Women Beyond The Cave
by Melody Green
I can't shake it. In my spirit I keep hearing God say,
"Women arise! Women arise! With open hands lifted up to heaven. With lips ready to give praise and speak truth. With hearts soft and open, ready to receive My message. It's time to receive your spiritual inheritance. To receive your personal marching orders for this important hour." As women we should be very encouraged. We may be soft on the outside, but we're strong and mighty in spirit. We are God's secret weapons and the enemy knows it. He takes us seriously, even when others don't. The enemy's strategy has been to keep us quiet and in hiding. But God is doing an end run. He is going to release so many of us at once that the enemy is not going to know what hit him!
I believe in this hour the Lord is saying to His women:
"Now is the moment when I Myself am coming to release you. Too many of my people have turned a deaf ear to you. Only those who understand the big picture and full spectrum of My heart can hear the words, Women Arise! I am going to lay such an incredible anointing on women who are willing to step out. I am tired of fighting the war with only half of My army. After hearing this from the Lord, in my minds eye I saw a cave. I looked closer and many women were in it, too many. And they were afraid to come out.
Where are My women? Where are the ones I called to teach, to preach... To blaze those trails even the bravest of men shudder to go. Where are my women? Where are they? Have they not heard My call?"
Some felt the cave was a safe place to stay—that only men were equipped to venture out and fight the battles beyond. Some felt content to stay, because the cave was indeed, their place of service. But many felt restless, unsettled Many felt called out but some of them had been told those feelings were wrong—so they stifled them… Stuffed them down. Poured guilt upon themselves. But for some, those feelings could not be ignored And this was right... because for some Their call could only be fulfilled beyond the cave.
Lets take a quick look at just of a few of the better known women who ventured out beyond the cave.
Think of Deborah. She was a prophetess and a judge. She was a married woman who had a day job outside her home. Deborah judged a nation. I don't know what kind of job her husband had, but the nation came to his wife for rulings. Deborah carried a governmental mantle and we could safely assume she also had the gift of wisdom and discernment. She was trusted to disperse wisdom for the whole nation. When she called for the army commander, Barak, and told him it was time to go to war, Barak wouldn't go to battle unless Deborah went with him. Everyone knew that Deborah heard from God.
Then there was Esther. She was an orphan being raised by her uncle. When her story began she was much younger than Deborah... and still single. But she knew how to hear from God. She was abducted with many other beautiful young girls—and taken to the castle of a heathen King who was having a contest for a new wife. Even there, the Lord spoke to Esther. God told her to listen to her uncle and take the advice of the man in charge of the girls. Esther hid the fact that she was Jewish, and God gave her a strategy to become the queen. But that was only the beginning, she also won the Kings heart.
But little did Esther know all the Lord had in mind. When the whole Jewish nation was in line for extermination Esther fasted and prayed and God gave her intricate, day by day, wisdom with split second timing. I believe God gave her wisdom as she went, and that she moved very prophetically—giving time for the King to have a sleepless night and time for Haman's gallows to be built.
Only God could have orchestrated such an incredible deliverance for the Jewish nation, and such a fascinating turn of events to judge the bad guys. But it was a young Jewish orphan girl who listened, heard, and followed God's plan.
We should be encouraged. If these women can lead prophetically, judge nations, and save whole people groups—why can't God can use us too?
Esther and Deborah were on the front lines. One of the things I really like about their stories is the incredible teamwork that happened between them and the men God put in their lives. Mordecai was behind the scenes praying and sharing wisdom to Esther. And I would imagine Deborah's husband [along with the whole nation] prayed when she and Barak went off to war.
Many years later Jesus rose to prominence—and a young girl named Mary poured ointment His feet. Her act of worship was despised by the men around her. They thought it was wasteful. But Jesus pointed to her extravagant adoration as an example every believer should follow. The example of a simple, worshipping woman.
And still many years after that, Joan of Arc, a young girl from a poor village in France began to hear God speaking to her. Her faith and her visions took her before her government, with a strategy and a plan. Joan of Arc became the only teenager in all of history ever to lead the army of a nation. She was betrayed and became a martyr—and she is still an inspiration to people around the world today.
Hundreds of years later, four teenaged girls were sent to America from England on a mission. The Salvation Army was flourishing in England, but was unknown in America. Within months these teenagers started a movement in America that is still going strong today. Most people don't realize that it was teenage girls that launched the Salvation Army in America.
Then there was that young Albanian woman who went to India as a schoolteacher. While she was there she felt a call from God to help the poorest of the poor. She walked out into the streets of India without any money in her pocket and simply began to pick up the dying from the gutters and take care of them. She lived in poverty and did menial tasks even when her name became known worldwide as the byword for the embodiment of Christian love and compassion. She was Mother Teresa. And she did all of her kindness in the name of Jesus, and as a pauper and a servant, she received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jackie Pullinger left the UK on a freighter, believing God would tell her when to get off. When the ship docked in Hong Kong she disembarked. Knowing no one, she wandered into the "walled city" filled with heroin addicts, prostitutes, and violent gangs. It was so terrible in there that the police wouldn't even go in. But God found a young English girl who was willing to go and show the love of Jesus to these forgotten ones. Jackie, on her own, quietly and sacrificially won the trust of the worst of the worst. She learned God's secrets about the poor, she learned Chinese, and she learned the keys to praying people off of heroin addiction. Jackie is still in Hong Kong today, and because of her continued sacrifice there is a flourishing Chinese church filled with ex-addicts and countless people with new lives.
Today the mission field is filled women who are leading churches and pioneering works in remote tribes and villages. They are teaching, training, and raising up native pastors so God's work can grow.
There are also women serving God in the suburbs and the inner cities—in the pulpit, on their knees, and in the streets. Some are prominent Bible teachers and others are serving in relative obscurity.
I've told just a few very brief stories. I obviously didn't do justice in telling the stories of the women I spoke about, but their lives in greater detail, along with many others will be profiled in this site. And so will the encouraging words of many many men who support and encourage the release of women into ministry.
Have you been encouraged? Maybe it's time for you to venture out of the safety of your cave and see how God wants to use you.
There's always room for one more out there.
Melody Green, 3/20/2012