My earliest job involved assisting at a Christian bookstore during a school holiday break. Eagerly, I spent the first of my income on a music album called ‘No Compromise,’ by prophetic singer/songwriter Keith Green. 
In addition to Keith Green’s powerful songs, the artwork on that album cover remains etched into my memory to this day.
Set in ancient times, it depicts one man standing whilst people all around him bow down to a passing official.
A soldier following the official is pointing at the upright man in fury.
The picture is from the story of Esther in the Bible, and the man’s name is Mordecai. 
What It Takes To Be An Overcomer
The story of Mordecai reminds us that no matter our background, our circumstances, or the power of the enemy against us, we will overcome when we give the ultimate allegiance to God in our lives. This is what it takes:
1. The Odds are Stacked Against You
Mordecai came from humble beginnings, being the son of Jewish exiles, of the tribe of Benjamin, in ancient Persia.
His enemy Haman—the official infuriated by Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him—had power, wealth, the ear of the King of Persia, and the ability to issue commands in the king’s name.
There was no earthly way that Mordecai could overcome such a powerful foe.
When God calls you to be an overcomer, you can be certain that the odds will be stacked against you.
In the face of seeming impossibility, when you experience breakthrough, He will receive the glory.
2. The Presence of a Powerful Enemy
Mordecai’s allegiance to God and his Jewish faith was likely to be the reason why he risked his life by going against the king’s edict and refusing to bow down to Haman.
This uncompromising stand inflamed Haman’s hatred, not only against Mordecai, but also against those that Mordecai represented.
Not content with destroying Mordecai alone, Haman issued an edict in the king’s name ordering the annihilation of the Jews throughout Persia.
What enemy are you facing at this time? The presence of a powerful enemy is certain proof that you are destined to be an overcomer.
3. You have a Sovereign God
With overwhelming odds set against him, Mordecai had God on his side—and we know that one man or woman with God is a majority.
Prior to the events that had set Haman on his path of destruction, the God of the Jews had already set His plan in motion to save Mordecai and his people.
From humble beginnings, Mordecai would rise up with Esther to help deliver the Jews from annihilation, and become the second most powerful man in the kingdom of Persia.
Traits of an Overcomer
What else can we learn from Mordecai as we ask, ‘What does it take to be an overcomer?’
Mordecai feared God and not man. By refusing to pay homage to Haman, he willingly risked his life to uphold his faith and his principles.
Later, Mordecai could call his cousin Esther to risk her own life, because as a leader he already practiced and exemplified great courage.
It took Esther great courage to enter the King’s presence without being summoned. This disobedience of the law could have cost her life, but instead, she received favour, because God was with her.
It takes great courage to face your enemy and refuse to bow down to intimidation. Allow your reverence and love for God to be greatest—and act upon that.
Mordecai not only demonstrated loyalty to God and his Jewish heritage, he was also loyal to key people in his life.
Esther was not his daughter, but his cousin, given to his care at the death of his aunt and uncle. When she married the King, Mordecai could have released her. But instead, he still kept in close touch with her—providing wisdom, care and spiritual oversight.
Mordecai was also loyal to God’s chosen leader of that time, the King of Persia. When he heard of a plot against the King’s life, Mordecai informed the King of it via Esther.
Mordecai’s loyalty to the king was a factor in Haman’s downfall and proved to the King that Mordecai would be trustworthy when his time of promotion came.
Are we fostering the value of loyalty in our lives—to the people God has placed within our care or oversight, and to the leaders God has given to us? It will make the difference when victory is needed.
c. Proactive in Spite of Pain
When Mordecai heard the news of the edict against the Jews, he was deeply grieved. The Bible tells us that he went out into the city in sackcloth and ashes and with loud crying.
But he didn’t allow the pain of the terrible news to immobilise him. Instead, he worked on a plan with Esther to make known the truth to the King.
At his darkest hour, Mordecai’s spoke some of the Bible’s most compelling words to Esther:
“…who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
In times of pain, we do not need to be disabled by negative emotion. Like Mordecai, we can use that distress to spur us forward in God’s purposes with renewed determination: God’s purpose in our lives and that of others will be accomplished!
d. Unity and Teamwork
Mordecai and Esther worked as a team to bring down the plans of the enemy Haman. Mordecai provided oversight, instruction and wisdom to Esther and she was able to expose the enemy’s plans to the attention of the king.
Later, Esther brought Mordecai before the king and they set in motion an edict that would overturn Haman’s plans and bring victory to God’s people.
Through unity, a nation was saved, an enemy destroyed and God’s plans were brought to fruition.
Unity with those God has called you to partner with is a powerful force in God’s Kingdom.
Breakthrough: The Overcomer’s Outcome
The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits (Daniel 11:32)
As a result of Mordecai’s stand, together with Esther, the plot to annihilate the Jews was overturned, their enemies were destroyed, and the mourning of the people was turned to great rejoicing.
Mordecai was promoted to being Prime Minister in Haman’s place—second in power to the King of Persia himself.
When he left the presence of the king, Mordecai was crowned, clothed in royal garments, and in possession of the king’s signet ring—symbols of authority and power.
When you overcome your powerful enemy, you emerge with greater experience and insight of the authority God has already given to you as His son and daughter.
 One of the songs off this album, ‘Make My Life A Prayer To You,’ written by Keith’s wife Melody Green, profoundly impacted me and became my life’s theme.
 Read the full story of Esther and Mordecai in the book of Esther in the Bible.
Some mysterious aspects of the story of Mordecai fascinated me as I researched for this article.
- Why did he spend so much time at the King’s Gate? Was it solely because of his concern for Esther?
- The King’s Gate was where important legal and business transactions were carried out.
- It is possible that Mordecai worked as a minor official there. (Esther 3:2)
- This would have been practical preparation for the future responsibilities that he would have as the nation’s next Prime Minister.
Enjoy the read!
© Helen Calder 2011
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family