Prophetic voices around the world are confirming that now is the time to release women into ministry. We are experiencing a new move of God on the earth, and God is raising up women to play a key role. In fact, He is calling and anointing women today as never before. They are part of His plan to crush the enemy's head.
After Adam and Eve sinned, God told Satan, who had appeared to Eve in the form of a serpent and deceived her, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel" (Gen. 3:15, NIV). This is an incredible redemptive promise, foreshadowing the final victory of Jesus (the offspring of the woman) over the devil and his evil cohorts.
But many women lose sight of the fact that Christ in them will crush the enemy's head. They shrink back in fear that Satan will bruise their heels. They need to remember: A promise is different from a prophecy. A promise is a sure thing; it will be done. They can rest assured that God's redemptive promise will be fulfilled.
Women have nothing to fear from Satan, but he has reason to fear them! Why? Because in this "now" season, God is calling them to rise up as "now" women and help usher in the new thing He is doing.
"Now" Women Initiate the New Thing
What does a "now" woman look like? Studying the account of Jesus' first public miracle gives us a clue. John 2:1-3 says, "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine'" (NKJV).
Notice Jesus' response to his mother: "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come" (v. 4).
Basically, He was saying, "Why are you telling me about the wine? It's not time for Me to display My glory." But look at Mary's reaction: She didn't pay any attention to Jesus' comment! Like all "now" women, she knew when it was time for something to happen, and she was prepared to initiate the new thing.
Mary told the attendants, "Whatever He says to you, do it" (v. 5). Here is an example of a woman initiating the new thing. In response to her initiation, Jesus gave instructions to the servants to fill the stone waterpots with water so He could create the needed wine. Many times, women initiate the next move of God on the earth, just as Mary initiated Jesus' ministry of miracles.
"Now" Women Conceive the New Thing
In Hebrews 11:11, Sarah is recognized as the first woman of faith: "By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised." Though she was old, she conceived the new thing God wanted to birth--Isaac, the child of promise. Like Sarah, "now" women conceive the new thing.
Such women are desperately needed in the church! If there is one thing wrong with us right now, it is that we've lost the passion to be able to conceive the new thing God wants to do on the earth.
"Now" Women Announce the New Thing
"Now" women not only initiate and conceive the new thing, they also announce it, as Mary Magdalene announced the resurrection of the Lord to the disciples. The Bible tells us that Jesus chose her—a woman—to appear to first (Mark 16:9).
Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that Jesus was alive. Jesus knew the others were too filled with fear and unbelief to announce His resurrection. In fact, they didn't believe Mary when she made the announcement, but she knew she had seen the Lord. Like Mary, women are about to become the next trumpeters of faith throughout this land.
"Now" Women Intervene
The life of Abigail exemplifies another attribute of "now" women∏their ability to circumvent trouble by intervening at the right moment. In 1 Samuel 25 we learn that Abigail was married to Nabal, a businessman in Carmel who was very wealthy. He had a ruling authority in that area, and David, who had been out warring in Nabal's territory, hoped to receive refreshment from his household. Although David approached Nabal with a right spirit, Nabal replied foolishly, refusing to be hospitable to David and his men.
David was upset by Nabal's response because he had been protecting Nabal's property. He decided to retaliate.
Notice what happened next: Nabal's wife, Abigail, intervened. She "made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys" (v. 18). In other words, she by-passed her foolish husband. She sent her servants ahead of her but did not say anything to Nabal about her plan (v. 19).
When Abigail saw David she dismounted, bowed her face to the ground and said, "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant" (v. 24). Then she proceeded to apologize to David and beg him not to take offense.
Abigail positioned herself correctly; she humbled herself correctly; she interceded correctly. And notice the results: David received her intercession. When she told her husband the next morning what she'd done, "his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died" (vv. 37-38). When David heard this news, he proposed to Abigail and took her as his wife (v. 39).
God has placed many "now" women in difficult situations in which they have the opportunity to intervene. When they do, God intervenes on their behalf.
"Now" Women Know the Time of Change
Naomi is another example of a "now" woman—a woman who knew when it was time for change. She had moved to Moab from Bethlehem with her husband. But then she lost him as well as both her sons. Realizing that Bethlehem held the key to her future, she decided to return.
One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, chose to leave her native land and go with Naomi. Together they began to rebuild their lives. Ruth went to work gleaning in the fields of a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi's husband.
When the harvest ended, Naomi realized that it was again time for change. She felt that Ruth needed a more stable situation. She told Ruth she wanted to secure a future for her and sent her to Boaz, hoping that he would take care of her because she was a relative (Ruth 3:1-2). Naomi seized the opportunity to activate a cultural law of redemption in order to protect her daughter-in-law.
She then gave Ruth several instructions: to wash and anoint herself, to put on her best garment in place of the widow's garb she had been wearing, to wait for the right timing and to lay down at Boaz' feet. These actions required Ruth to fully submit to what God was trying to do.
The result of Naomi's taking action at the right moment and Ruth's obedience was that Boaz got up and blessed Ruth. He also promised he would abide by the law of redemption and care for her if a closer relative would not do his duty.
Do you know what this means for women today? When they do that which God is asking them to do when He is asking them to do it, they will receive a blessing. If they know the time of change and go through the process of cleansing themselves, receiving a new anointing, removing their old garments, moving in at the right moment and submitting themselves to the full purpose of God, they will be blessed.
"Now" women know when it's time for change. If they move to initiate the change at the right moment, they will secure their future. Why is this important? Because if women can discern by the Spirit what God is doing and rise up to pray, His plans will be fulfilled.
"Now" Women Awake
Deborah was a woman who woke up to God's purposes. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery states that the general concept of "awakening" captures the notion of either rousing oneself or being aroused in order to take action, as in the call for Deborah to "wake up" (Judg. 5:12, NIV) or "awake" (NKJV). Such a call is usually accompanied by urgency and intensity, as indicated by emphatic repetition: "Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song!" (v. 12; cf. Is. 52:1).
Deborah had been judging Israel for several years before she planned the war against Jabin. But before she could arouse the tribes to go to war, she herself had to rise up with a renewed spirit.
Deborah had characteristics that I see God awakening at this time in women all over the world. She was a prophetess. She was a ruler. She was a warrior. She was a psalmist. And she was a mother of Israel. My encouragement to women is, awake and arise now, and demonstrate the change that God is longing to bring in our day.
Chuck Pierce has been affiliated with the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Global Harvest Ministries. He is president of Glory of Zion International Ministries in Denton, Texas.