Pour, Position, Challenge and Support
Last week we talked about how the mentor/apprentice relationship requires the two parties to work together and allow each other to play to their strengths. This week, we look at how a mentor can help an apprentice to advance on their own while still providing support.
The Word and Obedience
Mordecai had raised Esther from a child to young adulthood (Esther 2:7). This is to say, he trained her in the ways of God. Esther was also very obedient to Mordecai (Esther 2:20). This combination of teaching and obedience shows the foundation of a mentor/apprentice relationship. It would be one of the most important mentor/apprentice relationships in the history of Israel.
Position Leads to Challenges
Esther was placed in a perfect position to help Israel in its greatest time of need. Haman was planning to annihilate the Jews over a petty argument. Mordecai went to Esther and told her she must do something for her people. Initially, Esther hesitated (Esther 4:11). However, Mordecai pressed her out of her comfort zone (Esther 4:13-14). How did Esther react to this challenge?
Remember Your Training
She asked Mordecai and all of Israel to pray and fast for her while she did the same (Esther 4:16). She didn't rely on her looks or her position of power. She relied on God. Where did she learn to this? Most likely her wisdom came from the stories and teachings of Mordecai. No doubt, he told her of how Moses had prayed for Joshua in battle (Exodus 17:8-13). He had most likely told her how Gideo relied on the leading of God than on his military might to win the battle (Judges 7). He most certainly had told her of how Samuel drove the Philistines, Israel's greatest thorn, from Israel's land with singing and praise (1 Samuel 7). Equipped with this knowledge, Esther made the wise decision and relied on God. Her reliance on God offered the opportunity to rescue Israel from the hands of destruction, and it put Israel in a greater position than it had been in since their captivity (Esther 8:16-17).
Today, we can learn from the relationship of Mordecai and Esther. We can see the importance of mentors pouring the knowledge of the word of God into their apprentices. We see that positioning apprentices for success must be a priority. At times, the mentor must challenge the apprentice to get out of their comfort zone, and they must be willing to rally behind them spiritually. Likewise, the apprentice must receive the knowledge given, they must embrace the positioning offered, they must rise to the challenge, and they must operate witht he Spirit leading them. If this is done, we will see our communities and world changed for the better.
Try this challenge and see how it improves your mentor/apprentice relationship:
That's it for this service. Feel free to comment below or share this page on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Next week we will continue our examination of the Mentor/Apprentice relationship by looking at a huge transition that didn't go so well.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.