We are all on a journey, the journey of life in Christ, and we are all at different a stages on that journey. Some have had a personal relationship with Jesus since childhood, some much later in life. Whatever stage we are at, God expects us to keep travelling. He doesn’t expect us to sit down thinking that we are saved now so we are okay with God, and that’s as far as we need to go. No….He expects us to keep moving forward, growing stronger in Him and continuing to learn as we go. I think you will agree that this side of Heaven we will never learn it all, but He certainly expects us to try. My personal journey has been long and slow. Sometimes I think that I am the slowest learner about and looking back I am amazed at just how slow I have been.
When I first gave my life to Jesus and was born again, I didn’t have a clue about what being a believer really meant. I foolishly thought that my experience was commonly shared by people who went to church, as I had done all my life, that they had all come to a point of understanding the truth about Jesus and had given their lives to Jesus as I had done. Oh my! I had a lot to learn!
I was in a mainstream church at the time, and now it seems to me that it was a miracle that I was ever saved whilst in that church. I received no discipling whatsoever and after a while, because women preach in that church, I soon believed that God was calling me to do just that. After all public speaking was something I had been trained to do from a child. Elocution lessons, with recitations in competitions, amateur dramatics, pantomimes and the like had shown me that I could do it and I was on fire for the Lord and ready to offer the gifts God had given me. So I volunteered my services and off I went. I enjoyed it very much, at least to begin with, though it was very hard work studying with the needs of husband, children and home to cope with as well. Whilst training and preaching I encountered a type of persecution very quickly, which was utterly miserable to endure. Liberal ‘Christians’ who were tutors and the like ridiculed me for my ‘simplistic faith’, as they called it. They seemed surprised when I did well in my exams; I think they thought that I was academically challenged. Well, I refused to be beaten and I eventually made it, only to realise that God was telling me to give it up.
During those years I went with my husband to a talk by David Pawson entitled ‘Leadership is Male’. I hated what he said, it made me really angry. Who was he to tell me that I was in the wrong?
BUT he was right and I was wrong!
I just wasn’t ready to take on board what he was saying. He was coming from a totally biblical perspective and I was not. He was listening to what God was saying, I was listening to what the world and the church were saying and also listening to what I wanted. However I think in retrospect, that on that day a seed was sown, however much I tried to deny it…….and I did.
There are so many damaged people in the churches today because of bad teaching.
Eventually after years of more struggle, God led us to leave that church and He graciously brought us to Calvary Chapel. His timing was perfect. It was in 1996 that I first became aware of Calvary Chapel, funnily enough, through their Women’s ministry and in 1999 we began to attend regularly. Gradually I began to learn the truths of God’s precious word. I had always believed the word of God to be the truth since becoming a believer, but I had never been encouraged to study it in the right way. It soon became apparent to me that God had already been leading me to the understanding that leadership is male and that everything that David Pawson had said was right. Everything clicked into place at last. I had a lot of repenting to do, there were a lot of things I was sorry for, but I also realised that everything I had gone through, everything I had experienced had been allowed by God for my learning and my growth.
The next step was understanding what it meant to be a submissive wife to my husband. Like most women I liked to be in control, I liked having my own way; I thought I was okay.
One day, out of the blue, when my husband and I were praying together, I was compelled to kneel at his feet, to put his hand on my head and to repent to God before him of my lack of obedience towards him, my lack of submission to him as my husband and thus to Jesus as my Lord. I felt very silly, as you can imagine, but the compulsion was so strong that I knew I had to do it. That was a beautiful, tearful moment in my life. My husband was rather taken aback, but we both knew that it was of the Lord and necessary for our ongoing relationship with Jesus and with each other. Don’t think that everything has been perfect since then. Yes, it was a changing point, and yes, things in our marriage improved, but I still stumble and fall and get things all wrong, but the difference is that now I know, now I am aware, and now I can come before God and confess my failings and know that I am forgiven and restored. Before I no idea that I was in a wrong place!
It has been a long and slow learning process and it will never be finished this side of Heaven, but I love the gentle way the Lord leads us on, the way He instructs us and guides us through the pitfalls of this walk of faith.
Why have I told you all this? Because I don’t want you to think that I have it all sorted, that I am perfect or have all the answers. I am not, I do not!
What I do have is a burden to encourage other ladies, (whether they be young or older, whether they be married or single, widowed or divorced), to be Godly women according to the word of God.
‘ the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behaviour, not given to much wine, teachers of good things…..that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.’ Titus 2 v 3 – 5
Blessings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Next time……’What about Eve?’