Where are the spirit of Deborah’s, Esther’s & Mary’s?

This month includes Mothering Sunday, which takes place on 19th (UK).  It’s great to see my wife Jo receive little gifts from our two daughters as we honour this special day.

The bible devotes books, chapters and powerful accounts of women who were mightily used by God.
Unfortunately, There’s also accounts where it didn’t go well.  There was Potiphar’s wife who made a false accusation toward Joseph which led to a prison sentence.  David’s lust for Bathsheba, then there was the despise from David’s wife as he danced before the Lord, or ‘looking back’ toward Sodom for Lot’s wife, there was also Herod’s daughter whose sensuous dance led to the head of John the Baptist.

In 1 & 2 Kings we read about Jezebel, she was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre/Sidon and priest of the cult of Baal, a cruel, sensuous false god whose worship involved sexual degradation and lewdness.  Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel and led the nation into Baal worship (1 Kings 16:31). Ahab and Jezebel’s reign over Israel is one of the saddest chapters in the history of God’s people.  Two incidents in the life of Jezebel that characterise her and may define what is meant by the “Jezebel spirit.”  One trait is her obsessive passion for domineering and controlling others, especially in the spiritual realm. When she became queen, she began a relentless campaign to rid Israel of all evidences of Yahweh worship. She ordered the extermination of all the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:4,13).  Her biggest enemy was Elijah.  She had a disdain toward this leader as her desire for control was hindered by the spirit of God upon Elijah.  Jezebel had an influence on those around her and caused many to stumble and fall away through her deception and subtle words against this leader.  Many rose up against Elijah which eventually led to an encounter at Mount Carmel.  It was this spirit from Jezebel against the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob – though Elijah was greatly outnumbered, there was only going to be one winner. (1 Kings 18:38).  That spirit for control continues to this day, which is why it’s important for all believers to be wise on ‘whose voice you are listening too’.

However, you also have Mary Magdalene who, despite her past, became a huge influence and positive support to the early church.  Or the women at the well who met Jesus, who had gone out of his way to meet with her, that encounter led the Samaritan woman to inviting many from her own village to ‘meet the man who knew all about me’ (John 4). I believe the Lord is raising up hearts that reflect the spirit of Esther, Deborah or Mary.  Even Martha, who sometimes gets a hard time from preachers for busying herself in the house while Mary sat at Jesus feet (Luke 10), and yet, it was Martha who opened the door to Jesus, who invited him in.  We need those type of women to be at the door for the broken, the hurting, the neglected, those who are searching and invite them in.  We need the Esther’s who will stand in the gap on behalf of her people.  Who will stay up late while others sleep to enter into the presence of the King?  Who will intercede on behalf of the people?  In Ephesians 4:11, we read about the ‘five-fold ministry’.  The church needs all five offices, including the prophets.  Deborah was a such a prophet and leader of the people (Judges 4), she also held office as judge of Israel.  What powerful women of God.  We need them today?  I pray that God raises up such women for the Body of Christ.

I love reading about those ‘early days’ in the NT as Mary quietly went to visit Elizabeth as they were both pregnant women.  The words, the visitations, the promises – these things Mary kept in her heart.  The heart of a woman is a deep ocean, and contains many memories and experiences.

When I was younger and had returned from bible college, I attended a church in Gosport, Hampshire that was pastored by an amazing and powerful woman of God called Rose McDonald.  She carried a loving shepherds heart and loved her church, and yet she also carried a powerful prophetic gift.  I was able to witness a number of incredible events and supernatural encounters because of this powerful intercessor and woman of God.  I will always be indebted to her precious influence on my life.

A few months ago I was asked to officiate a funeral service for a fourteen year old girl who had committed suicide.  She had experienced months of confusion, struggling with her gender but not convinced what she was, despite the pressure from ‘groups’ to change gender because that was ‘thing to do nowadays’.  Along with other ‘experiences’ that robbed her innocence, she felt that there was no other option than to end it.  What a tragedy!  I was heartbroken that I wasn’t there or knew her.

As a church we have witnessed the spirit of Jezebel vying for control, or of Lot’s wife, always looking back.  However, I am convinced that God is raising up a spirit and anointing of Esther’s, Deborah’s and Mary’s in the Body of Christ.  We need spiritual mothers in the church to love, support and care for those who are searching and young in their faith. Happy Mothers Day to every woman who is praying, who carries an attitude of love, care and support toward the church, to those who are passionate about seeing the hurting, the abused, those who feel that ‘there is no other option’, and the broken to experience the love of Jesus, to the female teachers, leaders, evangelists, prophets and apostles who are being mightily used in 2023.  Happy Mothers Day!


“When I had forgotten God, yet I then found He had not forgotten me. Even then He did by His Spirit apply the merits of the great atonement to my soul, by telling me that Christ died for me.”

Susanna Wesley


On a snow-swept day in Canada, as a servant walked into a room, the candle which he was holding caught alight the netting which lay over the bed of a young child. The fire spread and sadly led to the death of this young daughter. The grief was so deep for the mother. But in that grief she called out to God.

This led to a powerful encounter with God and later this woman became a preacher. Her name was Phoebe Palmer, and was invited to speak in many churches across Canada as she shared of her experience and testimony. Her own father had become a Christian while in Yorkshire, England under John Wesley and always had a heart for Britain. The invites continued, including some from England. This Canadian mother travelled to England with her husband and began a series of healing meetings in Sunderland. It soon turned out to be a revival as many attended each evening to experience salvation, healing and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The revival of 1859 spread across England, and pioneered new ministries such as the Salvation Army due to Catherine Booth hearing Phoebe preaching the gospel. This Canadian mother, out of heartache and tragedy experienced the love of Jesus and made a decision to share with others. This devotion to Jesus impacted thousands and thousands and soon became known as the Holiness Movement. All because of one woman, who devoted her life to serving Jesus.

Prayer Meetings at Bethel Chapel:
Tuesdays at 8am
Wednesday at 7pm
All welcome!

Midweek Bible Study continues term-time
Wednesday’s, 7.30pm

Keep up to date with all the developments at Bethel through our website

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua