"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." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh (Judges 4:9).
This is a fascinating verse we find in the story of Deborah, Barak, Sisera, and Jael in Judges chapter 4. Several characters stand out to me from this story - a bold female judge, Deborah; a timid military warrior, Barak; a tired Cannanite commander, Sisera; and a heroine, Jael. It is a great read if you are up for a good story.
I want to focus on the timid military warrior, Barak. God says He will draw out Sisera, who is Barak’s enemy. But Barak says to Deborah, I will not go if you won’t go with me. This decision costs him the honor in this battle. The honor goes to a “woman” named Jael because of her courage.
Her actions are heroic! In Judges 5, they sing of Jael “Most blessed of women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Most blessed is she of women in the tent, He asked for water and she gave him milk. She reached out her hand for the tent peg, and her right hand for the workmen’s hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; and she shattered and pierced his temple.”
She crushes Sisera’s head with a hammer and a tent pen! She is savage! She didn’t hesitate. Nike’s saying “Just do it” comes to mind.
What can we learn from this story?
#1. We must overcome our insecurities.
#2. We must step out of our comfort zone.
#3. We must take risks and move forward in faith.
The lack of confidence pulls us back from moving forward. We somehow choose to see everyone around us operating in confidence but find ourselves lacking it. This is perhaps what happened to Barak. Even though he was a military warrior and a leader, he didn’t have the confidence to go into this battle against Sisera.
We all struggle with self-doubt, but we must learn to identify the source of our uncertainty and anxiety and take that to the Lord. His word says to cast all your anxiety upon Him for he cares for us. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Lay them at His feet and allow Him to replace your lack of confidence in yourself with confidence in Him. Allow Him to give you the courage to overcome your fears.
This is an area that I’ve personally struggled in and I realized that I am spending too much time thinking about how someone else has got it all together when all I really needed to do was “just do it” instead of hiding behind the uncertainties that were circling around in my head.
Hebrews 6:12 says this: "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 says this: "Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready."
Outside of insecurities and fears, one of the main reasons we like to stay in our comfort zone is because we can be lazy. We are prone to find excuses and often blame our circumstances on others for our lack of motivation and drive.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that it is easier to keep drinking milk than take the additional effort to eat solid food. It is important to identify when it is time to step forward and put into practice all that you have been taught.
In the professional world, once you have your education and license, your employer expects you to deliver. We all understand that. Somehow, that same concept doesn’t translate into our spiritual walk. We are still expecting to be fed, when you have enough knowledge and skills to “feed” others. So just do It!
Henry Ford once said “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.” We need to change what we are doing. We must take risks and move forward in faith.
She could let Sisera rest up and leave her tent or she could step in and win the battle for Israel. I don’t imagine ordinary Israelite women have a lot of practice smashing a man’s head with a hammer. This took extraordinary courage.
Allow God to show you which way you should go. And once he shows you the way, you must step forward toward that. It takes faith. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. If it was already visible, then there is no need for faith or to take risks.
Let us choose to say yes when our insecurities hold us back.
Let us choose to say yes and shake off all sorts of laziness and sluggishness.
Let us choose to say yes and take risks in our walk with the Lord this new year!