Positioned to Be Used by God

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 28 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today’s Reading: Judges 4

Judges 4:8 (NIV) “Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’”

Deborah was a woman of influence—holding the position of both prophet and judge among the people of Israel. And her words? They carried massive weight due to her reputation for wisdom.

When we first meet Deborah, she’s sitting underneath a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. It was from this place—the place where she typically held court and offered people wisdom from the Lord—that she asked Barak to come and see her. The children of Israel had been suffering under the oppression of Jabin, the king of Canaan, for 20 years because of their disobedience to the Lord and and He was ready to deliver them through the hand of Barak.  

Barak’s willingness to travel 17 miles by foot to hear what the Lord wanted to say through Deborah, shows how highly her words were valued. And not only did he value her words, Barak refused to act on the Lord’s directives unless she went forward with him.

This is where I want us to pause and look a little closer at Deborah. In a day and age where it was rare for women to be in a place of authority and leadership, Deborah certainly could have gotten a prideful perspective about the opportunities given to her. But from what I read in the text, her heart remained pure to simply be a servant of God for His glory and for the people’s good.

Deborah didn’t clamor for a position. She simply positioned herself to be used by God. 

So, what were some of her most valuable attributes?

  • Deborah demonstrated wisdom. People sought her help to settle their disputes. Where others saw chaos in situations, she brought clarity. Where others got stuck, she provided smart solutions. Where others lacked trust, she brought a trusted wisdom people respected.
  • Deborah desired obedience. When she heard from the Lord to give battle instructions to Barak, she did so without hesitation. She didn’t add the complication of her own fear, worry or stress. She trusted God. She knew what needed to be done. And she did it.
  • Deborah dealt with disobedience. Her highest priority appeared to be to honor God’s instructions exactly as they were given. And when Barak placed more reliance on her than trust in God’s plan, she addressed this. She wasn’t rude, but she was straightforward.

I want to be this kind of woman in whatever place God calls me.

I want to demonstrate wisdom; therefore, I must be seen using wisdom hour by hour in my daily decisions. My thought processes must not be what feels good in the moment but what is good according to God’s truth.

I want to desire obedience; therefore, I must read His Word so I can know His will. Deborah obviously was hearing clearly from God since she was called a prophet and knew what was best for Israel. The one who obeys God’s instruction today will have a clearer sense of His direction for tomorrow. Often when I can’t figure out the will of God, it’s because I haven’t spent enough intentional time reading the Word of God.

I want to deal with disobedience when I’m part of situations where people in my life are straying from God’s best. This is tricky because I don’t want to be judgmental or inappropriate in any way. I want to honor others. But I must make honoring God my highest priority. Notice how Deborah didn’t shame Barak—she agreed to go with him. But she did point out the consequence for misplaced trust. I believe her boldness was appropriate because it was rooted in her confidence in God’s Word, not her opinion. We get off course when we are more concerned with vocalizing our opinion than simply stating God’s truth.

Do you long to be this kind of person too? Please know, you don’t have to have an “official” ministry seat or position to be someone God can use mightily like He used Deborah. 

Wherever we are seated today—whether it’s in a boardroom, a car pool line or simply across the table from friends—we have been purposefully positioned by God. We have influence. Each and every one of us. May we be found using our influence as Deborah did. With wisdom and humility. With courage and integrity. With hearts that simply long to honor and obey God.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this reminder that I don’t have to clamor for authority. I can have influence, wherever You choose to place me. Teach me how to daily live a life of wisdom and obedience. I want to live for You and make You known with a heart of humility. I want to be someone You can work through mightily. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

After reading Judges 4, the passage seems to indicate that Barak was fearful of God’s... Read More

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