Should a Woman be in Public Ministry? ( A 3-Part Series) – Part 2

(See previous posts for the Introduction and Part 1 of the series)

An Excerpt from my upcoming book,

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

Part 2

The first time we hear the woman speak in the bible was with the serpent. Her knowledge was tested and Adam was no where around and she failed on a minor point. The word ‘but’ was her downfall. Something went wrong with her communication systems. She was using speech to organise her thoughts when her thoughts should have been organised prior. She got God’s rules messed up. When the devil said did ‘God say…..?’.  She should have said, ‘My husband said…’. Then there would have been no confusion because she physically was not present when God gave this instruction. Every married woman, before she can say ‘God said’,  must be clear on what her husband says, because he is responsible for what she says. If you don’t like what your husband said, take it up with God. Let him vindicate you. Don’t  speak to other people not even the devil in an authoritative conclusive manner on a subject matter you are not fully versed in until you are clear on what the main person who will bear the consequences with you thinks on the matter. This was Eve’s mistake.  The voices and opinions of third parties can cloud your intuition and your judgement and you will misrepresent the very God who made you and will drag others including your husband into your causes, making them subject to God’s judgement and the consequences of your action.

It is from this basis that Paul’s writings make sense.

‘Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression’. (1 Timothy 2:11-14 KJV).

It is important to notice that the scriptures say ‘the man’ not a man. To every woman, there is the man. A woman is not to be subject to every man simply because he is man and she is a woman.

The emphasis in the above scripture is on the word Learn.  That is the operative all important word in that scriptural verse. A woman’s first assignment is to learn or discover and know who God made her to be in quietness of reflection, study and prayer. If she goes on to marry, it is her responsibility to choose well, a man she knows she can submit to. It is her responsibility to learn the boundaries and requirements of that relationship and how best she can fulfil them satisfactorily. In agreement with her husband she can then learn the rudiments of whatever trade, career, profession, calling, office outside her home that does not conflict with what her husband is willing to be jointly responsible and accountable with her to God for.

Every woman who God used had her husband or the head of her household mentioned, unless she was unmarried.  Jesus had women followers, women disciples who were not in the forefront in due reverence to their marriages. Even where a woman is more learned than her husband they must together come to an agreement about her boundaries before she proceeds to do ‘her thing’ outside the home. This is a safeguard for her.

A woman who has not learnt well will communicate falsehood for which not only she herself is accountable but her husband too. God holds a man accountable for himself but he also holds a man accountable for his wife and his household. Any thing done by them which he is aware of will if necessary become his debt to pay.

Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: (Proverbs 24:3 KJV)

As can be seen from scripture, Joshua, the man of God made choices that covered he and  all members of his household.

‘And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord’. (Joshua 24:15 KJV)

The scriptures leaves no woman or girl uncovered.

Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:5-8 KJV)

Anything you speak out of your mouth, whether you are a woman or a man, you must be ready to stand by those words and their consequences too.

‘When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth’. (Deuteronomy 23:21-23 KJV)

God’s insurance policy is such that, if you are unmarried as a woman, you are covered by your father or the father figure to whom you submit. He is held responsible for all your mistakes. If you are married then it is your husband. What they disallow within the remit of their responsibility and you continue to do, you must pay for yourself.

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her. But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. These are the statutes, which the Lord commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house’. (Numbers 30:2-16 KJV)

Some see the above scripture as archaic, part of the Old Testament laws that should be discarded, thinking it allows the handling of a woman as a property, or a possession and not an equal. On the contrary, instead of objectifying women, I rather see it as placing value on them beyond normal human equality. It indemnifies them. It allows them to wait until they are fully ready, to bear the responsibility for their actions before the consequences are imputed to them.

Whose Child Are You?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV).

I have met people who if they had a choice will not belong to the biological family they belong to. They have a thing or two to say about their parents or their siblings. At the very least they harbour a secret admiration for a friend or an acquaintance’s family and wish their own family were just as rich, happy, together, loving, supportive, educated, influential as these other families are.

There is one thing however no human can do. You cannot change your birth parents. Even if you moved and grew up with another family, you will not be a bonafide member of the family unless perhaps you were legally adopted by them. You may have shared everything in common with them just like all families do but as long as you were not legally adopted, in the eyes of the law, you were never a part of them although you lived in their house and shared everything with them.

