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"If God has called you to China or any other place and you are sure in your own heart, let nothing deter you. Remember, it is God who has called you and it is the same as when He called Moses or Samuel."
- Gladys Aylward, missionary in China, 1902-1970.
The expectation of a woman's role in the church, ministry, and family life has been challenged and redefined for hundreds of years. As we witness the growth of our own generation, the playing field between men and women is growing more and more level as both males and females are understanding that the truths of the gospel are nothing but affirming women as preachers, prophets, and leaders in the world. Women are learning to walk boldly in the promises of God and we are allowing the King of Kings to heal and restore our identity, along with our purpose. And what does that mean for you? For me? Who does God call us to really be as righteous women of the Kingdom?
We’ve been led and shown by the torch-bearers of the Bible and by missionaries of the past and present, that women have so much knowledge and passion to share with the world. Now it’s our turn to step boldly into the full identity Christ has laid out before us. To take on His ultimate calling, to love and share the gospel with the world. Our ears are being tuned towards the Kingdom's voice, and no longer the voice of the flesh, telling us we can't do it. So let us dive in together, walk and encourage one another in this journey of womanhood in and with Christ.
In this, you'll see many biblical references. I am challenged to present to you who are you called to be, not according to societal standards or what the church says, or even what my own flesh says, but what the Word of God demands of us. Let it ring true for each of us, as we decide to walk in His light together.
Women like Deborah, Esther, Mary (mother of Jesus), Mary Magdalene, and Priscilla are leading examples of biblical woman who walked with their eyes set on their God. Each woman, brilliant in obedience in her own role, led others to freedom through her power of authority given to her by God. Deborah was an incredible leader as a judge, prophetic and just. Esther, who became the Queen of Persia, rescued her people from a genocide. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was a women disgraced for accepting the call of God. Her obedience, in biblical times, was justifiable for death, but she obeyed, and delivered the Savior of the world. Mary Magdalene, who was an apostle of her time, followed Jesus to the cross and was the first to witness and announce His resurrection to all the world. And Priscilla, a first century missionary with her husband Aquila, who served alongside Paul, and was a minister of the gospel. Throughout the Old and New Testament, God shows His plans through these key woman. Wether you've read these stories or not, they are a key place to start in learning what it means to be a woman of God. Over and over again, God has clearly shown women overcoming huge cultural norms and obstacles to pursue His ultimate calling.
Intimacy sits at the core of resurrected life with Jesus Christ. Women throughout the Bible have showed incredible examples of pursuit in intimacy with Jesus and some of the most tender moments of Jesus walking among us, has been with women.
A woman known for prostitution came and poured an alabaster jar full of expensive perfume upon the feet of Jesus, and as she wept, wiped his feet dry with her hair and in this moment, Jesus commended her, saying that all the world will know what she has done for him. Mary Magdalene sat at the feet of Jesus in awe, and just listened as He spoke. Later, Jesus allows her to anoint him. The incredible story of the woman at the well, where Jesus spoke to this Samaritan woman, which broke almost every cultural barrier in that day. She was a Samaritan, which was a hated minority. She was also known as a prostitute, and no decent man would be seen with her in that day. But Jesus did. Jesus loved her, and brought restoration to her life. He offered her everlasting life and he treated her as we were meant to be treated, with value and honor. He gently led her to repentance, and she became the first evangelist outside of Jewish culture, rushing back into the town to tell of the Good News. It was through her testimony that many were led to Christ. Each of these experiences show moments of surrender and sweetness with Jesus. To sit with Him in awe, and allow His forgiveness to wash over each of them. Each of these women went and proclaimed the gospel, birthed out of an intimacy with Jesus. You were created for the deepest intimacy with Jesus and to lead through that, because out of this intimacy overflows a love unfathomable and unexplainable.
I can't help but witness that in each moment women in the bible took risks to be with Jesus, transformation took place. A woman who was subjected to 12 years of bleeding, pushed her way to touch the robe of Jesus, and was healed physically and spiritually, with just the touch of his clothing. Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus, something so intimate and shattered societal standards because women had such restricted status and rights in New Testament times. A broken woman at the well, gave Jesus water to drink, and received eternal life. Jesus' mother trusted in God and obeyed the extraordinary call of her life, at age 15.
Each risk led to ultimate transformation. And in each risk, Jesus protected and loved those women so deeply.
Your gifts are worthy of pursuing, sharing, and imparting and we each have roles to play in the Kingdom. Each of our callings are so unique, and the only way to truly understand our calling is to spend time in intimacy with Him. To allow His waters of refreshment, and restoration to wash over you, and to make you anew. We all carry the ultimate calling of spreading the Gospel, but with Him, He has a special way just for you.
But we have to press in. Woman were created to take risks for the sake of Jesus Christ. Every woman that took a risk to experience the power of Jesus, received the gift of eternal transformation. And I know, every time I've taken a risk, I've been met with the presence of my Father. God has given you a gift, let no one disqualify you from the life God has called you to.
So take a risk, push through the crowd, grab ahold of Jesus, and experience a life worthy of the calling you have received.
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