I am excited and honored to be asked to endorse a book from a sweet friend who loves His church deeply. She longs to encourage women to rethink women ministry.
As I read her words of encouragement and honesty, I think of the women that will be served well because of her words. And that excites me!
Then I think of those that need to see how women's ministry can be done well and God honoring. How powerful it is to have women who honor God by loving well in His church.
Then there's the other end where it is so harmful to have women who do not consult the Lord as they seek to lead His church.
My heart breaks for those that do not know what they are missing because they haven't been given the gift of women who are His church and seek to follow Jesus no matter the cost.
Who wear their armor from the Spirit and boldly activate it through prayer to shield and protect His body.
This leads me to think of these two things ~
1 ~ There are women out there that are hurting because the church refuses to activate and use their armor of God.
There are imperfect women that have not been protected by the shield of faith from other believers.
Hurting people are not always hurt by the injustice but by those who did nothing.
When God's people do something by faith they move mountains of loneliness and lies.
They may not always change the situation but they change hearts.
The battle always starts inwardly before it ever makes an impact outwardly.
Our overcoming my come from lifting our shield to protect another.
Always remembering that this is done with prayer and fasting.
Ephesians 6:18 ~ With all prayer and petition P R A Y at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition FOR ALL THE SAINTS... (emphasis mine )
This armor isn't to protect just ourselves and give us only the victory. But it is for what Christ died for and that is His church.
Our shield of faith protects the church. We are to be on alert with perseverance and petition to be able to see the subtle schemes of the evil one in the lives of those around us.
We are to shield one another with our faith that can move mountains. Our faith is in the Creator who is able to make all things new. In ways we may never fully understand but we obey.
We are to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one ~ not just the ones coming at us but ALL flaming arrows. That means for your brother and sisters in Christ. I would go a step further and say we are to do that for the unbelieving and in doing so they may see and believe.
Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood.
We are able to stand firm against these evil, subtle schemes with a belt of Truth and breastplate of righteousness.
This implies that we extinguish lies, rumors, gossip, and complaining with Truth and righteousness to protect the whole body those that are the church and those that may one day become His hands and feet.
Saying all that, brings me to my next thought ~
2 ~ If your the hurting one
I am so very deeply sorry!
If you have been hurt by indifferent people who hold to Pharisaical laws and not to the commands to love, pray, and bring healing through the Spirits armor given by Jesus, I am so sorry.
Don't give up on Jesus.
He died while we were sinners and rose so that we may be forgiven.We can then forgive others.
Some may have failed you, but you are the one with the sweet lesson of how to deal with such a disappointments.
You can learn to love as Jesus does because we learn the hardest lessons by failures and often through people we do not want to be like.
I encourage you to let your light shine and lift your shield of faith high to protect His church not because of what anyone else has done but because of what Jesus did.
I encourage you that He has never left you.
I am confident that Jesus longs for you to see that He is the head of the church not the sinners who make up His body.
He may be growing your faith so that your shield will move mountains for others.
Look to Him and see His goodness even in the failures of others and seek reconciliation because it will strengthen you as you see growth where you thought everything was lost.
Seek it even if you are not supported in it.
God will honor your steadfastness in His time.
Please remember always that you are never alone or crazy for believing that there is more to church than what you see and are shown.
and so do I.