Should a Woman be in Public Ministry? ( A 3-Part Series) – Part 1

 

(See the introduction in the Previous Post)

An Excerpt from my upcoming book,

Married, Successful & Embracing Life: A Godly Woman’s  place in a changing world.

Part 1

The issue of a woman’s creation. Have you ever thought about the fact that the bible has no recorded information of a discussion between God and the woman from the moment she was created to the moment she was presented to the man as his wife?  Even when Adam said ‘this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman’, she still did not make a speech. It is highly improbable that she was made mute. It is rather most likely that God did have a conversation with her prior to taking her to the man. If this happened it must not have been recorded for our benefit, for a good reason.

There is something about the silence surrounding the making and unveiling of the woman that speaks louder than words.  Adam had to be put to sleep during the process of her making. The very structure of her make up was developed in silence, in secret, prior to her unveiling to the man.

A God prepared kind of woman is a very spiritual, intuitive, silently moulded, knowingly wise creature. Most of a woman’s communications are internal, feelings oriented and spiritual. Until a woman organises her internal processes, until she gets that right and unconfused, when she starts to speak, it is almost always a nigh disaster.  She will use speech as an organising process instead of a communicative one. To repeat, I do not for one second believe that God did not communicate or speak to the woman after he made her. I do not believe she was made mute. I believe she must have been told about herself, her purpose and her mission in the quiet place of the spirit. She had an organised, upright internal system which was not confused otherwise, there will have been no way she would have remained quiet even after Adam spoke. She would have had some questions or at least some responses. Most women with unresolved questions and feelings will find it next to impossible to make no responses to a ‘deep’ declaration like the one Adam made.

The manifestation of the woman’s purpose was linked to the man whose wife God made her to be. It is in and through that relationship therefore that the initiation and outdooring of all of that she is will begin. It is in speaking however, that Adam begins the process of Eve’s manifestation. He introduces her. It is in speaking also that Adam takes responsibility for not only identifying the awesomeness and full hidden potential of the woman God had given him but also takes responsibility for every mistake she will ever make. Eve had no need to speak. It is in her silence that she gives her assent to his leadership. I can sense some feminine protestations now. Don’t think for a minute that this was wholly a limitation on Eve, it was in fact an insurance for her protection.

Speech requires responsibility. Words are spirit and life. What we say we must take responsibility for. God spoke the world into being. The responsibility of the performance of his word was with him. In fact, God said in his word, ‘the words that I speak will not return to me void’. In other words, words are unseen servants, they are sent to accomplish tasks, for which the one sending them is ultimately responsible.  Remember Adam’s prior mandate…‘whatever he called it so became its name’.  He had to name all the animals and created things. By so doing he took responsibility for their maintenance and upkeep.

Eve in a sense was no stranger to Adam. The molecular structure for her being was taken out from him presupposing that she was part of him at the time that God made him and sealed his instruction and his blessing. In fact the bible tells us that ‘Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created’. (Genesis 5:2 KJV). 

The responsibility for a woman is not like any other. Someone will ask, why should someone even have responsibility for the woman? Isn’t she capable of taking responsibility for herself? God is not the author of confusion. Responsibility is a function of assignment or task. Where there is a task to be accomplished, someone must be held ultimately accountable. Everything God made has a purpose, a task attached to it. Apart from the responsibility of each to operate according to their design, there must be someone each is subject to and accountable to in relation to the task. There must be one clear servant leader.  This is why every single creature on earth became a partaker in ‘one man’s sin’. It is also why salvation has been set through one man, Jesus Christ. Ultimate responsibility in any relationship, group or organisation should be traceable to one person. In a marriage relationship God chose the man as this person simply because he was made first.

