Years ago by the providence of God I found myself facing circumstances that confronted my ultra-conservative belief systems—including the mindset that "Women Belong in the Kitchen." The resulting radical shift eventually led me to become a coach, advocate and champion for women in ministry and leadership.
What a story of transformation it has been!
As I was unknowingly thrust into this arena, I was exposed to the controversies, adversaries and abuses both in the church and world systems. I was confronted by the atrocities done historically as well as present day. I wept. I repented. I humbled myself and asked the forgiveness of my wife and others. I was forgiven by Papa God and cleansed from ungodly belief patterns; demonic strongholds were demolished—in me! I was transformed by amazing grace!
This newfound freedom eventually catapulted me into discovering the blessings that come when women are empowered and released into their Creator's destinies. After doing thorough biblical and historical research, I was willingly forced into making major life adjustments because the Holy Spirit gave my wife wings to fly and transformed her from being a great Betty Crocker Homemaker into a world-class lioness. Today I have the honor of being a consultant and adviser to some of the top women in leadership in various spheres of life. Transformation can take place. I know!
Throughout biblical and modern history, women have held key leadership roles in every facet of church and kingdom life fulfilling God's many purposes in their generations.
The characteristics marking these Special Forces in the Lord's Army are security in their identity, not grabbing for a platform or attempting to make a name for themselves. God is their Father. They die to self and are recipients of the gifts and callings given by their master by grace through faith.
This empowered company of secure women leaders is not in competition with anyone. Unlike some flashy stars in the world, they are not "divas," self-centered or trying to act like men. They are not second-class citizens either. Whole women lead and lead well! Did you hear me? Whole women lead really well!
So let's take a quick glance at the impact some empowered women in Scripture made especially in the prophetic ministry God entrusted to them.
Women in the Prophetic
Miriam – Miriam, the prophetess, stood alongside Moses and Aaron as one of the three main leaders of the Israelite nation as they left Egypt (Ex. 15:20).
Deborah – Deborah stood as judge before God on behalf of Israel during this time and came alongside Barak, a military authority, to lead the Israelite army to victory against the Canaanites (Judg. 4:4).
Huldah – Huldah was visited by the high priest, the scribe and a servant of the king so they could obtain the word of the Lord on behalf of young King Josiah (2 Kings 22:14).
Isaiah's wife – We are not given her name, but the wife of Isaiah was a prophetess (Is. 8:3).
Elizabeth and Mary – This interchange between Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, resulted in exuberant praise and prophesying concerning the destiny of Mary's Child within (Luke 1:41-42, 46-47).
Anna – Anna was the praying prophetess present with Simeon the seer at the dedication of Jesus by His parents on His eighth day of life (Luke 2:36-38).
Philip's daughters – Philip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied (see Acts 21:8–9). Four in one family!
A man, a woman; a seer, a prophetess: equal distribution with unique expressions of the same prophetic presence. As it was at the first coming of Jesus, so it will be at the Second Coming.
Other Secure Women Leaders in the Bible
Jael – She drove a tent peg into Sisera's head and delivered him into the hands of Barak (Judg. 4). Deborah had prophesied that the Lord would give Sisera to Barak. And God did it through the hands of a woman!
Abigail – As an advocate, she pleaded the case of mercy on behalf of her wicked husband to David, who was on the run from King Saul (1 Sam. 25).
Esther – She was the godly queen who saved the entire Jewish race through her bold intercession and fasting (see the book of Esther).
Proverbs 31 Woman – She was skillful in household and business issues, bought and sold real estate, ministered to the poor and so much more.
Woman at the Well - Many see her as the first evangelist noted in the Bible, as she went forth proclaiming the Good News of the Christ (John 4).
Mary Magdalene – She was one of the women who was first at the tomb, first to hear that "He is risen" and first to announce His resurrection (Matt. 28:1-10).
Lydia – This wealthy businesswoman is noted as the first convert in all of Europe (Acts 16:14-15). This could be considered apostolic in nature.
Priscilla and Aquila – They were probably a husband and wife teaching team explaining the Word of God with accuracy (Rom. 16:3-5).
Phoebe – She was a deaconess who washed the feet of the saints (Rom. 16:1) and came highly recommended by Paul.
Let's Do It Together
You can see through these many examples—if you needed any persuading—that secure, whole women have always been used by God to do exploits in His kingdom. Women carry the gifting of the Holy Spirit with sincerity and excellence equal to that of men. As a spiritual father and leader in the body of Christ, I want to declare that we need you! We need you to be healed, secure and whole! Why? Whole women lead well!
So let's be grateful for each other. We need each other. Let's learn to defer to one another. Let's seek and pray for divine cooperation so that a clear, rather than discordant, sound will be produced. Let's receive and honor the giftings of His most precious Holy Spirit, so that the church will be victorious and Jesus will be glorified.
Men, I challenge you as well to be an agent of love, honor and life, empowering the women that God has placed in your life. Husbands, you have the unique privilege of representing Christ to your wives—love them well!
Let's all allow the Holy Spirit to bring needed healing, empowering us to spread the Good News into every facet of church and kingdom life. Let's do it together!
For the original article, visit encountersnetwork.com.
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries, an award-winning author and communications trainer and has ministered in over 50 nations. For information on his webinars and online classes, visit godencounters.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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