In the same way, all humans are God’s creation. We all live in his house (earth). We live off his provisions, the air we breath, water and food from the earth. In his mercy, he continues to provide sustenance for the whole earth and all it contains.

Do you know however that not everyone is a ‘child’ of God? The concept is pretty alien to some people. They ask themselves – how can God have a child? If he can, doesn’t that mean we all, his creation are his children?

No. According to the bible there is a difference between his creation and his children. God made you just like a manufacturer will make something. He also made the animals and the stars and the moon and the sun. These are not his children. Like you and I, they are first and foremost his creations.

The bible tells us of Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God. In the begining, he already existed. He was not made like you and I were although we were made in his image and by him. He is the legitimate family of God. Together with the Holy Spirit, they are a bonded 3 persons in one.

To become a legitimate child of God and to have access to the family inheritance not only on earth but also in heaven you and I must become children of God not by a physical transaction but by a spiritual transaction whereby we are adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family with all the rights and responsibilities of sonship.

When this happens it as as though you have been ‘born again’ and are no more just a creation of God but a child of God. This happens when you accept that you are an unqualified sinner who cannot by yourself do anything to merit becoming a child of God. You ask for forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ ( the only begotten son of God) as your Lord and saviour and agree a spiritual transaction which was sealed by covenant through his sacrificial death on the cross on behalf of you and everyone who will believe. By this exchange, he is able to give you life , everlasting life , a rebirth into the family of God.

“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:10-13 KJV)”

Listen to his own words which are a response to a question about how to have eternal / everlasting life -; Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)

Become a child of God today. It is never too late but it would be if you were to die today without completing the exchange. It is not that you are not good enough as you are. It is simply that the legal criteria for the redemption of your sins has not been met and you have automatically lost your chance to make that choice. In God’s view, everyday you live without becoming legally his, you are making the choice for which you will be held responsible. No one is exempted. No sin is too big or too inconsequential. We all need redemption. There isn’t a single person who doesn’t. The price has already been paid. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Enough Said!!!

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Wisdom Is As Wisdom Does

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm 111:10 KJV).

I watched a children’s TV Program in which two competing groups played a memory and recall game. One person was given a message either verbally or by gestures without the others being allowed to see or hear the message. The message was then passed on from this person to another until it reached the last person. It emerged that the message that reached the last person although sensible was nothing like the initial message. While it was being transmitted down the chain, it got totally distorted. A message did come across but it was definitely not the intended original message.

Wisdom is quite like that. It has many variants and many who claim to be the original proponents of it. What they are in actual fact are recipients down the chain. Their message although often sensible to the carnal mind is still a distorted form of the true original.

‘There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord’.(Proverbs 21:30 KJV). The Lord is the fount of all wisdom. The source and root of all wisdom. His wisdom is so condensed and undistilled that it takes him enabling a person for them to even begin to drink from it. Any wisdom which tries to stand against the wisdom of God will ultimately prove ineffective.

An attempt to understand God using our common sense before accepting that his wisdom is supreme to all other wisdom is a futile attempt. His wisdom is too deep to be fathomed without his help. He is the only one who can reveal it to you. It is not found in education, in much learning or any other such endeavours of man. When you get an education you only get knowledge. It takes wisdom however to make full, purposeful use of that knowledge and if this wisdom is not the God Kind of wisdom, your acheivements do not necessarily ultimately last nor are they optimally beneficial to you. But God can give you the total package, wisdom and with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding which will not destroy or harm you but will truly build you up.

‘But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living'(Job 28:12, 13 KJV).

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’. (Isaiah 55:8, 9 KJV).

‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding’. (Proverbs 2:6 KJV)

God’s wisdom is priceless. There is nothing you can give in exchange for it. The only way to access God’s wisdom is to reverence him enough to begin to do his commandments even if they are meaningless to you to start with. God’s commandments are actually more for our benefit than his. How does it affect God for example, if you steal or kill someone? The person it affects most is yourself and others of the human race. You may very well be caught and incarcerated and the blemish and consequences of your actions will follow you forever.

