How to Consistently Point to God with Our Words and Actions
Hey, Friends! I just wanted to quickly point out that this post is part of an ongoing series called Heroes and Villains. We're looking at various characters in the Bible and considering the lessons we can learn from them. If you want to read more in the series, click on this link!
My children are notorious for losing things. I often question if this is a genetic trait because while my children might be searching the house over looking for a shoe, I’m searching the house over looking for my keys! My youngest has what my father refers to as “refrigerator blindness.” He’s blind to the things that are in the obvious, right in front of your face, places! My son could be staring straight at his shoe and never see it. Don’t worry, his vision is perfectly healthy!
The frustrating part of his refrigerator blindness is that he always requires that I help him find it. At the most inconvenient times. I could be packing my oldest son’s go-to diabetic bag, trying to not miss the really important things, and my youngest will come in, “I can’t find it. I need you to help me.” As a parent, I struggle with trying to teach him how to actually search for his missing item, but then I remember that he’s three and give him a high-five for even trying. Most of his lost item searches end up with either myself or my husband in tow.
The downside to him asking us for help is that he doesn’t get the full reward of finding it for himself. He doesn’t get to feel that satisfactory, “I found it all by myself” feeling.
When we’re called to do something on our own, and we choose to take someone with us, what are we missing out on?
Read Judges 4-5
I’ve read this story a number of times and have always wondered why Deborah didn’t just go out and defeat the enemy on her own. Then recently it occurred to me that women didn’t usually go into battle, and they definitely didn’t lead a battle! So Deborah called on Barak to go out and conquer the enemy. Barak heard the calling, but his courage didn’t match with Deborah’s confidence. So instead of heading out to defeat the enemy on his own (with the help of his army), he calls on Deborah to go with him.
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Much like my son missing out on the reward of not searching for his lost items on his own, Barak chose to miss out on his reward too. Instead of being able to claim the victory over the enemy, the victory (prophesied by Deborah) would go to a woman (Jael). Barak’s lack of courage and faith in God’s spoken Word meant that he missed out on the full reward of being obedient to God’s calling on his life.
What we learn from Deborah
Her words and actions consistently pointed to God. Deborah was a prophetess and judge in Israel. Prior to this battle in Judges 4, she was living a life that pointed people to God. When she judged, she pointed them to God. When she spoke, she pointed to God. She never faltered or hesitated, she never considered taking what was God’s for herself (such as the credit). When Barak was lacking courage, she pointed to God. When he lacked faith in God, she pointed to God.
She possessed wisdom as people came to her for judgment. I love how she sought wisdom in her role as judge in Israel. When we constantly point people to God, we've already developed a relationship with Him. We understand that God is the answer to many of life's questions. When we're lacking courage, when we're lacking wisdom, when we're lacking confidence, we need to be seeking God! She understood the importance of her role and the importance of including God in the big and small decisions. I love this promise we find in James:
We, too, have access to wisdom. We have the ability to make wise decisions in our home, in our workplace, in our families, and in our interactions with the world. Best of all, if we feel like we’re lacking wisdom at any point, we can ask God and He will give it to us. It’s a promise! You can count on it! Who, in our life, is relying on us for wisdom? Are we seeking God for His wisdom for their situation? Are we seeking Him for His wisdom to pour throughout every part of our lives?
She gave God the victory. She didn’t claim the credit for herself. She didn’t claim it for herself and Barak. She didn’t claim the credit for Jael. Instead, she gave God the credit He deserved. She praised Him for the victory. She didn’t try to take center stage, she stepped back and let God be seen in the midst of this great victory- HIS great victory! She didn’t want people to see her, she wanted people to see Him.
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When God moves in our lives in the obvious and the not-so-obvious ways, do we give Him the credit? Do we step back and let the world see Him, His movement, and His fingerprints all over our answered prayers, our seeming coincidences, or our miraculously changed circumstances?