Being a woman in leadership who is called by God for very specific tasks because of His gifts given to her is a journey that is different than a man’s journey. Although Paul speaks of equality, the church still has varying opinions on the matter due only to traditions. A woman who does not feel education is important and does not follow what is required of others to serve is in the wrong and does not have a platform to speak intelligently. She is hindered to help others as God would have her do. But women who love God, heart, mind and soul, what to know all there is to know about God, willing to seek wisdom, education in God’s Word, insight and understanding before doing or saying anything for God are those truly called of God to do His bidding.
Why write about women, when Paul is clearing talking out insiders and outsiders of the Jewish faith and tradition? As a woman, called of God to lead very specific tasks, all my life, I know the feeling of being an “outsider” of tradition based on misinterpretation of Scripture. I have faced and still face those who think I am a little “less than” and feel I should always be mindful of my “place” in God’s work. I’m not really being critical, just being honest. So, my emotions are on full scale alert when reading about the uncircumcised Gentiles called outsiders and made to feel just a little lower as a believer.
Because I know who God is and that Jesus came for all, His Holy Spirit in me has taught me to deal with this inequality as a servant…as Jesus served all of us. (See Philippians 2). I do not seek a higher position than a man, never have and never will. I only seek God’s will, alongside my husband, then with other men and women called of God, truly wanting to see ALL people who have sinned and fall short of the glory of God of which I am one of them, to be saved by the blood of the Lamb, His Son, Jesus Christ. My desire is for all people to not only know Him but to follow Him as the Guide of their lives.
Paul asked a very important question to ALL leaders, “Who is going to guide you?” We can know all there is to know about Scripture, know all there is to know about culture and tradition; but if we don’t practice what we preach, love like Jesus loves us without conditions or prejudices, we are not truly following what God wants. If God and His Holy Spirit isn’t guiding us, then we are just as lost, (Paul suggests even more so), as those who never claimed to know Jesus!
Side thought: When we are lost, humans naturally create division instead of unity and equality. We have a constant battle with this because the fallen angel loves it when we divide ourselves. We are easy prey to him when we are divided.
Jesus taught us to seek God first. Then Love God. Love Each Other. These are two of the greatest commands, not tradition, that Jesus taught us to do as His true followers. Jesus also showed his disciples, (and now us), clearly that He only did what His Guide, His Father, told him to think, say and do. (See the gospels!) Jesus was the supreme example of following God as our guide, seeking all that is of Him and what is best for our lives on earth and in heaven! Jesus taught his disciples to seek God as Guide when He taught them to pray;
“Our Father, who is in heaven. May your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread (all we need) to do your will. And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil. For you have all power, to you be all the glory forevermore.”
With God, these things are possible. Without Him? I don’t want to go there, do you?
ROMANS—Our Care and Calling
Romans 2:17-29, The Message
Religion Can’t Save You
17-24 If you’re brought up Jewish, don’t assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you’re an insider to God’s revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God’s revealed Word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God. While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I’m quite serious. While preaching “Don’t steal!” are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. The line from Scripture, “It’s because of you Jews that the outsiders frown on God,” shows it’s an old problem that isn’t going to go away.
25-29 Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God’s law. But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being circumcised. The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better. Better to keep God’s law uncircumcised than break it circumcised. Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.
THINK ABOUT IT…
Who is your guide? Think about it. Pray. Meditate on this thought all day long.
Who IS my guide? Who do I listen to? Who do I follow with all my heart, mind and soul?
Do I follow my religion, traditions of Christmas and Easter, without asking God what He wants daily from me no matter what the season or reason?
Do I follow the frenzy of the world who only knows Jesus as a baby in a manger? Who do I listen to? Really? Seriously?
My behavior towards my family, friends or strangers in this world to me, but not to God will reflect what I truly believe. Mm, it’s time to think this though, right? Ask for God’s help. I am.
Your Holy Spirit hits us right in the heart every time we look into your Word and then up to You as our Guide, Protector, Provider, Sustainer, Teacher, and Director. Oh Lord, guide my life. May Your will be done. I want what you want. Show me your ways and I will walk in them.
In Jesus Name, Amen