From the book of Genesis onward, Satan has been on a mission to restrain woman from fulfilling her destiny as a co-heir and co-laborer with Christ.
Yes, she is different and unique. Yet in Christ, she is qualified to rise up and boldly release the authority of heaven on Earth. It's only when this mandate is fully restored, and its expression is encouraged in the church that we will begin to see Holy Spirit outpouring demonstrated in a more complete and dynamic way.
As long as women are restrained from preaching and prophesying, biblically speaking, we are only going to experience a trickle of revival when God wills a river. This is because we are negating an entire gender.
I write from the vantage point of a man who is desperate to see the church operate in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Responsively, I firmly believe that how we (men and church leaders alike) treat our sisters in Christ has everything to do with the measure of revival we all experience. This is absolutely biblical, for when Holy Spirit outpouring is biblically defined—both prophetically in Joel and then actually comes to fruition in Acts—women are specifically identified as those qualified to prophesy and participate in the move of God. The restorative work of Jesus truly leveled the playing field, making it possible for men and women alike to participate in releasing the power of heaven on Earth: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).
As long as the devil is able to restrain women from taking their vital place in the body of Christ, he is likewise able to restrain a measure of revival and outpouring from flowing from the church and into the world. How is this even possible—and more importantly, is the concept scriptural?
What Is Clogging Up the River of Revival?
There has been an age-old war raging between Satan and woman, the serpent and the Seed of the woman: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15).
Why are the efforts of hell so strategically targeted against women—specifically, trying to prevent women from occupying positions of leadership and authority? She is a unique and absolutely essential part of bringing the culture of heaven to Earth, unlocking the river of Holy Spirit outpouring that has been flowing since the Day of Pentecost. Make no mistake, the Holy Spirit has been moving since Pentecost; however, it seems as though His movement has been flowing with some hindrances, restrictions and barriers during specific seasons in history.
These barriers are not on God's end; they are on man's. Jesus' blood sealed the deal and the day of Pentecost made God accessible to whosoever will receive the saving work of Jesus. In other words, God ensured that every barrier was removed so that you and I could be filled with His Spirit, walk in communion with Him and release His kingdom on Earth. So why aren't we seeing this happen in a greater way? There are man-made barriers we need to confront. One of the most significant and unaddressed is how women can be marginalized in the body of Christ.
If the Spirit's outpouring was truly without restriction, then we would have no need for what we call "revival" or awakening; those seasons of unusual visitation become essential when the people of God engage in practices or entertain mindsets that build spiritual dams preventing the free flow of the Holy Spirit. He wants to move without restraint.
Sadly, one of the great dams and barriers to the Spirit's unrestricted flow in our world today is the restriction of women. When we restrict women from rising up and walking in the anointing to lead and prophesy, I believe we are—in part—restricting the Holy Spirit's movement on Earth.
Before I continue further, if you are looking for solid scriptural support for why women should be in leadership, I encourage you to check out Why Not Women by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton, Fashioned to Reign by Kris Vallotton, or Ten Lies the Church Tells Women by J. Lee Grady.
Break the Restraints to Revival
As long as the "daughters" are restrained from coming alongside the sons to prophesy, we will not fully experience the full measure of revival that God wills for the church to experience and the world desperately yearns to be transformed by. In fact, God more than wills it; He has already made it available! God has already said "Amen" to a landscape-shifting revival; however, the ears of God are bending close to Earth, listening for those who say a whole-hearted "Yes" to everything He has made available. When men are the only ones who think they are qualified to say "Yes" to the call of God, revival is not being released in the full measure that heaven has mandated.
When God spoke through the prophet Joel, He made heaven's end-time agenda of outpouring and revival abundantly clear:
"And it will be that, afterwards, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions" (Joel 2:28).
If we didn't get the point in verse 28, the Lord emphasizes in verse 29:
"Even on the menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit."
As we know, the fulfillment to this prophetic announcement began in Acts 2 and has been continuing ever since. While there is undeniably an element of God's sovereignty involved in seasons of "revival," I have to ask: Could it be that one of the keys that positions the body of Christ for moving in sustained revival is the emergence of prophesying daughters? For centuries, the role of the "sons" has basically been assumed. There are really no questions or arguments over the leadership capabilities of men in a church context; however, a woman speaking, teaching, prophesying or leading is often the subject of considerable controversy. This ought not be!
Women on the Frontlines of God's Earthly Activity
Throughout history, God's daughters and maidservants have been positioned on the frontlines of historic Holy Spirit outpouring. Sometimes they were dynamic public figures, pioneering revolutions and preaching the gospel. Sometimes they were hidden in the prayer closet, literally contending for heaven to invade Earth through intercession. Either way, these women witnessed the fruit of their impassioned cries and dynamic efforts, be it during their lifetime or looking down from heaven.
In the Old Testament, women are on the frontlines of battle, judging the nation and providing refuge to the spies of Israel as they conquered Jericho. Women open and conclude the Gospels, ushering the Messiah into the Earth and then, beholding Him in resurrected form.
Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist, the forerunner. You have others such as businesswoman Priscilla (Acts 18:2-3), Junia (who many scholars recognize as an apostolic figure, Rom. 16:7) and the virgin daughters of Philip the Evangelist, who were prophets (Acts 21:9). You have the Samaritan woman in John 4 who encounters Jesus, leaves her waterpot, and preaches to the men of her city. As a result, they all experience a divine visitation from the Savior. Women are the first at the tomb to behold the resurrection miracle and receive instruction to share the good news with the apostles. And of course, there is the definitive woman of the Bible—Mary, the one whose womb delivered the Savior who delivered us from our sins, ensured that humanity could be indwelt by God, and ultimately, birthed a revolution that would reconnect heaven to Earth.
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