Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned."

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Even though I try to make sure that my instructions are always shared after several rewrites and rereads, I nevertheless have found that very often some Ministry Team Members end up not doing what was asked and as they were instructed. 

Hoping to improve the rate of success, I focused more and more on doing a better job at explaining each step, that is, until I got worn out and finally stopped to SG “Seek God” for wisdom—what I try to do before doing anything. That’s when He told me that if our instructions fall short, He purposely allows us to leave room for Him, so that each of you needs His help. 

He said He longs to guide you Himself in order to complete each of your ministry tasks and to do it yoked to Him in an easy and light manner. If He did not stop short of helping us explain everything perfectly, and we were able to write every instruction crystal clear, He said you would never stop to seek His help—missing out on a wonderful working relationship that He longs to have with you!

That’s why—you must always humbly acknowledge He is there working with you (as I must to do for each and everything I do), because it is HE who has the wisdom you need to complete each task. It is HE alone and HIS guidance that you and I must be sure to seek and to follow.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes...” and by abiding in Him, connected to the Vine, we will all experience many more fruits of our labors!

Working Under Authority

Like Queen Esther or Judge Deborah and so many of our heroes in the Bible show us, you cannot become (or remain) a woman of authority until you also learn how to be a woman under authority.

"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same.” 

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you." 

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His Words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” 

I’m still amazed when we find a minister who grapples and struggles under our authority—even though in her Restoration Journey it appears she’s learned how important her husband’s authority is to stay under. We find many excuses or debates with women who try to explain around them not following our instructions. To them and to you I’d suggest something He taught me when I was very, very young:

Try to find a way to obey, rather than a reason why you could not obey. 

Also, watch how much you challenge authority. 

Often we are challenging authority rather than really asking for the sake of truthfully understanding what to do.

As a leader you need to not only grasp but live the principle of understanding the safety and anointing when you live your life under proper authority. So much so, that when you’re asked to be a leader, you won’t feel comfortable being a leader, and as a result, you will seek Him even more—literally burying yourself in Him. At this point, being under authority should transcend every area of your life if you want to effectively help other women and anyone whom God wants you to lead who are now working under your authority.

Miscommunication

Do not add to His Words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” 

One of the most effective schemes the enemy uses often is when you try to rephrase something when it actually means you are withholding information. Whenever we try to shorten an explanation, it’s easy to take out pertinent information, sometimes the foundation or bases or reason for something to be done.

Thankfully we work completely online, therefore the easiest and best way to carefully pass along any and all information from one person to another is to simply copy and paste or forward as long as there is nothing that is meant just for you. *If there is, discreetly remove that information.

Also state the origin of the authority. When my children were little and I asked one of my children to tell a sibling to do something, and they returned saying he or she wouldn’t do it. I asked my messenger, what did you say? Did you say, “Mom said…?” which is what I trained my children to start with. The Lord continually quoted God’s Word as His authority, which is why we do the same thing following His example: Jesus “answered and said, ‘It is written…” 

Again, by copying or forwarding an email or text message, making sure the person who stated it is included and not omitted. *If there is a personal email I know shouldn’t be included, it’s simple to discreetly remove it. However, most of the time it should be included to not withhold, ending in want.

Lastly, delayed obedience is disobedience. This is something else I taught my children and would you believe I follow today? When I delay saying I’ll do something or worse add it to an endless list of what I will get done but never get to—it’s the same as disobedience. I am not being truthful. He taught me this lesson, which I had completely forgotten about, way back when people at our megachurch would ask me to pray for them. I would say “Of course” and then would realize a week or two later when I’d see them in church I’d completely forgotten to pray for them. 

Seeking God, He simply said, “Pray when they ask.” So that’s what I did immediately! The next time I was stopped and asked, I said, taking them by their hands “Let me pray for you right now” and I would. Funny thing happened, some were not at all comfortable with me praying right in the thick of things when dozens of people were walking by (even though I would be whispering my prayers to them). Interesting, since this was, after all, a church so why would it appear strange to anyone?!? So after this only a few asked me to pray for them after this, which was fine with me because as our Prayer Request page explains, it’s better for them to go into their “inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Will do vs Have done. When someone asks you to do something, don’t say “Okay, I’ll do it” instead say, “Okay, it’s done” so that their mind can be at rest and you don’t get distracted and fail to get it done. As leaders we are responsible to make sure something assigned is completed and done correctly. So by replying it’s done, it’s easy for them to get that reply—knowing they can check the work—since they too have authority who is trusting when they report it’s been done, and done correctly.

