To those who, as Bro. Minoru referenced at the end of the special fellowship, take issue with “lack of equality” in the recovery–equal opportunity, as it were–I can, as a sister, testify that life in the recovery is full of opportunities, ordered by our Father’s hand–everything is the best it could be–for what? for our personal interests, to further our hidden ambition (yes, sisters can be and are very ambitious), to affirm natural, worldly concepts in our unrenewed minds, for us to have some pseudo-spiritual experiences? No, for us to gain Christ in reality, be matured in life and to minister Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ: sisters and brothers alike, no exceptions. If we are here for something else, the Father will show us. At the right time, our wise Dad will engineer particular circumstances that will boggle our right-and-wrong-mindset, will expose both the worst and best of our self, whatever is not Him. He will touch our self-righteousness; He will begin dismantling our individual “recovery-religious” spirituality. He has to; He can’t bear see His children being stunted in growth. And rest assured, we will have reactions. If we didn’t, it means He wasn’t zoning in on the most heavily guarded parts of our being, the areas in which the enemy has done most damage and would still hold sway over. But He is. So we, because we are Jacobs, will be forced to wrestle with all our might. Whereas before we might have been politically polite, now it’s no-holds-barred. We may think it is men or circumstances that we are struggling against but at some point we will realize it is the hand of God coming to us. He isn’t wanting to merely bandage those places up and hope for the best but to tear off the bandage and do radical surgery. We will resist and want to flee, because it will hurt like nothing else. All kinds of germs will be there; we will emit, we will excrete. And so we may escape for a while, but if we ever open to the process again, He will do it again, with another person, another set of circumstances, still aimed at that part. He is committed to this.
We shouldn’t kid ourselves and think that transformation costs nothing. Yes, we’ve gone through the first stages, dealt with sin, dealt with our conscience, given up the world. We did pay that price. These are outward to us. The inward dealings in the third stage of the growth in life cost something more, who and what we are in our natural man. But the healing balm is here. The Word is here in abundance, and the ministry that opens up this Word and ushers us into the heartbeat of God’s desire is here. When we read them with an exercised spirit and loving, not criticizing, paranoid heart, and open to the Lord Himself, we receive life, we receive light, we receive anesthesia for our suffering situations, we receive His rhema speaking as we pray and praise-read and mix the Word with faith, we receive the sword of the Spirit to slay the enemy within lest he hijack our subjective emotions, we are strengthened, enlivened, our hands which hang down and the paralyzed knees are set straight, and what is lame is not put out of joint but rather healed. We will then be buildable. Some have gone before us in the process, so we have patterns. They are patterns not of perfect men but God-men: men who have been and still are in the process of being torn down in their natural life and rebuilt with the divine life and built with others.
So I say again that as a sister, life is full of opportunities. Our God is the Potter in whose hands we are; in the kiln of the church life we are being burned so that we clay men would not crumble and dissolve and what vision has been painted on us can be permanently fused with our being. Like Jacob, we will come to Bethel a second time, the elation of seeing the vision for the first time having been tested through many a tunnel of suffering. Then we ourselves might have the ministry of reconciliation, reconciling others from not only the world but their natural life. We would then be able to say with Paul and our fathers, say to the struggling ones, “Our mouth is opened to you…our heart is enlarged. You are not constricted in us but you are constricted in your inward parts. But for a recompense in kind, I speak as to children, you also be enlarged.” When full-grown, we will not be fazed when not only the glory comes but the dishonor, not only the good report but the evil report, of being labeled deceivers yet in actuality being true (2 Cor. 6:8); rather, we will know that such accusations are proof and part-and-parcel of living out the divine life within us. The Lord operated in Paul, He operated in our fathers, and He is doing it now in us if we would cooperate.
The Lord has a need today. Our rich God is poor; He is lacking those who would give themselves to Him without reservation. The Word and the ministry that expounds it with the consummation of the age in view say plainly that a Nazarite can be either man or woman if they would vow the vow. The side door is open. Which brother, which sister, will respond to this call? As a sister, the echo in my spirit was strong when I read the life-study of Exodus: “We are living in a critical time, a time when the female life is urgently needed…In a critical time such as now, the male life that is independent of God is not useful. Only the female life, the life that depends on God, is prevailing. If we see this, we shall have a great appreciation for the female life, the life that is wholly dependent on God.” I gladly follow a ministry that cuts straight the Word of truth. I gladly follow this betrothing ministry. It is seeking to bring us to full dependence on God our Husband. It faithfully warns us to not “overly esteem” the matchmaker, the planters and the waterers, but to look away to God who causes the growth (1 Cor. 3:6, note 1). It causes our love and appreciation and understanding of Him to ignite, blossom, deepen over the years like fine wine. It helps make the country girl into the mature Shulammite, her love and faith having been developed in equal proportion, Christifying us so we match and can marry our dazzling white, ruddy, distinguished Solomon. He will bring us into the vineyard of His work. We will build battlements and enclosures for our little sisters, the walls and the doors (S. S. 8:9), because the same has been built up in us. To many, our lives will have been nothing, we will be counted as no one, but our whole being is at peace, because we are at the center of God’s move. At times of attack we can’t waver despite wanting in ourselves to waver, because the Christ built into us is strong. We thank the Lord for our fathers, for all that they have poured into us. The army is being readied. Let’s take the land, oh, brothers and sisters, the land that God has given us.