1. Develop a passion for God's Word. How important is the Bible in your daily Christian life? Do you read it devotionally, or study it vigorously, trying to understand everything you can?
If you are interested in accepting the anointing of a hero and living vicariously for another generation, understand that God is calling you to be exactly what Scripture teaches. None of us can afford to distance ourselves from Scripture, to settle for anything less than learning and understanding everything we can. For the sake of future generations we've got to hammer into the Scriptures and ask God for the understanding.
2. Expect to be wounded. Have you ever been hurt taking a stand for Jesus? Do you carry deep pain over something that another person said or did to you? Wounds are occupational hazards used by God to make us into the heroes that He has called us to be.
Anything of value costs something. King David said that he would not offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing (2 Sam. 24:24). Everything we do as Christians takes on more meaning when we have paid a price for it. The pain is worth the price if it means you can pass on an untainted stream to those who come after you.
3. Build character from your wounds. To many, character means not doing certain things. However, in the Scriptures, the word "character" means to bear up under suffering and difficulty. Ruth is called "a woman of noble character" because she bore up under difficulty (Ruth 3:11). The Lord uses the hardships of your life to build in you pillars of character that can sustain the anointing that will rest on them.
4. Don't give place to bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 says, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." The Greek word for "defile" carries the idea of a dye for coloring clothes. If you allow roots of bitterness to spring up in your life, they will dye or taint everything you do.
What do you do about bitterness in your life? When the Israelites in the wilderness complained to Moses because the water was too bitter to drink, Moses threw a piece of wood into the water and the water became sweet (Ex. 15:23-25). When you throw the wood (the cross of Jesus) into your waters of bitterness, they will become sweet.
5. Submit to one another. A lot of us get uncomfortable with the word submission, and with good reason. Men have mistreated women throughout history, acting as if they could go it alone without the gifts that women bring. The great danger that lies in the current release of women into ministry is that it will degrade into a feministic Holy Spirit women's movement that is at odds with the men.
All of us, men and women, need to re-examine the Scriptures to understand the model that God intends. The apostle Paul summed up that model very nicely for the Ephesians: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21). God didn't intend the women to go it alone any more than He intended for the men to do so. We can't afford to pass on to the next generation an ungodly spirit of independence.
6. Don't compromise your call. There is a tendency among Christian women today that when the traditional corridors of ministry are closed to them, they seek alternative routes. Let's take intercession, for example. Now, if that's your calling, get after it! But don't choose that route simply because it's a well-worn path for women—especially if your calling is somewhere else.
The path of least resistance may not be the right path! If you settle for what's easy or open to you right now, you may miss out on God's higher calling on your life.
7. Drive a stake in the heart of the fear of man. Often the fear of man stems from having too lofty a picture of humanity and too limited a picture of God. Man and his institutions seem so big and substantial while our concept of God is restrained by sin and unbelief.
The book of Isaiah contains some powerful descriptions that compare mankind to God. The prophet wrote: "'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. ... The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.' ... He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff....The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom" (Is. 40:6,8,23,24,28).
The God who created the universe is the same God who has commissioned you. He will strengthen and empower you. When you realize this, the fear of man will fade into the background.
Seize the Day
Take courage! You are chosen! The King of heaven and earth has called you to be a hero in this generation. The Spirit of the Lord is with you, the same Spirit who led and gave courage to Joan of Arc, Perpetua, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Corrie ten Boom and countless other women who heard God's call and seized the opportunity in their day. May we rise up and join this exalted company of the chosen—His beloved!
There is a call to courage being pronounced in our day. Do you hear it? If so, then sign up right now. Volunteer freely to be on the front lines in Jesus' name, so that the Lord can be glorified through your life.
Michal Ann Goll along with her husband, James, is the co-founder of Encounters Network and an author of several books.
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