Snapshots: Day 142
The Snapshot: “Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.” (Jud 4:4) I wonder what Lappidoth (what a name! it means torch or light) felt about that, having a wife who is both a prophet, a judge and leader of the nation? Awesome! In a day when women were ‘just’ mothers and wives, she is awesome. When God anoints a woman with such power and authority, never get stuck in out-of-date stereotypes, stand back and give her space, she’s got God with her. This isn’t about feminism versus tradition (deliver us from women or men who purport to be leaders but don’t have either God’s calling or anointing!) this is about people, male or female that God chooses, God calls, God anoints and God sends. When you see that, get out the way, God is on the move!!!!
Further Consideration: So often in church we focus on titles and role names as if they were the all-important thing, but they are not. Sometimes people take titles to themselves, like ‘Christian’ for example. When I was a teenager, without giving it much thought I would have said I was a Christian and argued with my communist friend from that perspective. The only problem was that he knew what he was talking about, but I didn’t. But it wasn’t merely a matter of knowledge, was it, it was the experience of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when I was born again when I truly met Christ.
Sometimes I look around and observe those in a church’s ‘leadership team’ and am saddened because there is not a leader there. A leader in the church is someone God has called and anointed for the task and they go ahead, and people follow them willingly because they carry the presence of the Lord in that way. These are spiritual leaders.
Back in Study no.135 I used the New Testament words for leader – elder, pastor, overseer, but you aren’t one because you have the name, you are one because you have the wisdom and maturity of age, you look after, care for, feed, heal up and lead the sheep, you guard and protect them and are there for them. You can have the title because you wanted it but that doesn’t make you it, only the calling and anointing of God does that. And that doesn’t matter if you are male or female.
The church is blighted with ‘leaders’ who have the title, male and female, but who neither have the calling nor the anointing. This is not being harsh but simply stating the obvious. If you don’t have the call and the anointing – male or female – you will strive at the job and probably be rejected by people. Deborah was clearly a prophet and had God’s authority to lead the people and those around her recognized that and submitted to it. We need people with the calling, the anointing, the gifting, the power and the revelation. Pray for them.