What happens when you tell God that you don’t want to minister to a specific people group? If you are international speaker and best-selling author Lisa Bevere, He challenges you to be obedient to His calling. As a mother to four boys, Bevere never thought her audience would be women. We interviewed Bevere in 2016 and talked with her about how she started her ministry to women and an encounter she had with an airplane passenger.
Bevere opens up about how she had no desire to minister to women but God changed her viewpoint.
“Seriously, I had no interest in women and I was super excited when I had all boys. But here is what happened., God told me how much He loved women. Every time I birthed a boy I was so happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with female drama. I felt like God called me to minister to women and I said, ‘No, anybody but women. I don’t think like one, I don’t act like one, yes, I look like one, but that is really as far as it goes.’ [Laughter] The pushback was constant. I tried making deals with God like, ‘If you want me to minister to women, then You are going to have to send me a mentor.’ God said nothing. Eight years into my marriage, I am still looking for a female mentor to put me under her wing and tell me how to be a wife, and how to be a mother, and no one was appearing. I was pregnant with Alec [third child] and I heard God say, ‘I want you to minister to women. Are you going to obey me?’ I said, ‘You never sent me a mentor. This is not the deal.’ And He said, ‘I want you to be that woman.’ I said, ‘What?! I don’t know how to be that woman.’ He said, ‘Yes you do. Everything you wish another woman would have been to you, you begin to be- work it backwards. I’m not interested in mentors; I’m interested in mothers. Mothers will lay down life to bring forth life. Mothers want more for their children than they ever had for themselves.’ I sat down and I wrote out this woman. I drew her in words. I wrote that when I saw her. She would believe the best in me, she would say, enjoy this. She would teach me how to laugh at my future. She would teach me how to love my husband, she would teach me how to train my children – I sat down and just worked it backwards. I think God said, ‘Lisa, you don’t like women, but what you don’t like about women is never what I authored women to be. So go ahead and write the story of My daughters.”
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:29-30
Bevere shares about her encounter with a prominent female on an airplane.
“I was on an airplane flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles. I happened to look over and Maria Shriver was in the same row as me; she was in the aisle and I was by the window across from her. The Holy Spirit told me to go over and say something to her, and I actually don’t totally remember what I said. I got up to go to the bathroom and I bent down and put my hand on her leg, and I know that I said, ‘Thank you I know you’ve had a really rough couple of years.’ She had lost both of her parents and then all the drama surrounding her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘So thank you for pouring out of your place of pain to add value to women.’ She just looked at me. And I continued to say, ‘I’m praying for you.’ The Holy Spirit told me, ‘Don’t tell her your name, don’t tell her you are a Christian author, don’t make any withdrawal, only make a deposit.’ I just sat down and didn’t look at her, or bother her again. We had no contact after that. Then I was preaching at MegaFest and a woman came up to me who I guess has been friends with Maria for 35 years, and said, ‘I need to introduce you to Maria Shriver. I need you to be friends with her.’ I said, ‘I’ve actually spoken to her, but I’ve never met her.’ I told her that I spoke to Maria one time on the plane and she said, ‘That was you?’ She said, ‘Maria said that was a real moment in her life.’ A couple weeks later I received a request asking when Pope Francis comes [to the U.S. tour] would I do one of the days of devotion-Maria did 14 days of devotion-and so I got to write 1,000 words on something about faith. I did an openly life-changing message and talked about how our kids will either inherit God’s promises or our fears and then Maria posted it. More recently, I was contacted again and was asked to write a prayer for Maria’s sixtieth birthday. So I crafted a prayer for her.”
Be obedient. Whether it is having a conversation with a friend, joining a ministry, or leading an outreach, whatever God is laying on your heart, be obedient to the Holy Spirit and His direction. God will give you the words and actions to share, you just have to be willing and open to go. If you are anxious, ask a friend, small group member or pastor to pray for you.
Be willing. Often times, the busyness of life causes us to focus only on ourselves. We are in a rush to run errands or tired from the hectic work day to notice the stranger or friend that might need some encouragement. Pray this week and ask God to show you someone who might need a word of encouragement or act of service. Focus on making a deposit not a withdrawl.
Be the change. It is too easy to complain or criticize about what is wrong with a church, ministry or workplace. Rather than complain, consider ways that you can help be the catalyst for change. Look for opportunities to volunteer or meet with management to offer suggestions for improvement. Be willing to be a part of the solution.
To read our entire interview with Lisa Bevere, click here.