the two commandments of NT
The title of this piece comes from an answer I received about women’s place in the church.
God is love, this beautiful and true statement enables anyone, anyONE, including you to ask Jesus into your life, into your heart. I am no kind of evangelist, I struggle in my walk with the Lord daily, I seem to spend most of my time with questions, questions I can’t answer, questions that sometimes I don’t need to know the answer to, but sometimes questions that make me stumble a bit until I get good guidance.
The internet is a powerful tool, but it can send you down some queer tangents especially when in the sphere of opinion on God. A friend of mine, a sister in Christ, was joining a “more Bible based church”, I thought I was attending a church based entirely on God’s word so I figured she meant something like less singing worship and more reading scripture worship. Well I was wrong, and then some, I had all these guys from all over the world calling me names because I felt called to learn how to preach. Thankfully this was after I had stood up and done my “I really don’t think I can do this but if it will stop all the digs I will try it” sermon. For anyone who hasn’t heard me gush fountains of what happened when I preached:
I have very reluctantly started leading worship when our Minister isn’t available, always felt uncomfortable doing it, visibly shaking not just in body but in voice – there were and will be others just for this time it is me. I approached preaching with the same trepidation, expecting and therefore having a body that was visibly shaking before the service began (and for a week before) with all the usual symptoms of complete and utter panic and anxiety. The service started and during the second hymn this wave of calmness came over me, and kept coming, over the following two hymns. These waves encompassed me and I felt such peace. Of course being me I questioned it, looked at it from all angles, no I was definitely wrapped in protection, it wasn’t imagination, it was real. That enabled me to get up and start delivering the sermon. I was talking, not reading as I expected to do, I wasn’t reciting, I was feeling the message. I was aware of the external things like toddlers running, people not being able to hear either because of the toddlers or because I was talking normally not from the diaphragm like you are supposed to when speaking in public. There was one specific point that I had my eyes closed and I could have stayed in that moment forever. I know if I had relied on my own strength I would’ve made an absolute hames of it but because it was unequal partnership (90%God/10%me and truck load of people praying for me, not just Christians but also Muslim and Jewish) I was able to deliver His message adequately. When thinking back to this I can’t wait to do it again, but then I rationalise it out and get scared again.
Back to those guys, I didn’t know how to respond so I didn’t, but they kept on going on and on, saying the same thing in a hundred different ways. All they knew about me was I was female. I still haven’t replied and won’t because if Christians get into a “she said, he said” discussion it stops us focusing on what is truly important, the Lord. I did get guidance to make sure that I could continue in my studies in confidence of my place in those studies. But looking outside of me and the impact their words had on me, I think of great messages I have heard delivered by women, I think of the worship led by some spirit filled women, I think of the female academics experts in their theological field, mostly I think of the women I know raising their children to know God, His love and to love Him.
I asked a man whose writing I trusted his opinion on should I “know my place” or find my place and his reply was “the only commandments I see in the New Testament are to love and go.” In his brevity I got it. Which brings me back to delivering messages from God, it doesn’t matter who delivers, it can be a child or adult, male or female, if God wants to use us He will. He wants us to spread the word about His love and whatever work sphere we are in we, if we are living in him, we just have to share His love, it bubbles up inside of us and we can’t stop. So, go and love….