Esther built a foundation of unity, mutual accountability, and clear expectations from which to step boldly forward into the mission that God had given her.

Esther 4:16-17
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.” 
Esther knew her place, and confidently operated in the authority she held. She knew what she needed from Mordecai and the Jewish community, and made the ‘big ask’ for them to join her in fasting. She also had a strength of relationship with her ‘young women’, to feel confident committing them to the fast also, even though they weren’t in the conversation. Her heart as a leader was plain to see, as she committed herself to the same fast…she wasn’t trying to impose an expectation on them, to which she was not also willing to commit. Once her people were mobilized behind her, she stepped out to take the required personal risk in order to save her people. 
I need to know who I can rely on when the going gets tough, and not avoid making the ‘big ask’ of those that God has placed with me on the journey. There is a mutual accountability and expectation, that we each need each other to fulfill our specific roles. There are times for the leader to pay a personal cost, or take a specific risk-yet there must be unity of heart and purpose with the whole, if the mission is to succeed.
Like Esther, I must be willing to let those around me feel the ‘weight’ of the mission–and like Esther, I must hold myself to the same standard that I expect from those that I lead. 
God, thank you for leaders in your word like Esther–who demonstrate and model strong leadership with a servant’s heart. Help me to inspire those around me to step up as we walk on this mission together, and never try to hold others to a standard of excellence to which I am not also willing to commit. Teach me to lead well, as I daily follow You. 

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