Some weeks ago, I was invited to minister to some ladies on the theme. ‘Made for more.’ We had an interesting time drawing great lessons from the life of Deborah.
Can I share with you some of the lessons that stuck with me as I read Judges 4 and 5? I hope through this, God will stir in your heart a longing to see yourself just as he sees you.
1. In the plan of God for a woman, there is no place for passivity.
…’Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. Judges 4:4.
Without mincing words, It is clear who and what Deborah represents. We know she was a leader and a prophet in Israel. Her mission was clear.
There are women in our generation called to take up leadership roles whether in business or ministry, there are ladies who will never be pulled to the limelight but in their quiet corners will change lives and make impact, there are those who will stand behind the men God has called them to support and ensure together, they see God’s glory revealed. Whatever the case, I am confident that every woman has something for which she has been created to do.
I do not for once believe that there are certain women created to just fill up space. If we are not making any sense of our lives now, it is because we are yet to locate that for which we have been made.
Can I ask you this; Have you started asking God what exactly he wants you to do with your life? It may not necessarily be that you’ll become a CEO or founder of a ministry or NGO. God knows best where we can serve. We are made for his pleasure remember?
Comparing ourselves with others and measuring success with material things and popularity will keep us in the dungeon of unhappiness. Where God has called you to be is where satisfaction and lies.
2. Be specific about your life’s purpose and step out of your comfort zone.
I saw something in that chapter that made me almost burst out in excitement.
Deborah had a brand. Her ministry had a name. It was specific. When you are looking for Deborah, there is a place you will find her.
…She held court under the Palm of Deborah…and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. Judges 4:5
Palm of Deborah.
So if you are looking for Deborah, where do you go to? Palm of Deborah. When you get to the Palm of Deborah, who are you going to meet? A prophet, a judge, a leader.
I learnt something important here. There was a specific call to which Deborah answered to.
Ask some ladies what exactly they are called to do, they will take you on a merry go round chase, telling fairy tales and then finally land with, ‘I am here and there.’
Don’t be a jack of all and master of none. Get focused at a time on a few areas rather jumping from one sector or ministry to another.
Ladies, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be cynical here. If you are still jumping around trying to find meaning to your life, it’s okay but please don’t stay that way. I also had to try out different things before an understanding of the place of my calling came to bear.
We keep evolving, but then it is important not to spread ourselves thin. I believe that the more time you spend in your devotion with God, the easier it becomes to recognise the exact direction God is pointing your heart to.
Again, imagine that after Deborah got to discover her calling as a prophet, she sat at home and did nothing. We may never have heard about her today. The Israelite knew where to go meet her when disputes arose.
God will not come down and pull your hand to start off what he is asking you to do. In many cases, with God, it is first a walk of faith before evidences of manifestation would be displayed. It is our responsibility to stir up the gift and calling of God by taking that step and getting out of your familiar territory.
I can hear two Israelites say to each another as they argue over an issue. ‘I’m not going to listen to you until we take this matter to Deborah.’
How beautiful it will be when we become God’s vessels to proffer solutions to the Body of Christ and the world at large.
3. We are God’s voices to the world.
….Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘The Lord God of Israel commands you…’ Judges 4:6.
That was God speaking through Deborah. She represented the voice of God to the children of Israel. Her words carried power.
Can God rely on us to be his voice to the world? To proclaim righteousness and holiness? Can we be examples of what excellence entails? Is it possible that the world would stop dead in their track amazed at the diligence we put into our work? Are we going to leave behind something we would be remembered for?
4. Answer to the wake up call!
As at the time that Jabin was oppressing the Israelites, the highways were abandoned and travellers couldn’t move through the normal routes. Not a single spear or sword was seen among the warriors of Israel.
They were lost, helpless and with no place to go. Thank God for the call.
...Wake up, wake up, Deborah!..Judges 5:12.
It was like the sound of an alarm. A burden had been created in her heart. How many times has God been nudging your heart towards a particular area and yet you have refused to answer the call. This burden is beyond fat paycheck or amassing wealth. It is, responding to the heart of God to a particular situation.
Guess what? Because Deborah responded to that call, it led to the manifestations of the call upon the lives of others. The warriors got up again and picked their swords. Lingering stopped. The men of Zebulun risked their lives to see victory take place. Writers in Zebulun grabbed their pen again. Governors came out of Machir. The princes of Issachar stood by Deborah. Everyone got involved because a woman arose.
There is so much God wants to do with us as women. The world is hurting. Are we going to rise to the call of God or remain in the valley?
...that our daughters may be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Psalm 144:12
May the Lord count us worthy of the vocation for which we have been called.