIME as this?" – Esther 4:14
QUEEN ESTHER | BOLD & BEAUTIFUL
In the Bible, we read a story of an orphan girl turned queen used to save her people. Esther was not only anointed but appointed to God’s Kingdom for His mission and purpose. When you’re anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit, you supernaturally radiate God’s glory and brilliance. Being full of the oil of the Holy Spirit, you will illuminate His beauty and shine.
The book of Esther is an epic story of a young, beautiful (in form and face) Jewish orphan girl, who was raised by her cousin Mordecai and living in the Persian diaspora in the capital of Susa. King Xerses (King Ahasuerus in Hebrew) is looking for the current Queen Vashti’s replacement (since she disobeyed his orders), so he holds a beauty pageant scouting all of the young, beautiful, virgin girls. They would go through one year of beauty and cosmetic treatments, six months with oil and myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments. Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her (Esther 2:15) and was admired by everyone. She becomes queen of the Persian Empire and has the affection of the King.
Mordecai uncovered a plot that the king’s good friend Haman wanted to kill the Jews, because he saw that Mordecai didn’t want to bow down to him. Mordecai let Esther know, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). and she knew she had to take action.
At that time, it’s not as easy as, “Oh, I have something to say, so let me tell the king” Even when she was chosen as queen, there was a process. She couldn’t speak to the king unless he extended his golden scepter. Esther was going before the king without invitation may have meant death. But she was willing to lay down her life, for that of her people, as she boldly declared, “If I must die, I must die” (Esther 4:16).
Esther was first prepared, then postured, and presented to the king. She went through a season of preparation, and she was presented to the king and won not only his favor, but the eyes of all who saw her, and that in turn, postured her heart not on herself or her beauty, but on the source of all beauty, God. God used Esther’s beauty as a way to shine His beauty through His people.
She sought God, instead of her fears. She took action, instead of retreating. Esther was full of courage choosing to focus on fasting for three days and three nights and be full or prayer. A truly beautiful woman is not hasty, she is tactful and strategic in her timing and actions, her first response is to go to God. Esther’s faith in God saved an entire nation. Instead of ashes and mourning, God bestowed a crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:3) on Esther’s head for the fulfillment of his divine purposes.
Esther had royal authority who carried the presence of the true King. We are called to do the same as godly, beautiful, royal woman of God! Esther was the bold & beautiful woman of her time chosen to inspire generations of woman. Her night and time to shine in front of King Xerxes ultimately saves her Jewish people from genocide and destruction. Her courage, boldness, and faith in God is what sets her apart as a beautiful woman.
The world’s definition of a beautiful woman and the Word’s definition of it are worlds apart, literally. Our culture is obsessed with the ideals of beauty and staying young and youthful. The lyrics from Lana Del Ray’s song, “Young & Beautiful” laments, “Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?” as it portrays the fears of being unloved as a woman ages and loses her physical beauty. Instead of aging gracefully, the song mourns the reality of unreciprocated love after the glam of physical beauty has vanished or that time may have stolen.
At the core of it, people have a deep inner desire and longing to be loved, to stay relevant and never overlooked. How can we cultivate real, lasting beauty? What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? Let’s look at the mirror of God’s truth and see what God says is truly beautiful. When you look in the mirror, Who are you reflecting?
Below we highlight the different and unique attributes of what makes a woman truly beautiful and how beauty, both true and godly, reflects the glory of Jesus to the world.
A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
Loves God with all of her Heart
A beautiful woman fears and revers her Lord. In Proverbs 31:30 we read, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” By having an intimate and personal relationship with the Lord, she expresses her need to spend time with Him. She worships, praises, prays, and gives thanks. Her words are an overflow of her heart full of God’s love for her and she is able to love much in return. She is holy like He is holy, set apart, and purified in all of her ways. She derives wisdom from the Word and not the world for she knows that her wisdom comes from who God says she is and not what the world may call her. She is a woman of prayer and daily asks God for clean hands and a pure heart to love Him fully and wholly.
Loves People and has a Servant’s Heart
A beautiful woman serves her community and people with love, grace, and compassion. She is gracious and filled with mercy. She invests in the life of others. A woman with a servant’s heart exudes selflessness. Kindness, and is generous with her time, love, and treasures. She is an encourager and knows that servitude is a valuable virtue, as it parallels the heart of Jesus.
Works Excellently as unto the Lord
Whether her ministry is in marriage and motherhood or in career or as a single woman, she loves people and serves excellently wherever she is. She knows that her ministry is where God has placed her. She submits all of her plans to the Holy Spirit and His will as she offers up her life as a ministry to God. She stays faithful, through dry seasons and fruitful seasons, and trusts that God has called her to represent Him in all that she does. Proverbs 31 has multiple references to being diligent in all of your work: energetic and strong, a hard worker (v. 17); carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness (27). A woman with a spirit of excellence works on developing her skills and perfecting her talents. She knows her imperfections fade in the eyes of a perfect God. Instead of relying on perfectionism, she relies on the perfect One. As she serves her family, her Church, and her community, her foundation and standards for excellence are built on pleasing the Lord.
