Women: Spiritual Freedom
For many years the world around us has been slowly creeping toward gender equality. During that period of time women have been, in a sense, relegated to few places of authority or leadership in society compared to that of men. Presently I am in a position of leadership as pastor of a church along with my husband. We consider ourselves equal senior pastors as we co-founded River of Life @ KPM ministries. In the process I extended my leadership gifting in establishing DreamLab7 a website devoted to the teaching and advancement of dream and vision interpretation. I am troubled and disappointed to observe there are, to this day, several denominations within the body of Christ that continue to shun women from holding pastoral authority or places of leadership. I have heard numerous sad stories underscoring this situation of being held back from fulfilling what God has called them to do.
One disturbing incident occurred when one women was invited to speak at a conference sponsored by a well-known denomination. As she began to address the conference attendee’s pastors and leaders of the denomination stood, turned their chairs and sat with their backs to the woman. She stood strong completing her address much to the chagrin of the pastors and leaders. One can only imagine the heart-wrenching feeling experienced by the woman whose father is one of the world’s most respected evangelists. I believe the church should be and must be the example and leading proponent in advancing the cause of women in church authority and leadership. Women, to be sure, display strength in many areas that are missing in men’s makeup. While men are commanding and assertive they sometimes lack that certain gifting of situation awareness and fail to display attention to significant minor details, compassion and situation outcomes that necessitate accurate guidance.
Man’s wisdom at times can be limited and may be the result of advancing watered down answers to some personal situations. There are many gifted and anointed women in the body of Christ who have a special sense of justice and courage unlike that of men. Many women who have answered the call of ministry in leadership, love, compassion and revelation have produced indelible marks that confound the skeptics. Chief among them are Heidi Baker, Patricia King, Joyce Meyers, Anne Graham Stotz. Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Aimee Semple McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman.
I firmly believe the dark side is responsible for focused negative attitude on women more so than men because of the curse the Lord pronounced over the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In the book of Esther in particular the leadership and authority of a women is recorded as an example for us. When Jesus came on the scene His love opened the way for the liberation of women in the destiny and plan of the Creator. Men and women need to stand side-by-side to move in the anointing God had originally designed for his church. Genesis 2:23 specifically states that she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Exodus 15:20 “In the days of the kigs there was Huldah, the prophetess. Luke 2:36-38: The first prophetess named in the New Testament is Anna. She was advanced in years when Jesus was born yet she prophesied over him shortly after his birth. Elizabeth, wife of Zacharias and mother of John the Baptist prophesied as did Mary, the mother of Jesus. Luke 1:41-55 and Acts 21:8-9: Phillip had four virgin daughters who prophesied. In the book of Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on my maid servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they shall prophesy. We should remember the life of Deborah as recorded in Judges 4-5 or the sister of Moses in Exodus 15:23. In Isaiah 8:3 Isaiah was married to an unnamed prophetess. We must remember that in the New Testament a prophet or prophetess was considered a high office of government.
Ephesians 4:11-16 emphasizes the place of honor and respect that women hold. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind or doctrine; by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. There is no mistake. Scripture proves the commission and purpose of the gifts that are meant for all His children regardless of gender.