However, as you begin to do God’s commandments, your own life becomes safeguarded. You begin to see in retrospect snippets of what obeying God has saved you from. As we submit and obey him by doing his commandments, we begin to gain ‘good understanding’ not only of him but of ourselves, our own potentials and abilities and uniqueness and value which until then had mostly been locked away from us. We then feel empowered for the best in us to be released. We begin to access true wisdom. Godly wisdom. We begin to understand God’s ways and his work and we can then follow him even more closely without unnecessary deviations from his plans and intentions for us.That is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Nothing and no one is inaccesible to you if you are operating by the wisdon of God. He is able by that wisdom to direct every network, every resource and every promotion that you need to you. It is simply a process of time and of obedience to his commands.

‘And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart’.(1 Kings 10:24 KJV).

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:13-19 KJV).

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:……… saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: (Proverbs 1:20-23, 27-29 KJV).

Before you start trying to define exactly what wisdom is and whether yo have it or not, it is better to just start to journey to it in the way prescribed by God. Start by obeying his commandments. Do what he says. Please my friends, let’s choose the fear of the Lord. Let’s order our lives aright. True wisdom will be within our reach.

“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20 KJV).

‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding’. (Proverbs 4:7 KJV).

Enough Said!!!!

Purpose needs Opportunity. Opportunity is of no use without Preparation.

2 Peter 3:8

When I was at school, both through my secondary education as well as college, I always purposed at the beginning of every new term that come the end of term I will be very prepared for the final examinations. I usually start of very well, with good planning, attending every lecture, setting time aside for study, adhering to my timetable.

Unfortunately, this often does not last for too long before I start trying to take things a bit easier, telling myself the end of term is still some time away and that I did not need to be so hard on myself. Almost too soon, the examinations timetable will be out at which time I begin to realise that there was no longer enough time to prepare. That is when the late night coffee and sleepless nights begin. What this demonstrated to me was that even when purposes and timings are known, preparation can be difficult to maintain.

When it comes to our life’s purpose, our destinies, time is not something we can control. It will not move faster than 24 hours a day and it will not go slower than that either. Time does not respect deadlines. It does it’s thing irrespective of who it affects and how it affects them. Our destinies, our futures, our dreams, our expectations, our purposes are always locked away in time waiting to be unraveled. All we can do each day we are alive is to prepare to make them a reality by wisely using the opportunities that come our way.

There are however those who work hard, do the best they can but feel that their breakthroughs never seem to come. They seem to have a lot of motion but no progress.There are others who get the breaks they need at the right times and appear to have mastered the rhythm of life. The wise man Solomon in the bible puts it this way:

‘I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. (Ecclesiastes 9:11, 12 KJV).

Time and Chance (opportunities), they make the difference. Both of these unfortunately are out of our control. They are out of our control for a reason. There is a purpose for your life, for which cause, you were born and allotted a specific amount of time to live to fulfil that purpose. God is the one who knows this purpose and the time allotted to you and the opportunities you need for this purpose to be established. He alone therefore maintains control over both time and opportunities. The most important thing to him is that you fulfil your purpose and not necessarily the longevity of your life or the abundance of the opportunities he brings your way.

Time and opportunities are means to an end as far as God is concerned. Purpose is the deciding factor when it comes to how much time and opportunities he gives you. He therefore uses them (time and opportunity) to prepare you for purpose.It is a tragedy therefore to live without identifying your God ordained purpose. You will most likely be wasting the time and opportunities that come your way. You can’t afford  to do so because their supply as far as you are concerned is limited.

God on the otherhand walks in purpose and he subjects time to purpose. (“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. (2 Peter 3:8 KJV))

You unlike God,can only walk in time to fulfil an assigned purpose. When the allotted time for that purpose is up, there is nothing you can do to change it. But it will be a tragedy for your time to be up and the purpose allotted to it and to your life has not been achieved.

But how can your purpose be achieved, if you spend your time refusing to be submitted to God and to be accountable to him so he can lead and direct you? You may seem successful at what you spend your time doing but is that the reason God is keeping you alive? Remember, there is no extra time once your time is up.

The Psalmist understood this and so prayed; ‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’.(Psalm 90:10-12 KJV).

While you are still alive, now is the time to allign yourself with God, so you can spend your time making the right preparation for the God ordained opportunities coming your way. Remember they are linked to your purpose. However if you are spending your time preparing for the wrong thing, you will miss those opportunities, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

You can live a very long life and never fulfil your purpose because your preparation and opportunities never matched or synchronised. Your end will be full of regret and disillusionment. You can also live a short life but achieve all that God intended for you to achieve, in his way and in his time. That is fulfilling. Whether time and opportunities are on your side or not the most important thing is that you have lived the life God purposed for you. At the end of which you will hear him call you a good and a faithful servant / steward. My advice to you is as follows:

‘……..Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation’. (Hebrews 3:15 KJV).

