We are doing our 6th Annual Summer Study on the book of Ezra. So I am spending a lot of time studying the book. I am familiar with this book because my life verse is Ezra 7:10 but having a bird’s eye view has given me a different perspective. I didn’t realize that Ezra and Nehemiah used to be Ezra 1 and Ezra 2. These two men worked together for God’s common purposes. The book isn’t just about these two men though. There are multiple twos: Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Chapter 3 & 4) and Haggai and Zechariah (Chapter 5 & 6). There are 3 sets of twos. This pairing is carried over to the New Testament as Jesus sent the disciples out by twos. So what’s my point? It seems like today (in church/Christian culture), we promote the “twos” as husband and wife couples. I know of a very popular church who believes that the husband’s calling is carried over to the wife (like a dual anointing). After studying the book of Ezra, Moses & Aaron, Elijah & Elisha, Ruth & Naomi, we really can’t say that God has established that kind of husband and wife anointing. Even in the New Testament, the example of couples in ministry like Priscilla and Aquila being good equalized out the couple of Ananias and Sapphira who represent the bad.
Obviously, this made me feel great as Bobbye and I are in this together! However, I started thinking, “How come we do not see other groups coming together for the purposes of God?” Pulling from my own experience, I really think because it is just plain hard. We already have spouses, children, obligations, extended families, neighbors, and churches that our relationship box is maxed out. As I remember back 9 years ago, I said to a friend of mine, “I need a prayer partner that does not get too close. I am already maxed out with my family and my friends. I just need someone who is objective to pray with me and for me without any additional commitment or requirement on my part.” When I prayed about that person, the Lord brought Bobbye to mind. She is totally different than me and we don’t cross any of the same paths. Little did I know that God had a major plan for two women who were willing to pray together and be committed to Him more than to ourselves. Is it hard? Yes but with time, it gets easier.
I want to encourage you to pray about praying with someone of the same sex. That is the starting place. Christians have become such promoters of the family (which is great) but at the same time, we sound so homophobic in the process. Let’s get back to praying together, witnessing together, working together so the Lord may be glorified. I had to allow the Lord to change my mind-set of how I wanted to serve Him. Iron sharpens iron. We are put on this earth to be united for His purposes today like Ezra and Nehemiah were in the past.
And if you are in the area, come to our summer study. We are going to be greatly blessed!