By: Dawn Hill – Lovesickscribe
I recently watched a video where a popular female minister was telling other women the power that they possessed in making the devil tremble and in shaking hell. While pacing back and forth on the platform and asking for more heat in the microphone, she began to tell these women how she was the enemy’s opposition and that she was his worst nightmare. Women all over the building were up on their feet clapping, cheering, and amening this young lady’s words. She exhorted them to understand how the devil feared them and he should fear her, in spite of the fact her heel had been bruised. It is worth noting she attributed a portion of the verse in Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy foretelling of Jesus, to herself.
As I listened to this message, I could not help but to be sad for the women listening to this message. The hero of the message was not Christ, but it was each and every woman in that room. The focus was not on weakness and the need for God, but on the power and fear these ladies instilled into the heart of Satan. It was sad how much burden this was placing on the women to be significant by demonstrating power and authority deemed by another woman. It was their job to conquer the enemy. It was their job to exert power and force. Let me encourage you, ladies. You and I are not called to shake hell, and we do not need to focus on making the demons tremble because we do not have that power. Focus on Christ.
I am sure there were women in attendance who entered a spiritual high so to speak, but once away from the crowd, the high wears off and reality comes crashing down. Real problems and real-life do not stop because of an amped up gathering, and unnecessary burdens were yoked to these women. The hero became self with Jesus as a passenger. The rhetoric of being the one who will storm the gates of hell covered in gasoline is fiction. The truth is that Jesus has already defeated Satan, and the devil does not fear us. He fears God. Hell is not the devil’s playground. Our hope is to be in Christ, and we are to take up His yoke and to find rest in Him. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:29)
There is another issue going on here. When we see such women on public platforms and on social media, we can feel the pressure to be significant in the body of Christ. This is our definition of significance. We may even have been taught or believed that without doing great exploits for God and without having such influence in ministry, our normal daily lives are less than God’s best. When you are in a movement such as the hyper charismatic movement, you are doing quite a bit it seems. The desire and temptation to be relevant is like a dangling carrot, and there is little to any teaching for women to understand Biblical roles and order set by God in His Word. Public ministry is coveted by many and serving in relative obscurity is not appealing.
Case in point: Throughout the years I spent in the hyper charismatic/ New Apostolic Reformation movement, I remember not wanting to be outside the sanctuary serving in other areas during services or conferences, thinking I was going to miss out on the move of God. At times, there was the thought of missing an opportunity to minister publicly or to receive or give a prophetic word. What if there was a moment to receive an impartation? It is humbling to admit such a selfish and unbiblical mindset. I understand it does not have to be a charismatic or hyper charismatic church to have this kind of perspective, but I do believe it is easy to embrace this way of thinking when you are conditioned to desire manifestations and the next move of God. When you attend services to hear something fresh and new or to participate in an experience, the temptation is there to focus on self rather than on serving others. I am thankful for a Biblical understanding of this now and for the desire to serve and to think more highly of others than self.
So, for those women who have come out of this movement and who are detoxing from spiritual significance and ministerial relevance, what do we do? You may feel that you have gone from being a workhorse to doing nothing. It can be a struggle when you go from doing so much that is said to be ministry to living life at a slower pace and seemingly lived in obscurity. Where do we find purpose when what we thought made us relevant and powerful, such as public ministry, the intercessory prayer team, the prophetic team, the worship team, the deliverance team, the dance team, the microphone, the platform, and social media influence are stripped away? What do we do when we have attended numerous church services, Holy Spirit services, prophetic conferences, prayer meetings, and spent most of our time going to gatherings and giving in many ways to these churches and to the vision of the leaders? What do you do when you come down from the spiritual high to feeling discouraged you are doing nothing of significance for the Lord in simply being a disciple of Christ, a wife, and a mother?
Elisabeth Elliott said this about being a woman,
“The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment…A Christian woman’s true freedom lies on the other side of a very small gate—humble obedience-but that gate leads out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.”
Scripture reminds us of the instruction and blessing in being a wife and mother submitted to the Lord and to her husband (1 Corinthians 11:8-9, Ephesians 5:22-24, Titus 2:3-5). Our greatest ministry is to our husband and to our children. Both the world and sadly even portions of the church have saddled women with the burden to be significant in building their own empires and usurping the roles of men. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Submitting to God’s instructions and commands displays our reverence for God.
The question as to what we can do is found in this: The best detox to discouragement when coming out of this type of movement and these beliefs is to return to the Word of God. It is truth. Commit to being a student of the Word of God. Feast on His Word daily. Cultivate fellowship with God by abiding in His Word and obeying what it says. Remember your First Love and your first ministry. When you know the Word of God, you can teach it and share it effectively with your children. You can serve your husband in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. This is ministry.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, consider it a blessing rather than a demotion. You are the first line of defense for your children. Teach, discuss, and model Biblical principles to them, including repentance. Sunday is not the only day to hear God’s Word, and we cannot depend upon church leadership to be the sole teachers to our children. Lastly, get involved in your local church in ways such as outreach, children’s ministry, and women’s ministry. Encourage other sisters in Christ by talking about God’s Word and learning together. There are many ways we can serve and minister in accordance with Scripture
As someone who understands the struggle in detoxing from ministerial relevance and striving, I have compassion for other women in these positions. It is possible to find rest and peace. You do not have to hold a microphone or have a public platform to have eternal significance, and the position has already been filled for Victor and Conqueror. Look to Christ for your identity, and rest in God’s finished work on the cross.
Listen to this episode of The Lovesick Scribe podcast as we discuss what women’s roles are in Scripture, and how to detox from ministerial significance: The Lovesick Scribe Podcast: How Women Detox from Ministerial Significance on Apple Podcasts.