“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”James 1:2-3
Has God ever given you an opportunity to step out in faith? Did you do it with a full and glad heart or did you hesitate? Were you courageous or cautious?
God appointed Deborah as both prophetess and judge. She judged Israel under a shade tree, which demonstrates her wisdom because deserts are hot!
At that time, the Lord commanded Barack to engage in battle with the much advanced Canaanite army, who boasted 900 iron chariots. Deborah summoned Barak and said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go… I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Due to either an absence of faith or weak spirit, Barak responded with, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” God, by way of Deborah, had given Barak everything he needed to win: the location for the battle, the number of men he required, and even the tribes they should come from. For whatever reason, Barak needed more; his lack of faith led to a rebuke from Deborah: “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road in which you are going will not lead to your glory.”
Barak led the charge on Deborah’s call: “Arise! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the LORD has gone out before you.” The Israelites defeated the Canaanite army and just as Deborah said, the true glory did not go to Barak. Instead, the personal defeat of Sisera, the Canaanite commander, went to a woman named Jael, who slew him after he deserted his men.
In the past, I have found it difficult to step out in faith. Much like Barak, I would always turn to someone who I trusted and say, “Come with me!”
Recently, I experienced the greatness that God has planned when I was bold enough to have faith and act. I was working in education and had been both a classroom teacher and in administration. For ten years, I worked with children, parents, and other educators in a field that I loved. However, in my last year, I found it nearly impossible to justify the decisions the administration wanted us to implement versus how I knew God wanted me to care for my students. I felt that God was telling me this was the time to change my career and set out on an entirely new path. It was difficult to wrap my head around the idea of leaving my decade-long calling. However, with much prayer, the Lord opened up an unexpected door. I took the leap of faith! As Event Coordinator here at First Baptist Dallas, I am experiencing the joy of serving the Lord daily and His abundant blessings in a way I did not anticipate. God had it all planned out. I just needed to say yes.
God gave Barak all the details for the battle, but Barak needed more. We can certainly identify with Barack’s reservations, but we can hardly support them. On the other hand, Deborah demonstrated courage by not only walking in the faith of God’s commands but by going on a battlefield when she was a judge, not a general.