By Aiden Willis
I think I was always one of those natural born leaders. I was always pretty outspoken and wanted my opinion to be heard. This was and still is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I know that I can and will always speak my mind. Sometimes it’s a curse, because well everyone doesn’t always want my opinion. I felt the latter a lot when I became a believer in a white evangelical context. I found myself only being surrounded by male leaders, and the leader positions being given out would only be given to my male counterparts. This never sat well with me, I always felt ostracized and to be honest, like most women overlooked. I felt like we were always learning about the male powerhouses in the Bible. I always wondered where were the women besides Mary and Martha Now don’t get me wrong both those women are amazing and extraordinary. But I needed to see more, I needed to read more, I needed more from God. I lamented and lamented and came across the 4th judge, my personal favorite Deborah!
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?”
Deborah, being a woman and a judge is a big deal. Judges at the time were acting as governers, settling disputes, and leading military. Men did this, women didn’t. Deborah was everything that us Godly women strive to be; she trusted deeply and wholeheartedly in the Lord. But what continues to draw me to Deborah is the way she convicts me. Deborah never uses her gifts for herself, but rather to glorify God. She reminded the Israelites about the greatness of GOD. See what Deborah did here was point the Israelities and Barak back to God’s promises and reminded them how faithful he really is.
Sisters we are all gifted in some way. Mine may help me lead and shepherd; and while this may seem like two huge gifts, I would argue to say they are the easiest to use for your own glory. I think all of the gifts can be. I tend to, like most of us, seek out my own self-righteousness instead of God’s. My flesh tends to take over more often than not. I am learning everyday that God wants us to use the blessings He’s given us to glorify himself, just like Deborah. Deborah used her amazingly, unique and special gifts to not only lead the Israelites into victory but turn it into praise. Deborah used the gifts God had given her only for His benefit and advancement of His Kingdom.
So let’s praise God this week and use all of our gifts only for His glory.
Let us pray: Hey Father, we praise you for the gifts you have given us. We confess that we often times praise the blessings given to us, instead of the beautiful Creator. God continue to convict our hearts and use our gifts only to glorify Your name. Also Father, this week give use opportunities to use these great gifts to advance your Kingdom, so that people may know of your greatness.