Yesterday, my intention was to write about Jezebel. The Lord had other plans, and while I can see the value… it wasn’t pleasant. Before I could write about Jezebel, I had to meet her. Face to face. It’s take me a bit of time to process this encounter. I spoke on the phone with a good friend about my experience, and she flat out said that the Lord wasn’t letting me write about something I had not been through. So, true. So, wise. So, hard.
But, I’m glad that I didn’t write anymore about her yet. This encounter will probably have an impact on how I write about her further. The Lord set a divine appointment.
Jezebel was so outgoing, engaging, her personality was large, and she commanded the space. Even I found myself laughing at some of the things she said. If those who knew her were asked to write down a list of attributes about Jezebel, it would read like a lovely list. Strong. Confident. Assured. Knowledgeable. Successful. Beautiful.
I saw something much different, my list would read quite the opposite. Broken. Disconnected. Misleading. False. Insecure. Disrespectful. Yet, in the moment… I found myself just as intrigued by her as others in the space. Like a Hurricane… she was just as astonishing as she was destructive. Still, my spirit remained unsettled by her presence.
As I was speaking to my friend about this encounter, I pointed out the irony of this encounter happening just as I was writing about Deborah vs. Jezebel. And so we headed down a path of what we each had learned in the Scriptures about them. My friend talked about Jezebel’s personality and character. Then I said, “What I find interesting is that so many refer to Jezebel as a divisive person who corrupts. But, in the Scriptures we learn that Ahab was already corrupt before Jezebel entered the picture. Jezebel was invited in.”
When a space… whether it is a community, a organization, a ministry, or a church is already corrupted… they are primed for Jezebel to appear. Jezebel doesn’t need an engraved invitation to show up to the party, she just needs a door that is left opened for her to slide into the fold. Once through the door, her words are tempting… her personality is engaging… she speaks things that seem right or acceptable. She says what others want to hear. She doesn’t just give permission for people to follow the desires of their flesh, but she affirms it as a good thing.
In the book of Genesis, it is the snake in the garden that convinces Eve that eating of the forbidden tree is more than just ok, but that it is a good thing. 2 Timothy 4:3 warns: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” It is easy for women to go about and talk about what sounds good, what feels good, and seems like truth. “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” (1 Tim 5:13).
We have to be so careful who we let in our circle. Are we surrounding ourselves with Deborahs (wise, discerning, and godly women) or Jezebels (lying, manipulating, and godless women)? This is why we are told to be students of the Word, because we most KNOW the Word so well that anything that is not of the word sticks out like weed among the flowers. We have to lean in so much to the Lord, that anything that tries to distract us from Him is outside of our peripheral vision. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that when Jezebel attempts to tickle our ears that Truth compels us to flee.
Yet, we are faced with a conundrum… as leaders. Do I surround myself with other Deborahs, hiding in the fortress of my city on a hill? Or, do I face down Jezebel with God on my side? Do I continue to minister to my Sisters in Christ, and leave these easily tempted women on their own to contend with Jezebel? Do I take a stand between Jezebel and these women. Do I bring truth to counter her lies? Do I bring peace to counter her chaos? Do I come armored for battle?
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Not every woman is going to be able to take on a Jezebel. But, a Deborah can.
There are many different women in the Scriptures that are called to various types of leadership and influence in the church, ministries, and communities. Not all leaders are going to have the same calling as Deborah. But, if you are a Deborah… Jezebel is your enemy. You may need to face her directly, or equip those who will with the Word of God.
Jezebels are present today. They may sit among you in the pews, or be dispersed in your community. Pray not only for your discernment to see her for who she is, but stand in the gap for those who do not know better. Pray that they too will have eyes that see her intentions, discernment to go the other way. Have other women praying with you, as you face Jezebel. And lean into the Holy Spirit’s prompting on when to speak, when not to. When to act, when to be still. Allow God’s words to speak against Jezebel, not your own.