“Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”Hebrews 11:33-34
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and underqualified when you were asked to do a certain task? Do you ever see God calling you to do something, and you think he picked the wrong guy?
In Judges 4 we see the story of Barak. If we take the time to read this story you may wonder: how did this man make it into the Hebrews Hall of Faith? Barak was a warrior who was afraid to go into battle unless accompanied by Deborah. So, what’s the deal here?
When we read Hebrews 11:33-34 and we see the name Barak, we see the reason he was listed in the middle of verse 34: “whose weakness was turned to strength.”
Barak’s life is a beautiful illustration of a person God used to lead despite glaring flaws. Leadership is all about God using us despite our weaknesses and strength, despite our failures and successes.
Leonard Sweet summarizes this very well: “On the cross, leadership dies. On the cross, success dies. On the cross, skills die, and excellence dies. All of my strengths—nailed to the cross. All of my weaknesses—nailed to the cross. All of my yearnings for bigger and better, for anything other than Christ himself—nailed to that same cross.”
Despite our past mistakes, preconceived ideas, or supposed strengths, our legacy isn’t about what we have done, but about what God has done through us. We as believers have been tasked to be an open vessel for the glory of the Lord, humbling ourselves before Him for His name’s sake.
It wasn’t Barak who conquered kingdoms. It was God who conquered kingdoms using an imperfect man willing to submit himself to God. We are called to do the same, to open our hearts to the calling that God has for us.
God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.