The spiritual climate from what happened three days prior hung in the air like a thick dark cloud. The male disciples of Jesus were out hiding somewhere after His death. But that did not stop the women from showing up a his tomb. Intending to bring burial spices to anoint his body after his death they experienced the shock of a lifetime.
There are 4 gospel accounts of the resurrection that each share slightly different details.
The Matthew 28 & Mark 16 accounts outline it was 2 specific women, Mary Magdalene (out of who Jesus cast out 7 demons) and Mary the mother of James.
The Luke 24 account outlines it was 3 specific women: “Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.” We don’t know who “the others” were but we can assume they were women. You know how women like to do everything together (like go to the bathroom)? Well, this was probably no different.
Nonetheless the point remains, these women were entrusted by the angels to share the most important event of human history. They were given the spiritual authority when the angels told them to share the news to the male disciples who were too scared to show their faces in public (see Matthew 28:7, Mark 16:7). What a task they were given. Probably the most important task there ever was.
All because they were willing.
What are you willing to do for Jesus?
All because they showed up.
Where in your life do you need to show up?
Think of the amount of courage it took them to carry the message. Think of their commitment to show up to the tomb that morning when many people feared associating with Jesus after he was brutally crucified just 3 days prior, but not these women.
Never underestimate the power and passion of a woman who has been touched by Jesus in the deepest place. For indeed she is the one Jesus will use to do His work in the world.
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”
Throughout my time in ministry I have had the opportunity to work under some incredible leaders. I've learned a lot through that process. I've learned what to do, what not to do, and that in life there's no such thing as a perfect leader. We are all human and in desperate need of God's grace.
That being said, here’s a few keys I've learned along the way.
You can use theses keys to measure if your heart is growing in love in your leadership. Every single one of us struggles with these things in one form or another. Take this little heart check as an inventory and ask God to help you grow in the areas you are weak.
The test of true character for any leader is how they treat those who can give them no influence, no accolades, and no name. How they treat those “beneath” them reveals their truest character.
• ACCESS: Are you accessible to those who need you? If you have an assistant, do you make them do the work God wants YOU to do? Are you consistently dreaming about how to get access towards your next promotion (in any career, ministry included)? It’s easy to make time for those who can give you “access” but what about those who can’t? What about those who have none?
• AUDIENCE: Do you want to HEAR or want an audience to be HEARD? Listening is an act of love. Talking is an act of power.
• POWER: Are you looking to gain power or give it away? Are you more focused on empowering others? Are you focused on giving others the title, the opportunity, and the chance to spread their wings? Or are you looking for that yourself?
• INFLUENCE: Do you love to sit around tables of influence? Or sit around tables with those who have none? Do you want more influence? Or to give more away?
• TIME: Time is a gift everyone seems to be running out of. How we spend the majority of our time reveals our priorities which reveals our heart. Do you make time for those who can give you no raise in your salary, no promotion for your career, no recognition or accolades? Do you make time for the one who is weak, hurting, and lonely? Do you make time for the “nobody” who is essentially THE MOST IMPORTANT person in the kingdom of God?
May we not quickly forget, the words of Jesus in Matthew 20:16, So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
"But if I say I'll never mention the Lord or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones. I am worn out trying to hold it in. I can't do it!"
For many years this verse burned in my heart every day, like a metronome that wouldn't stop. It just repeated over and over. Somehow I knew I was doing something wrong with my life. I had this lingering feeling when I woke up and went to sleep that I wasn’t fulfilling my destiny. Something was missing. Something was off.
I knew I was keeping God’s word too quiet in my life. I would often think, “is this it, working in a church, getting a paycheck? Is this what I gave my life in ministry to do? There has to be more. What faith does this require of me? Some days I would come home and just ball. I knew I wasn’t fulfilling God’s call for my life but I didn’t know what to do about it.
There was a deeper level of obedience Jesus was asking of me. I would think, I can’t keep God’s word in, if I do, I will die! Then on August 1st, 2017 I had enough. I was done justifying that I was “happy” because I had a paycheck and that equaled stability which equaled happiness, right? Wrong!! And then, I did it, I quit my job to pursue one thing. Ignite the church. Spread the gospel. I stepped into agreement with what Heaven was calling me to do. I had to OBEY. I had to GO, and fulfill the call God has had on my life.
I broke agreement with the lie that I needed a pastor to give me his pulpit. As a young woman in ministry let me just tell you, the struggle is real, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not stronger than the struggle. (Thank you, Havilah Cunnington)
So the past 3 months have been the result of simple obedience. With one goal. Ignite the church. Preach the gospel. It hasn't been glamours, or easy, but it has been SO UNBELIEVABLY WORTH IT! Following God’s call is ALWAYS WORTH IT. I wouldn’t want to pursue anything else, except this! In loosing a paycheck, a title,and a position, I gained what no man can affirm or un-affirm and what money can’t buy, FAITH. Faith like a wildfire that has spread through my heart. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.
So my friend, may my story give you courage. May it remind you the impossible is POSSIBLE and that YOU are DESTINED to walk by faith and not by sight!