Only weeks prior to the conference, while attending the John Maxwell Speaker, Coach, Trainer Certification Conference weekend, in West Palm Beach, Florida , I met a gentleman from Toronto Ontario. About two minutes into our exchange, he paused. “Would it be ok if I pray with you?”
I’m a bit sensitive about letting strangers pray intimately with me, and instinctively checked in with God, to get a sense of what He was saying. Peace. Total peace.
“Yes,” I said.
“May I hold your hands to pray?”
I am especially sensitive about any form of ‘laying on hands’ because of the caution in the Bible about that connection. Again I checked with God and felt peace, that it was okay, so I gave permission.
He began praying and immediately the Spirit of God began to move powerfully, as he spoke the very things God has already spoken; Things that I had written out and shared with some friends, mentors and leaders.
Suddenly, he took a step backward and gently, yet boldly, began declaring things, and the power and presence of God overtook both of us.
“You are born for such a time as this, as Queen Esther was…. You are called to be a trailblazer…, You will go where none have gone before…. You will lead men…. And they will begin to lead in those areas….”
I cannot recall everything he said, nor does it matter. What I know is that I was not comfortable with that calling, and yet, as uncomfortable as it was, it resonated deep in my spirit, as truth. I was already in ministry, but I had never considered myself to be a trailblazer, or as leading men. When pastors began affirming that call, a few months later, it all made sense. But that didn’t make it more comfortable.
One of my biggest fears, or at least something way out of my comfort zone, is writing to men, speaking to men, or leading men in any way. Yes, God has placed in me an interesting blend of Jael, who drove a spike through the enemy, Esther, who said ‘if I perish, I perish’, and Deborah, who was prophetess, a judge and a military leader all in one. Even though I am a strong ‘spiritual warrior’ type, I have never wanted to lead men, and still, quite frankly, cringe at such a thought.
Over the past few weeks, as I wrote about Spiritual Abuse, an interesting phenomenon took place. The number of readers visiting my blog jumped dramatically, starting on the first day I tackled the topic and levelled out at 1200% growth. What was even more interesting was the number of men who followed, commented and promoted the blog. (Thank you!) But, what most intrigued me was the amount of gentlemen who messaged me directly.
I am accustomed to hearing from women. I get inbox messages from strangers frequently, but rarely from gentlemen, so that was new, and fascinating. There were a variety of religious backgrounds, and wrote thanking me and encouraging me to continue writing. While that doesn’t make me comfortable in it, it does encourage me to continue sharing my heart.
God has called us all to lead, and to share the gifts and talents He has placed in our hearts. And we are most definitely all called to present Jesus and truth. But don’t take it from me, take it from God.
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.
As believers we need to release the notion that only men are called to lead or speak. If ‘women be silent’ were intended as an all encompassing, stand alone command, then the above verses would be contradictory. A prophetess is not known for silence.
To Tim, and the pastors in my life who continually partner with me and empower me, ‘Thank you’. It is in living in submission to the leaders in my life, that I am empowered to lead others. And it is in embracing the call that God has placed on me that gender boundaries in my readers become irrelevant.
To all who have sent messages encouraging me and challenging me, ‘Thank you’. I don’t write for the thanks, however, to know that readers are encouraged makes the investment of time and energy easier, especially with a heavy topic like Spiritual Abuse.
As the body of Christ, let’s encourage each other to be God’s voice in the earth.
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/