S21P11 – Portraits of faith: Deborah

Judges 4:9
“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.

When someone walks in the power and authority given by God, it shows. When someone has a heart that desires to love and honor God above all else, it shows. We are drawn to these people and begin to trust in what God does through them. In a time when female leadership was beyond uncustomary and uncommon, Deborah carried that which caused people to trust in what God was doing through her. As a judge, the people trusted her judgment. And at the time of battle, it was her presence that seemed akin to having the favor of God to win the fight.

Deborah’s statement in the verse above is not so much a stiff rebuke as it is a lesson in faith. We all desire to do great things for God and to be honored by him. We want God’s favor and approval, to give him pleasure in all we do. But to do that, we have to rely on him. In essence, Deborah was saying, “if it is my presence instead of God’s that gives you courage in battle, He will not honor you in the victory.” Turning to great people of God for support, encouragement and direction cannot take the place of turning to God himself for these things.

We cannot operate in the faith and favor of others. If we see what they have is great and desire it for ourselves, we must build our own faith in God. We are to walk out our own salvation, which means developing our own relationship with and dependence on God himself. Father, thank You for the faithful leaders You place in our lives for direction and instruction, but keep us pursuing and depending on You first above all else.