In an age in which we are exposed to so much injustice, pain, and brokenness on a daily basis, it can be difficult to know which battles we are called to fight. Our own personal battles keep so much of our hearts and minds occupied. While we may long for justice and peace, we might inwardly feel frozen in a spinning cycle of “what do I do?”
Deborah’s story is a story of simplicity. As a prophetess for Israel, her life was spent hearing the voice of God and knowing what moved His heart. She’s a mighty woman who stands out in all of Scripture as one whom God partnered with to lead a wounded nation to victory. Undaunted by the odds that might have been stacked against her, she spoke with faith the plan of God to defeat the enemy and restore all that had been stolen.
Will you, like Deborah, arise a mother? Find your faith in her story today.
Under the rule of Sisera, Jabin king of Canaan, no Israelite felt safe in his village for fear of invasion, robbery, or oppression. It is on this grave scene that Deborah led as a judge and prophet who held court under the Palm of Deborah.
Judges 4 describes how Deborah calls for the army commander and tells him to lead ten thousand of their men to a specific location the Lord had assigned. She tells him God promised victory over Sisera’s army there. The commander responds to Deborah with “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’
‘Certainly I will go with you,’ said Deborah. ‘But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’
In a critical moment when even the other leaders around her were hesitant to rise up, Deborah delivered an entire people from darkness and pain. She knew that nothing could stop God’s hand from saving or His words from being true. Deborah leapt forward into a terrifying risk, and “even the stars fought on her behalf (Judges 5:20).”
WHAT ARE YOU CALLED TO?
We don’t know if it was in Deborah’s life’s plan to go to battle against a king and a great army. Her intentions were as simple as hearing the voice of God each day and acting on it. This isn’t so different from you and me.
Aren’t the mightiest warriors, underneath, simply sheep who know the voice of the Shepherd? Aren’t the wisest strategists, at their cores, those who simply spend time with the One who is Wisdom?
Are you wondering about what you are called to do? It may be that you are called to be a Deborah on the battlefield against darkness. But first, rest in knowing that you are always called to be a Deborah under the palm tree. You are called to daily listen to the One who will share His heart with you. He wants to infill you with His fiery, protective passion for others. When the time comes, those who know Him well will also be those who confidently follow Him through the risk and into the victory. If you fight, it is because He is a mighty warrior who loves to save. It’s as simple as going where He is going.
ARISE AS A MOTHER
In Judges chapter 5, Deborah sings a song of victory to celebrate her nation’s deliverance from the tyrant king. She sings, “The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be until I arose; I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.” (Judges 5:7)
There is no record of whether or not Deborah had her own biological children, but we do know that she identifies herself as a mother of many, in love and in action.
Sometimes motherhood is loving those in need before they even recognize you as the one to help them. Motherhood is defending the voice of the voiceless. You arise as a mother every time you act like Jesus and bring freedom to those who are trapped.
Have you disqualified yourself from being a mother? Deborah’s story reminds you that your motherhood is not restricted to those you carry in your womb. It extends boundlessly outward to those you embrace with your heart. The world needs you to arise as a mother.
WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR?
If you’re overwhelmed by the problem you’re facing, God invites you to go back to the Palm Tree and find your courage in His voice. Yes, the world’s problems are bigger than you are. Your family’s problems, your personal situations, and global issues of injustice are bigger than you are on your own. However, you are not alone.
Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
Psalm 140:12 says, “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy.”
Some of you have recently asked the question, “what can I really do up against a problem so big?” Or maybe you’ve asked, “what happens if I step out in faith, and it only backfires?” God wants you to know with total peace that you can stand steadily on the truths in His Word. When you commit your way to Him and trust Him, He will act. You can be confident in His justice, always certain that you don’t fight your battles by yourself. The God of all creation never leaves you.
Allow Deborah’s story to increase your faith, remind you who you are, and draw you close to the heart of God.
What victories will you win? What strategies is God giving you in your battles? How will you arise as a mother to those around you? The world is longing to find out.
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Written by Carisa Downs