Happy International Women’s Day

I am a woman in ministry that is allowed to speak to the whole congregation on a Sunday. It is not an opportunity that I take for granted, because unfortunately there are many churches that do not allow women to speak outside of a women’s event or a youth/children’s ministry. This is quite sad because there were many disciples of Jesus, that were not men, that He sent out. It is sad still that today in mega churches (not all…Elevation Church and Transformation Church, well done!) that do not have a woman speak in a main service. The body of Christ is really missing out on this gift.

John 4:7-38 tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well. For those of you who do not know this story, I urge you to read it.  I will paraphrase it for you right now.  Jesus and his disciples are traveling and his disciples went to buy food in the city.  Jesus sits down at “Jacob’s well” and he asks this Samaritan woman for water (a woman, culturally, His people would not be seen talking to).  He goes on to talk to her about there being a water that she could drink that she would never have to thirst again.  This woman was out at this time of day, that no one else would be drawing water, was because she was living with a man that was not her husband, and had had five husbands before that.  Women were property back in that day and if this woman had been married and divorced so many times, culturally they thought something was wrong with her.  Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah and she receives what He says.  His disciples come back and are astonished.  Jesus talks about having food to eat, but they hadn’t given him any yet.  What food was He talking about?  John 4:34-35 (MSG) Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

Jesus sits down at “Jacob’s well” and he asks this Samaritan woman for water (a woman, culturally, His people would not be seen talking to).

Here is the adventure the Samaritan woman and the harvest that Jesus saw.  Historians have discovered that the Samaritan woman’s name was Photina.  She was at Pentecost.  After her encounter with Jesus at the well, she did not stop spreading the Word of Jesus.  It completely changed her life.  She spoke so much of Jesus that she got the attention of Nero.  She was responsible for converting Nero’s daughter and many of his servants.  How fascinating to know that Jesus saw that harvest at the well. He saw the value of this woman!

Some may argue that is woman was a missionary and that was why she could lead in that capacity. It is often glossed over that the day that Jesus was presented to the Temple, as customary after eight days of His birth, there were two in the room that blessed Him, Simeon and Anna, a prophetess. God does not see less of a value on women, as being the physically weaker sex, He sees great value in them as why He chose Deborah to lead the nation of Israel.

My husband and I co-pastor our church. I am submitted to my husband as He is the head of our home, but that does not mean he dominates me or has a greater voice than I do. When we presented the verses on Ephesians 5 on how a marriage is modeled to the congregation on Valentine’s Day Sunday we presented this verse first: 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT) In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

When we start seeing women in ministry as equal partners, there is so much more that can be offered to the Body of Christ! Women, you have value! You are a gift to the body of Christ!! Lisa Bevere posted today, “God would have never GRANTED WOMEN A VOICE if He intended for them to remain silent.”

Peace Even During Difficulty

Nearly two years ago I was terminated from a job that I no longer felt joy in going to. Honestly I should have left a year and a half before. However, I stayed not listening to God, because I could not see how we could have all the luxuries we do now without it. I know it was selfish! It was a huge mistake and the mistake that I made (as unintentional as it was) was a huge blow to my character…so I thought.

What did I do when confronted with this blow? I spent the first week in the word NON STOP! I read books on dealing with rejection. I dove deeper into my Bible. I even pulled out my old study Bible from m when I first accepted Christ, at the age of eighteen. I played worship music for hours!!

Peace did not leave me in that transition. Why? I was ready to leave that job, I was the one holding onto it. It was my fault that I put myself into that situation. I was bound and determined that I was going to hold true to His Word. Romans 8: 28 says, “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”(TPT)

God was going to get the glory for this! I did not hide. I did not fall into depression. I did not blame anyone for my circumstances. Did I have moments? Um…I am not perfect, of course I did! They were only allowed to be moments though. Jesus left us a promise:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

People today define peace as long as things are going their way. We hear “World Peace” as in reference to ending of wars and no crime. Peace is defined in this manner as “Stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there is no fighting or war.”

Jesus left us a supernatural peace though. A peace that will be there even in the midst of great difficulty.

2 Peter 1:2 (with emphasis added), “May grace (God’s unmerited favor demonstrated through power on your behalf) and a peace (a state of perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to your through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

There was a time when Jesus was at peace and those that were with him were not. In Mark 4:35-40 we can see that Jesus is with the disciples on a boat and a storm comes up. Jesus, however, is sleeping through it… the disciples were not. Right away in verse thirty five Jesus tells them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Then He grabs a pillow and takes a nap. Do you not think that Jesus knew that a storm was coming?

Do you not think that God knew a storm was going to come into your life? He knew I would be terminated. Why is is that when things like that happen we going into a lament and shout out to God “Why me?” Then we withhold ourselves thinking we will ease some stress.

I once read a tweet that said, “Today in church a Pastor said this: If you can trust a puzzle company to make sure every piece is in the box to complete the puzzle, then why can’t you trust God that every piece of your life is there for a reason?”

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God knows the beginning to the end, not just about earth, but about our individual lives as well. Can I stand in peace through trials?

Lisa Bevere wrote a book called Without Rival. Here are a couple of quotes I pulled out during this time in my life: “Moses learned that destiny is revealed in seasons of confrontation rather than season for comfort.” “The anointing set you apart, but confrontations, storms and trials will set you up.”

“Moses learned that destiny is revealed in seasons of confrontation rather than season for comfort.”

Lisa Bevere

Remember that in times of trials you can hold onto His peace. You are not shouldering this alone.

1 Peter 5:7, “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” (TPT) The New King James Version tells us to, “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Whether you lay it down, or you throw it to Him, He cares for us so much that we do not need to feel like the trials are just for us alone. He knows the path to go through them and He will walk every step with us, knowing this we can be at peace.