Cultivates Inner & Outer Beauty
Inner beauty is developed through Godly character, in producing the fruits of the spirit, "...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Being physically beautiful has no value if your internal is full of ugly – hate, bitterness, jealousy. Inner beauty is timeless – a beautiful heart, spirit of generosity, and seeing the beauty of others never goes out of style.
Desiring beauty is not wrong. Psalm 27:4 even confirms the inherent quest towards true beauty, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” In desiring true beauty – Godly beauty – you are actually desiring Jesus, the most beautiful One. We’ve heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder;” therefore, you become who you behold.
Don’t get trapped in the religious mindset that wearing makeup and taking care of yourself is wrong, and, on the contrary, don’t get in the religious mindset that only focusing on the internal is important while neglecting the external. Make sure there is a balance. Both external and inner beauty are important, but the focus should be on the internal, because the internal is what will be reflected on the external. Beautiful yourself physically, nothing wrong with that, but remember that beauty does not equate to the amount of makeup you wear. If you find yourself spending more time on your skin routines and makeup looks than you are spending with God, then that can become an idol. Recalibrate and start putting your focus on cultivating beautiful character traits found in the Bible. Beauty fades but the word of God lasts forever.
All in all, if viewed through the eyes of God, you can be beautiful both on the inside as you are on the outside and beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. You don’t have to choose or comprise one for the other – inner and outer are synonymous with each other and reflect a whole person.
Has a Gentle & Quiet Spirit
“Your beauty should come from the inside. It should come from the heart. This is the kind that lasts. Your [incorruptible] beauty should be a gentle and quiet spirit. In God’s sight this is of great worth [very precious] and no amount of money can buy it.” – 1 Peter 3:4
Gentle and quiet spirit does not mean to not have a voice, to be weak, to not speak up in the face of injustice, because we’re actually called to be a voice for the voiceless. Gentle and quiet spirit means to not be demanding or argumentative or quick-tempered but rather to have a peace that radiates from within. She speaks the truth in love. It means to have humility and a heart that submits to God and His ways over her own ways. Incorruptible beauty is beauty that never fades, regardless of age, it is “not subject to death or decay; everlasting” (Oxford Dictionary). A gentle and quiet woman does not mean a women with a gentle and quiet voice, rather a gentle and quiet spirit. She is gracious, pure and dignified. Strong in her faith, and meek in the posture of her heart, a beautiful woman is in complete submission to God’s plans and will for her life. She knows that she is strongest when she is still before the Lord.
Puts her Confidence is in Christ
A beautiful woman knows she is beautiful in God’s eyes. Her confidence is derived from the Lord and she values her position as a daughter of the Most High God. She is confident in God’s promises spoken over her life and stands with her head held high, because she knows Who she belongs to. You are not arrogant if you consider yourself beautiful, because you are confident in who He created you to be and your value is not derived from self, but from Him. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out.” Since He is King, you are His princess and that makes you royalty!
Does not Compete but Celebrates
"I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. And so it is in the world of souls, our Lord's living garden." -St. Thérèse de Lisieux
A beautiful woman is not intimidated or jealous of another woman’s beauty or success. She knows that someone else’s success does not mean her failure or invalidate her own successes. Nothing is uglier than jealousy and comparison as it will choke and create weeds rather than allowing beauty to bloom. She celebrates others joyful seasons and knows that her blessing for them will not take away from God’s blessing for her. A spirit of joy is upon her heart at all times and that comes from worshipping and celebrating the One most worthy of our celebration.
Laughs without Fear of the Future
A woman who hopes in God is not afraid, because she knows her God personally. She is not afraid of the path that her God has called her to walk. A beautiful woman knows how to let go of her past hurt, forgive fully, and look forward to her future. She doesn’t allow trials, struggles, and hardships to get her bitter, but better and stronger. She learns from her mistakes and takes accountability for her actions. She is not afraid of sickness. She is not afraid of the future. She is not afraid of death and dark valleys. She entrusts to God her singleness, her marriage, her children, her ministry, and trusts Him with her whole life. She advances the Kingdom through fearless submission to God’s design for womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and ministry, because she hopes in God.
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all beauty came from.” – C.S. Lewis
Beauty undoubtedly comes from the most beautiful One, Jesus Christ. To know beauty, we need to know what ugly is too. Jesus is beauty and we are the beast. But He became the beast so that He can give us His beauty. Our ugly sins made Him unrecognizable on the cross, His love washed away the ugly so that we can become beautiful through Him. What a beautiful exchange. Jesus took all of our ugly sins on the cross and offered us His beautiful gift of salvation and true love.
True beauty is a reflection of Abba Father's heart for you.
True beauty is a reflection of Jesus Christ's purpose in you. True beauty is a reflection of the Holy Spirit's power through you.
Dear beautiful woman, know that God knows every strand of hair on your head and He has engraved you on the palm of His hands. You are more than the number on the scale, your body measurements and proportions, the length of your lashes, the smoothness of your skin, your failures and your regrets, you are more than the eyes who stare at you.
You are made in God's image which means you have flawless beauty embedded in your DNA. You are His beautiful daughter, destined for royalty. Just as Esther had her time to shine, you too will have your time. Perhaps your time is now and YOU were created for such a time as this!