A woman’s quiet spirit is the medium through which she receives Godly revelation, wisdom and strength from God. God cannot speak to a chaotic woman. It is against his very design of her. A quiet spirit does not mean a quiet, mousy temperament. It simply means a woman in control of her inner self and having the ability to yield that inner self to God and to her husband so as to be impacted by them.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands’.(1 Peter 3:1-5 KJV)

A woman is not property, nor is she similar to other animate or inanimate things that can be considered as property to be set aside at will. She is an independent, thinking, speaking, feeling, human made to be linked to man (to be his suited, tailored helper) for whom man had to take responsibility and be accountable to God for. Man had to be awakened from a deep sleep, to name her. He had to identify her, accept her, proclaim her substance and purpose in her hearing all in one speech.  ‘

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’. (Genesis 2:23 KJV).

Silence and deep spiritual work is not only limited to women. To qualify to speak to the woman and in the presence of God, Adam had to be put into silence, into a deep sleep, into the same dimension within which the woman was made. He then had to be awakened to recognise her, to enable him speak out her right identity. Remember, he was asleep, he couldn’t have known what was taken out of him except by a spiritual revelation. We have many men today, who are reluctant to  spend time in silent contemplation, in learning, prayer and humility to do the work on themselves needed in order to lead and be responsible for a woman. They are unaware at a deep level of what their wives are made of and cannot buy into the spirit to call forth her identity. They name her according to their need not according to the substance she is made of nor can they call her up to that substance if she falls short. They name her, housewife, mother of my children, lover, cook, helper, these are all good but they only speak to her function, not her substance and so we have many hardworking women who are depleted and weary because their core identity has never been identified. They have no rest, no security. They have no way of resourcing what they are sourcing out everyday because the lid is still firmly shut in the leader, the one responsible for them.

Worse, there are Adams that name their wives within the same dimensions with which they name the animals (or their properties) hence they treat their wives as such, like donkeys, horses, lionesses roaring in their houses who they have to tame at all cost. But if all men can see their wives as physical and spiritual extensions of themselves, made from the same material by the same maker, they will have a good starting point by calling them ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh‘. In other words they will be saying, your bone- your main frame, is part of mine.  In fact, it is the main that hold my frame together. You are the main bone of my bones. Your body, your flesh is part of mine. I cover you. You are insured. You are safe. I protect you because without you, I am disabled and weak. So then the two truly become one which is God’s true intention.

A married woman therefore who has been called into her own by her husband cannot be exempted from expressing herself because there is no confusion about her identity. She is submitted to the authority of her husband and he takes responsibility for her. Once he has full confidence in her and she has learnt and recognised her place, she must be free to be all that God made her to be.

Do You Really Know Jesus the Christ?

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10 KJV)

What does it mean to know someone?

It is quite funny, almost comical sometimes to hear people talk about popular or famous public figures as if they have actually met them and are their personal confidantes. They talk as if they are among the few who are privy to the intimate details of their lives. They will vouch for the authenticity of the information they are sharing but when pressed to reveal the source, it is either something they heard on Television or read in a magazine.

People go as far as owning and vouching for everything about the person, becoming so attached and willing to stand by and defend what they believe they know about the person. They believe wholeheartedly that they KNOW this public figure just because they hear him or her, read about him or her, sing his or her songs, fantasise about his or her life etc. They hang on every word he or she says. The most dangerous kind of public figures to idolise this way are the Christian public figures. Most often than not those who idolise them get traumatised by a negative occurrence in these public figures life as they simply cannot reconcile what has happened with what they believe they know about the person.

I say the most dangerous type to idolise are Christian public figures not because they are not deserving of public accolade but because they are not masters of their own destinies. Their anointing, skills, networks, organisations and very popularity are simply loaned to them and embedded in the grace of God more so than just their own hard work or merit. They are maintained by an invisible hand which cannot be controlled by any man.

‘The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up’. (1 Samuel 2:7 KJV)

‘He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them’. (1 Samuel 2:8 KJV).

So what does it mean to know someone?

To know someone is to be intimately acquainted with all aspects of their lives by the means which they themselves open up to you to the exclusion of others. Knowing someone is a private matter not a public one. There are facets of a person that are not for public consumption. They are revealed through the daily intricacies of life when opportunities for trust and private interaction abound so that such things as have been gleaned about the person can be subjected to the rigours of testing to evidence if they be real or not.

