Victorious Women in Revivals
July 18, 2017
Crowds were astonished during the Welsh revival in 1905 when revivalist Evan Roberts allowed women to lead in the services he held. These women were breaking new ground just by singing and preaching. Even the most reserved persons were captivated by the passion these women had for God. What most people did not know is women had helped birth the revival; alongside Roberts, they labored in prayer to see the manifestation of God's presence.
William J. Seymour, was another who led an army of women in revival, in which both blacks and whites worked together enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the Spirit's presence, it seemed that discrimination had dissolved between the races. In throngs of hungry, passionate seekers, position and gender prejudices vanished as well. As they did, heaven came down in the little chapel in Los Angeles, CA from 1906-1909 in what is called the Azuza Street Revival.
Men and women from all the ranks of society worshiped joyfully in the old building on Azuza Street. The former stable for horses hosted hundreds of believers who would lay basking in God's presence on the old dirt floor.
Along side each other, they felt His overwhelming presence equally, with no deference made for their gender, race or social standing. By the social standards of their day, they had very little in common except their deeply held passionate hunger for God. Gathered together, they epitomized the kingdom of heaven.
Furthermore, in both the first and second great awakenings, women labored and interceded to bring in the harvest. The Second Great Awakening especially effected the lives of women. The majority of people converted were women who also played a crucial role in the awakening's advancement and direction. Many husbands actually demanded their wives chose between their religious activities and their marriage.
Revivalist Charles Finney recognized the power of women's ministry and knew their role in the revival was crucial. He often called upon women to lead in prayer publicly. He saw that without the role of women, it would have been much harder for the revival's effectiveness to be realized.
The Second Great Awakening (1825-1835) produced many reform movements that continued to develop for centuries to come. Many prominent and well-informed female-lead organizations, responsible for many of the evangelical converts, were birthed through the awakening. These organizations propelled the movement's focus toward social activism and reform. Of these, the American Bible Society and the Temperance Movement were the most well known.
Most notably, the Second Great Awakening birthed the movement for women's rights, as well as the abolitionist movement. These movements were founded on belief in the Word of God - that all men, as well as all women, were created equally by God!
Even more remarkable, and one of my favorite revival occurrences regarding women, is the account of the Beguines women in the thirteenth century. In the low countries of Northern Europe during the middle ages, marriageable men were scarce, leaving many single women of middle class.
During this time in history, women were allowed only two honorable roles in society in which they could serve God: becoming a nun or running a household as a wife. However, for a young woman wanting to serve God, joining a convent was very expensive and if her family could not afford the dowry the church required, there was no other way for her to serve. That is, until the brave Beguines women broke the mold.
Living alone, these women devoted their lives to prayer and serving the poor. Finally, forming communities of women vowing to live a consecrated life to God, they performed good works and took care of each other.
Their communities flourished as they sought an intimate relationship with God and devoted themselves to religious work. Before long, men as well as women sought out these communities to sit under the powerful teachings of Beguines women, such as Marie of Oignies. A leading teacher of the Beguines movement, Marie of Oignies encountered many visions, experiencing ecstasy (a sudden change in perception due to direct contact with Holy Spirit), and wept uncontrollably as she reflected on the crucifixion of Christ.
The shift toward Christian mysticism, prophesy and visions in the communities, generated a great deal of persecution against them. Marguerite Porete, a French Beguine-mystic, was accused of heresy by the Catholic church and burned at the stake in 1310 in Paris. Her book, The Mirror of Simple Souls, was censured as heresy and, failing to recant its teachings, she was condemned to die.
Unfortunately, their experiences were difficult for society to understand. Thus, they came under heavy religious persecution by the Pope, the bishops and the Inquisition, until their numbers began to wane by the 17th century.
I hear very few people talk much about the Beguines revival during the 1200s - 1600s. Yet, with a focus on intimacy with Jesus Christ, their effect on Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern France and Germany was evident by the wide-spread renewal amongst the middle-class.
For a time, these daring women redefined the role of women in Christian society and developed multiple assemblages with the primary purpose of pursuing Christ. Try as some might to dim the light of the Beguines women, they are even now renown for their genuine and passionate love for their Savior. Building dynamic, life-changing communities, these women became a refuge to any seeker who yearned to know the Christ of the Beguines women.
Harvest of Potential
God did not create you to live in survival mode. He created you with the intention that you would enjoy your life and thrive - living to your fullest potential in Him. That is what He designed you for and it is His delight. He gets great joy in seeing you walk in the fulness of your potential. He enjoys your enjoyment. He has placed deep wells of potential inside you, which He intends to draw it out.
When the Father called you out of your shell to do the greater works (John 14:12) He planned for you to do, He anticipated everything you would need to accomplish His will. It's already inside you waiting to be harvested - to birth your dreams and manifest God's presence.
Just like Adam and Eve were convinced of their failure (Genesis 3:10), we battle the same feelings of inadequacies. Invariably, the lies sown into our roots at the beginning of our lives try desperately to hinder our growth and potential. And just like Adam and Eve, God says to you: "Who told you that you were naked?" (Genesis 3:11 NLT). God sees the lies the enemy has sown in your heart much more clearly than you do, so He calls your attention to it so you can uproot it.
The reality is, there is a war in the heavens over possession of your heart and mind. When you battle with the lies of the enemy, you will begin to see the realization of your potential. It is incredibly vital to heaven and so very necessary to the Earth - you are that important. As you take authority over the lies of the enemy that want to rob you of your confidence, know you are not just wrestling for your own sake, but for the triumph of the kingdom of heaven.
As you stand in confidence to defeat destiny's thief, understand and recognize you stand in the confidence of the entire kingdom of heaven. So, tell that devil he has no chance against you and refuse to give him any place in your life. "Submit yourselves...to God. Resist the devil, and he WILL [literally] FLEE from you" (James 4:7 NIV emphasis mine).
God has placed wells of potential inside of you, and as you draw from it, you bring a great reward to His kingdom. Draw near to Him and He will harvest your potential. Be confident that, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6 NIV).
Psalm 68:11 prophesied the coming of a great army of women who would experience incredible victories for the Kingdom of Christ. God is calling His warrior-women to the frontlines.
Truly, He's prepared you and now He's calling you. He needs you. The harvest is waiting - will you come?
VICTORIA BOYSON is the founder of Victoria Boyson Ministries and Women of Impact Ministries, a ministry dedicated to raising up an army of women who will revolutionize their world and bring in the harvest. She is a passionate speaker, operating in extraordinary authority to awaken the church to their victorious reality. She's been writing for the prophetic ministry the Elijah List since 2004 and before that has worked for Francis Frangipane ministries. Along with her husband, she's worked in pastoral ministry in the mid-west. Through revelations of the Holy Spirit and the Word, Victoria is breaking down strongholds which have kept the church from fully realizing the great commission.
Based out of the Houston, Texas area, she lives with her husband and together they have 4 grown children. Called to awaken and prepare the bride of Christ for the end-time harvest, she hopes to compel His church to embrace a passionate relationship with their heavenly Father. She is the author of REVOLUTION: The White Horse Rider, God's Magnum Opus: The Value of a Women, AWAKENING: The Deep Sleep, His Passionate Pursuit and The Birth of Your Destiny.
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