Enough Said!!!

Why Do Some Say ‘I DO’ and Others Just Won’t?

John 8:24 KJV

What makes someone run into your arms can make another person run as far as they can away from you. There isn’t that much distance between COURAGE and FEAR.

Most often this is the basis for the decisions we make. Two people can be presented with the same situation. One may respond with fear and the other may respond with courage. Sometimes the one responding with fear may see elements of the situation that makes it so much more of a challenge or even an impossibility. The only logical response must be one of retreat or suspicion or fear.

There are times that our intellectual prowess and ability to think through things and weigh them in every way possible becomes an impediment to exercising courage. Those who exercise courage tend to do so in the face of uncertainty. Those who exercise fear tend to do so after considering the variables and being more certain of failure than success. This plays a factor in all major decisions we make about whether we go ahead with something or whether we retreat or withdraw from it.

Those who withdraw usually have good reasons to substantiate their fear. Those who exercise courage usually do so often  inspite of evidence of one sort or another to suggest that they shouldn’t. They take a step into the unknown often based on a conviction which they may be unable to fully explain. Does it mean they are being illogical? Have they lost their senses? Not necessarily.

We are confronted often with the need to make decisions about relationships, carreers and jobs, changes in our lives, entrepreneurial ventures  and other matters.  We can base all our decisions on logic but once so often we base it o something beyond logic. on a conviction that we canot shake. I see that this also applies when it comes to making a decision about whether to believe the good news of the gospel, whether to make a decision for Christ or to reject him. I find that many reject him out of fear. Fear for what he stands for, fear about the almost overly simplistic nature of the salvation he offers, fear about what it implies for their own life, fear from what they have observed happening to others who accept him and many other fears that the human mind can come up with. Many will not call it fear. When it is all stripped down however, it boils down to fear. Fear of what others will think about us. Fear of the changes we will have to make in our lives. Fear of the loss of previous privileges and relationships.

I imagine an invisible line. Let’s call it the start line that all human beings stand on. Following our birth irrespective of our background, as we live our lives, there comes a day when we each are confronted in one form or another with the opportunity to make a decision either to give our live over to God‘s control or not to do so. Irrespective of whatever form it might take, whether, through sickness, through a miracle we have observed, through devastation in someone else’s life or our own, through hearing the word of God being preached, there will be a time, a day in each person’s life when we each have to make a conscious choice with regards to the issue of belief or faith. The decision you make is based on whether you exercise courage or fear. Courage will make you run into God’s arms but fear will make you run in the opposite direction. Afterall there is so much unknown and ununderstood about the whole notion or concept of the existence of God. There are many reasons we can find to excuse ourselves.

‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV).

It takes grace to believe. But to speak in a layman’s language, it takes great courage to exercise faith. The evidence we have about God is around for everyone to see inspite of arguments to the contrary. We each in our lives and particular circumstances will have enough evidence if we so choose to  see that God does exist. We may not like what we see of him or the things we see around us but we will each have the evidence to gain the conviction that God does exist. What we do with that is however entirely in our hands.

‘For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools’, (Romans 1:20-22 KJV).

We are all presented with the same view. The ‘wise’ are unimpressed with the evidence and choose to reject him. Those who choose to exercise courage and allow themselves to be drawn to him by the evidence before them, he rewards with his grace for salvation and the promise of eternal life. Friends, the difference between a believer and an unbeliever (atheist etc) is simply the distance between FEAR and COURAGE. This is why we have different responses when it comes to God.

The evidence that Jesus is Lord is so clear that in my view, it takes more faith not to believe than it takes to believe. To look at everything around you, all the events of our days, to look at creation and all the miracles around us and to refuse or reject the Lord, that must take a lot of faith in the validity of your own reasoning power and your FEAR.

I hope that you will take a second look and exercise COURAGE instead. You will find that you made the right choice. See Jesus‘s own words below, possibly the most chillingly conclusive words I have ever read. Instead of fear and the thought of retreat, these words propel should propel you forward. They should give you the courage to run into his arms and to acknowledge that he is Lord.

“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins”. (John 8:23, 24 KJV).

Enough Said !