So someone came to Jesus and called him good master. He asked him, why do you call me good? He did not ask this because he was not good but because the person’s comment was flippant and baseless and shouldn’t have been said without him proving it first.

On the contrary when it came to his disciples he made the distinction clear. He himself asked them two questions. One was about who the public thought he is and the second was who they his disciples thought he is. You see there is a distinction between the two and Jesus knew it. What the public think you are is just near the truth but not the whole truth. What the people in your private life say about you is very important and you have to ask for it because it is the real measure of your journey. It shows you what to change and it reveals to you what you are really like because they KNOW you and if you give them the permission, they can tell you who you really are. Beyond this kind of knowledge, knowing Jesus involves having a personal revelation of his divine nature as the son of God, the annointed one of God sent to earth by God to reconcile the world back to God. The testimony of men and women alone does not bring this revelation. It is the testimony of God himself through the conviction that the Holy Sprirt gives which makes this ‘Knowing’ unshakeable, valid and authentic. Otherwise it simply becomes a case of hearsay and brainwashing. The proof of the taste of the pudding is in the eating of it.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath ot the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:9-12 KJV)

The only way to not doubt that you truly know Jesus the Christ, the only way to prove it is if your belief in him cannot be undone by the arguments and the common sense philosophies of the world. Without this, your knowledge is vain and unreal.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ: not water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For, there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (1 John 5:5-8 KJV)

Blood and water signify humanity. That is what we are composed of as humans. Unless our human capacity agrees with what the Spirit of God is saying about who Jesus, the Christ is, we can have no real enduring knowledge of him. He came by water and blood, in otherwords he was a man like us, but beyond that he was and still is the Son of God and that is the revelation of him that makes the difference between those who really know him and those who simply know about him, have learnt about him, have read about him etc.

So in finding out whether his disciples really knew him or not, he had a conversation with them which went like this;

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matthew 16:13-18 KJV).

See, in the middle of this private conversation, Jesus also shared with Peter who he sees him as. He said People see you as a stone (Simon) but I know you as a rock (Peter). Peter’s answer to Jesus was succinct and precise, not attained via public means but by a revelatory process based on what he himself had seen, heard and experienced since being with Jesus.

Apart from private knowledge via the process of private interaction, there is a higher way to know someone. Jesus demonstrated this as well in the passage above. He told Peter, the knowledge you have of me was not revealed to you by flesh and blood (human beings) but by my father in heaven.

In this day of identity crisis, where people do not even know their own selves very well and wait for public affirmation to confirm to themselves who they are, it is important to have revelatory knowledge of people from God. Otherwise we hold in high esteem those that God does not and we disdain those who God is lifting up simply because we have no revelatory knowledge of them. When dealing with people it is important to pray and ask God, ‘please show me who I am dealing with’. Sometimes we do not even know who our real enemies are and who are friends or helpers of destiny are. Yes , it is important to know your enemies so you can locate the table God is preparing for you, because he will dress your table right in their presence and if you do not want to die before your time you better know where the battle is.

‘Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more’. (2 Corinthians 5:16 KJV)

Know no man after the flesh. God does not expect you to know him after the flesh either. And yes there are people who know God through Jesus but only after the flesh. They love what he did when he was here on earth. They love the fame, the popularity and the openness with which he led his life. They love the stories of the things he did and said, they can quote him verbatim and can even make profit off what they know about him. They can even tell others about him as if he were their best friend. But they have not really known him.

Paul mentions wanting to KNOW him in our main scripture at a time when he seemed to be the one who knows him best. He however did not define what that knowing entails but said that in addition to knowing him, he Paul will like to also know the power of his resurrection, and also know the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be made comformable – modelled, redesigned, adjusted, re – fashioned according to the measurements and dimensions of his death. I don’t know about you, but apart from Paul and the other apostles in the bible I have never really met anyone in these modern days who wants their life adjusted, shaped, re- designed in conformity with death, even the death of Christ. To deserve to die like he did, nailed to a cursed cross, you will have to believe and say the non politically correct statements he made which will incite others to want to kill you. Who wants to do that? And even this kind of life, Paul considers as only an addition to actually knowing him. The actual ‘knowing him’ must really entail so much. Which is why towards the end of his life Paul was still saying things like;

‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13, 14 KJV).

