In an earlier post, I provided some practical suggestions on how to discover your gifts and talents. Now, once you’ve discovered your gifts and you understand how God wants you to serve, it’s important to stay committed to God’s call. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks and obstacles. God offers great victory when you stay the course.
Let’s look at the example of Deborah. Deborah was a prophetess and Judge in Israel. She had a well-respected position and was the first woman Judge in Israel. She was judging Israel at a time when the people would do evil and fall away from serving the Lord, then God would judge them and deliver them into the hands of their enemies, then they would cry out and return to God and finally He would deliver them. Unfortunately, the lesson was never permanently learned and there was a cycle of evil, judgement, oppression, repentance and deliverance that was going on, over and over again for the people of Israel.
Within this cycle, Deborah ruled while Israel was under God’s judgment. Israel was under severe oppression for twenty years. She would sit under the palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment. She was very well respected. The sons of Israel – men – lined up to receive her judgement. When she was told by God to fight the enemy, the Israelite warrior leader Barak said he wouldn’t go to war unless she, Deborah, a woman, went with him.
Now isn’t that funny! A man not wanting to fight unless a woman is with him! And just in case you think that Barak was a wimp, he was not! In Hebrews 11: 32 Barak is listed in the Hall of Fame of men of great faith. Well Deborah agreed to go to battle, but insists that all credit for winning the war should go to God and not to Barak.
What strikes me most about Deborah is that she was committed to do God’s will in the context of a sinful and oppressive situation. She was confident about God’s call and she was unwavering. She was very plain spoken and direct, honest, decisive and courageous. No waffling here and no shirking from God’s direction to go to war. She was not intimidated by men and she made it very clear that God, not man, was to be glorified when the battle was won!
The result of Deborah’s firm commitment to God’s call to be a judge was that the cycle of evil, judgement, oppression, repentance and deliverance was broken and that peace reigned in Israel for forty years!
If God calls you to lead – then you must lead, like Deborah, without compromise. It really doesn’t matter if you are soft-spoken and have a more gentle way of communicating than Deborah. What really matters is your willingness to have a firm, uncompromising commitment to God and like Deborah, be very decisive when judging between good and evil, relying fully and completely on God’s guidance, direction and resilient strength, giving Him full credit for the work that He accomplishes through you. In this way, you will bring glory to God and accomplish His will on earth through you.