Categories
Christianity

Deborah’s Legacy

God has a place for women.

Sometimes, that position is in the foreground. In Deborah’s case, she led Israel as a judge during a time when they were under oppression by Jabin, King of Canaan. The Israelites believed in her leadership and counsel enough to submit their disputes to her for resolution.

As a prophetess, God gave His direction concerning how He would deliver the Israelites from Jabin’s oppression. He further used her to encourage Barak who was leading the Israelite troops in the battlefield.

Sometimes, our position is in the background. Jael’s marriage to Heber, Jabin’s ally, is what positioned her to kill Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army. She didn’t need a fancy title to make an impact. She saw the opportunity and boldly and shrewdly took it.  

Thriving women make room for more women to thrive.

Our obedience makes room for the success of other women, and not just those we know and love. There’s no mention of Deborah and Jael interacting with each other. Yet, because Deborah fully took up her role and did as God directed her, it led to the critical moment when Sisera fell at Jael’s hands.

Deborah ends up doing a song with Barak that details Jael’s role in Israel’s victory. She may have started off unknown but she ended up in the history books by being faithful where she was positioned and with what was given to her.

Men and women can live and work together honourably.

Human wisdom suggests that men and women can thrive without each other’s support. But the divine reality is that we need each other and we are better for it when we work together.

Deborah is the only female judge listed in the Bible. It would have been extremely difficult if not impossible for her to undertake her role as a judge without the support of her husband, Lappidoh. Any married person will tell you how critical spousal support is when trying to get anything done because of how marriage intertwines lives.

Barak heeded the counsel of God given through Deborah to go to battle. He refused to go into battle without Deborah and did so knowing that the accolades of victory would likely end up going to her.

Lappidoh and Barak lost nothing and gained much in their support of Deborah. On her part, Deborah didn’t need to be demanding or dismissive of either man. She recognized and honoured the role they had to play even as she did her part.

Being a woman is an advantage.

Circumstances of life would have us believe that being a woman is a disadvantage. But God used these two women – Deborah and Jael – to help deliver Israel. And they’re only two in a list of many mentioned throughout the Bible.

It’s not hard to be content with who you are and where you’ve been positioned when you understand that your value is inherent in your existence as one created in God’s image. You matter even before you accomplish a single thing.

It’s not hard to forsake titles and recognition when you acknowledge that all the glory belongs to God and Him alone. If we can keep our gaze as women fixed on the One who truly matters, He will continue to change the course of human history through us.

This is Deborah’s legacy. Being a woman is your advantage. You can do all things – ALL things – through Christ who strengthens you.

Categories
Christianity

Intentional

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 

Psalm 139:1 ESV

There’s something about showing up.

I don’t mean just being physically present in a place.

I mean showing up – body, spirit, soul, every fibre of your being and then some.

And then showing up again. And again. And again.

There’s something to be said for the person who shows up for their life each day. What may seem like a mundane existence could in fact be glory hidden in plain sight.

We tend to think of power as this grandiose pink elephant in the room that everyone wants to ride on and nobody could possibly miss. But the longer I live, the more I find that power – true power – is more like a quiet river steadily going about its business. If you weren’t looking for it, you’d hardly acknowledge its presence. But it’s there. And everything around it is impacted by its daily existence.

Sometimes…many times…being powerful looks like showing up intentionally every single day. Making a purposeful choice to be there, wherever there is, whatever there looks like.

This is a pivotal decade for me at personal level for various reasons. And as I think about the trajectory of the years ahead, I find that more than anything I want to be intentional.

Intentional in my presence and in my absence.

Intentional in my speech and in my silence.

Intentional in my writing and in my living.

Intentional in my gratitude and in my praise.

Intentional in my kindness and in my graciousness.

Intentional in holding onto hope and in fighting off the fears that come my way.

Intentional in stepping out in faith and in making good use of divine courage.

Intentional in how I love God and in how I love people.

Intentional in faithfully pursuing the small things as much as the big things.

Intentional in being me.

The intentionality with which God created each one of us often gives me pause. That He would so concern Himself with the tiniest of details – right down to the number of hairs on my head and the days formed for me.

We look for value in so many places when the proof of it is (literally) in our face – staring right back at us every time we’re in front of a mirror.

What better response, what better worship could we then give Him who created us than to live like we’re created – intentionally.

Whatever God has placed in your heart to be and to do this year, this decade, I hope you’ll make the daily choice to be intentional with it.

You are His wondrous workmanship after all.