Why is all of this so important? 

Because God is calling you to be a leader, but as was said before, you can be a leader only when you prove to Him you are an excellent follower—a woman under authority. Therefore, while working with us, on teams, this is what He is using to help you to first learn how to stay completely under HIS umbrella of authority—which may be compared to keeping your arms or legs inside a moving vehicle! There is no way to fully learn this principle of protection unless you first learn to stay under proper authority. Finding a way to submit or obey rather than why you can’t submit or obey.

Again, rather than I can’t do something. Say, instead, How can I do it, Lord? Something like "Lord, since You want me to submit to my authority, show me how to overcome this opposition stopping me." Then, IF you still CAN'T do it, let the person in authority know. What I say, even though I’m not quite working under any authority other than Him is, "Lord, if You want me to do this, show me how to do it." Often, too, I wait on Him and keep the task or page or email open so I remember to do it later. But only after I first stop to get away from my computer in order that I may spend even a few minutes breathing Him in, listening to Him speak to me.

What’s important to remember is this: You know now that He led you to RMI not just to restore your marriage, but to restore your heart to the One who longs to be gracious to you and give you the Abundant Life He died to give you. There are so many lessons and principles and promises—most of which—transcends to so many areas of your life. They are not reserved or exclusive to a marriage—especially when He carefully has us include 2-3 verses that confirm the first. Such as: having a “gentle and quiet” spirit, which isn’t just for the sake of “winning” your husband “without a word.” It’s so that with everyone, you can demonstrate your “gentle and quiet” spirit and be “agreeable” “winning” everyone “without a word” due to your love for Him as His bride. 

A “gentle and quiet” spirit is found in the Lord’s behavior, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

“Winning” everyone “without a word” is found in RYM’s first chapter: Closes his lips. Actually, God says that we practice wisdom and appear wise when we say nothing. “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise. When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent” (Prov. 17:28). “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (Matt. 5:37).

Being agreeable, yielding to each other, being patient—these are just following His example, nothing more, nothing less than what we should expect from other MTMs and especially ourselves.

Kindness and patience flows from the heart, His heart, and none of these principles are meant to be followed in an extreme or strange or obsessive or a neurotic way. Remember, we are asked to remain in the center of His will along the narrow road not falling into or skating along either ditch. And I have found that the only way for me to remain in the center is to take His hand.

Also, first and foremost, we need to exhibit compassion for each other before we can look outside to expect that we receive compassion from others. If you struggle, set some time aside to do this MCL again. Having Compassion means we begin by being humble because this is especially true when you have been called to be a leader.  I confess that I have never been as shocked or at a loss to know what to do when I witnessed now “former” ministers who acted as treacherously as anyone in the world and then later, when I heard that there were other “leaders” who were presenting an unbecoming attitude, being impatient, unkind and insubordinate. I’m not sure if it is just now He reminded me that the two who I was thinking of were both restored. 

Even More Shocking

Remember, if we claim to be His followers, and even more so, leaders and ministers, we live and work dangerously if we are nothing but white-washed tombs. Our Beloved Himself said, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” 

If you can’t live and work this way (remember the only way that any of us can is when we rely entirely on Him) or no longer want to live or work this way—in other words, the way you first embraced the lessons you learned and why you were called to be on our Ministry Team. Then it’s probably time to look into taking a Sabbatical—something you will learn more about in our next and final Ministry Commitment Lesson, Lesson #12 “For a Reason and For a Season.” 

Now I will conclude this lesson the same way Peter did:

"To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing." "For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” And just as He asked husbands to do, let’s live and work with each other “in an understanding way” “and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that'' as a ministry, we are in no way housing or encouraging the Pharisee white-washed tombs fatal to any and all ministries. Instead, we prove by our behavior we are, truly, His bride—entirely and completely lovesick.

IOU: 🎓 "Ministry Commitment" Assignment

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