True Power

True Power

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Christian women on the battlefield

As most of my followers know by now, I am a veteran of the Army. I ran across a facebook page for women who have served in the Army. Most of the friends of the group were women who served in the military in the middle sixties and seventies. They were sharing stories of how women were once not accepted into the Armed Forces, what they actually did while in uniform, and how things have changed since they first donned their uniforms.

I served during the nineties and it was more acceptable to see women with weapons. I served in a field that was predominantly male. I worked on the tanks setting the crossfire on the lenses of the weapons attached to the canon to fire accurately hitting its target. My job is what is considered a frontline occupation. I was the one who kept the canons hitting targets and not causing collateral damage.

There were many men and women who did not like me in a heavy artillary job position. Women thought of me as manly and men thought of me as a incompetent woman. For about five months I received stares and off the cuff comements.

On my first trip to the field, where we simulated tactical battle maneuvers, the men operating the tanks refused to fire because I had worked on their tanks and they were afraid of not only missing the designated targets set up hundreds of miles away, but that my work would be so off until they may accidently hit a nearby village in the German communities.

Needless to say, this stance caused big trouble. A three star general came to the field to inquire why the tanks were refusing to do the training exercise. The men explained their anxiety. The general summoned me, my co-worker (who was the only other female in which worked with me [2 women and hundreds of men in a company!], our sargeant, and my officer to ask us was the work correct. With all eyes on me and my co-worker; we said yes. The general gave the command for the tanks to fire.

To say there was a lot of tension in the air is an understatement. I was visibly shaking waiting for the call back over the field radio that the hit struck its target. If there had been a misfire- there could have been a court marshall at the minimum.

"ORDINANCE HAS MADE CONTACT---------------A DIRECT HIT!!!!!" There were cheers and moisture in the eyes. From that moment on, me and my co-worker were treated with respect and the work orders began to roll in.

Even though I had passed my training with flying colors and knew my co-worker was even more competent than me, I still was shaken by doubt.

I imagine this is the way many women who preach feel. They are probably competent and have a support group aiding them that has wisdom of many years. But, in the shadow of the night they may feel:"Am I doing what God wants me to do or are all those who tell me women can't preach correct?"

I hope to have some encouragement for you.

Romans 8:5 states"...but those who live in accordance of the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." The Holy Spirit desires us to be a living example of holiness and to take up the command to spread the gospel. That is why Jesus said after he left the Holy Spirit would come to be a comforter and to help remind us of his words. God spoke to the woman at the well; making her the first missionary woman. He instructed her to go and tell her town about him. Not only to other women and children but to everyone who would hear.

You may say that there is so much opposition against you though. Paul was a man who should have faced every person he came in contact with not believing he was a Christian and a supporter of Christianity. Paul had a few words for those who may have doubted his assignment: "...if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10)" Those were strong words from a man who wrote most of the New Testament.

I am sure there were those convinced Paul was up to something sinister. But, we can understand why God would choose Paul (a persecutor of Christians) to be his servant. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 states " Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. therefore as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." When male preachers, deacons, and elders declare that they are the only ones to teach or to give the message of God, they are not boasting in God, because God can send anyone for the purpose of shaming the strong and foolish.

Paul again explained to the new Christians about who he was in God and also who they were or should be in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7: "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow, So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow."

Paul states we are all called to be seed planters, servants of God. Titles and positions are not needed, because it is God who is doing the real work of saving people. And if God takes the time to aid in the salvation process, I believe he will be a part of the maturing process. Servants are servants.

So what is the discouraged woman to do? "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth no to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). You should move forward in your kindom work and "...Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5)." Paul explains that there are mature Christians and immature Christians who may not see eye to eye on sin. But what each does, if they are trying to please God and obey him, can be do so unto the the Lord as long as it does not create a stumbling block for each other (read the rest of ch. 14). The origin of the action is in the heart; which only God knows.

And finally, servant Christian women, remember when times are hard and you are plagued by doubts from outside sources "Where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Fromans 5:20).

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