It is only when you have followed unto the end that you can say you have really known someone. If you really know someone and accept them, even the threat of death will not compel you to turn away from them.

We must be willing to follow even unto death. That is the measure of a ‘calling’. The measure of a higher calling demands a higher level of following and a higher level of knowing.

‘Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him’. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 KJV)

So next time you say you know someone ask yourself the question? What kind of knowing am I talking about? Also if they do not know you, you certainly do not know them. Real knowing happens as a transaction, as an exchange.

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’. (Matthew 7:22, 23 KJV)

‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ’ (Philippians 3:8 KJV).

I tell you, Paul understood very well that he had to win Christ. It had to be an exchange. Real Knowledge of Christ is not just there for the taking. It has to be saccrificed for by a willingness to make yourself known to him as well, to win him.

Even the demons know Jesus. They have to for their own protection because, when he appears they know they are done for. So you who say you know him, do you really know him?

‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble’. (James 2:19 KJV).

‘Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded’. (Acts 19:13-16 KJV)

Enough Said!!!

A Modern Day Dilemma

1 John 4:1

I am constantly astounded at the speed with which technological advancements take place. Almost everything can be done instantly now. Information can be accessed and shared instantly. There is an explosion of all kinds of information both good and obscene ones. It is like an avalanche that carries everyone and everything with it. Even those who try to resist are inevitably caught in it’s web.

Take Facebook for instance. There are people on Facebook now who previously shun away from any kind of social networking but are presently hooked on it, myself included.

It is clear that in our present generation you almost cannot hide from technological advancement particularly information technology. It is in your face every where you turn. It is inevitable therefore that without quite being aware of it our mental stance and attitudes will be impacted by all the different things we see and hear everyday so much so that in this modern day even the self proclaimed conservative person usually ends up having some liberal perceptions towards certain things consciously or unconsciously.

The world is gradually being forced to consider everybody’s point of view or at least be tolerant towards it. That is the politically correct thing to do. Right or wrong has become very subjective. It depends on who you are talking to. It is difficult to find people who are true to themselves and stand for one thing only and maintain that stance.

When it comes to religion for example it is the age of pick and mix. Take what you think is good from each, mix it up and come up with your own customised version of a Religion. I, for one am weary of the term Christian now. Not all Christians believe singularly in the word of God. The minute you catch yourself saying; ‘I am a Christian, but…..’ then my friend you’re in trouble. It is difficult nowadays to find unadulterated, authentic preaching of the bible. If you listen carefully there seem to always be qualifiers. I believe in God but….., I believe the bible but……., I go to church but…….,

This situation looks set to get worse. As a Christian , it not only impacts on you but on your children and your children’s children. The generations to come. What will their mind set be? How will they treat the word of God and things of God? What new philosophies will develop to confuse them; even worse to dilute what we pass on to them? It is a serious situation.

The solution if you are a Christian is to re- evaluate your own beliefs and values and see if they truly conform to the word of God or whether they have been diluted by the world around you? The bible says: ‘Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall’. (1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV).

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (Hebrews 2:1 KJV).

The Christian message or gospel is clear in what it says. Jesus is the only way to God. The only mediator. The one who died and shed his blood for the redemption of the lost. It is God’s will that none of us will be lost but that we will all be reconciled to him. If you reject Jesus, you reject God’s provision for your redemption. He is the only way. It does not matter what you have heard and what is attempting to influence you. There aren’t many ways to God with Jesus as an option. Get on track. Do not be deceived.  The criteria is clear. If you do not meet it, you are out. This is what Jesus says; ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a theif. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth;and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And  when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers’. John 10:1-5 KJV).

‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus‘.(1 Timothy 2:5). ‘Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.(John 14: 6)

If you are Christian and you hold this belief, then there is no room for any other beliefs and there are no ‘buts’. For the sake of your children and your children’s children make sure you pass on a true legacy that nothing and no one in the world can take away from them, a solid unadulterated faith:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6 KJV).

Enough Said!!!