Lesson 4 -- fourth quarter 1992
September 27, 1992
© Copyright 1992, Christian Light Publications
Barak, a man called and guaranteed success. Barak, a man unwilling, afraid, doubting. Barak, a man inducted to the Hall of Faith alongside Gideon and Samuel. How to explain that? Deborah, an encourager for God's chosen man. Deborah, a godly woman who believed in God and in His chosen man. But not Deborah, a usurper of authority and leadership. Deborah made the difference between Barak's failure and success by being there to bolster his courage to fulfill his call. She wisely did not undermine him by going out and fulfilling his call herself. May God bless His Church today with many more of her kind!
What is a visionary young lady to do if the young men are materialistic and short-sighted? Or what should she do if they have caught God's vision for the youth group, but lack the courage, initiative, and leadership to move ahead? Be a Deborah. Notice she essentially faced both questions in dealing with Barak. If you are that visionary young lady, God wishes to use you to give the vision to the young men. This requires that you be driven by the desire to open their eyes; not sensuously, but spiritually; not to your body, but to God's call.
Having "infected" them with God's vision, you are then responsible to be an encourager and supporter. As a young man, some of the strongest motivation to lead came from those young sisters who encouraged me in various ways. One asked me what the Bible teaches on a certain subject, another sought my counsel in a practical area, another one complimented my Sunday evening topic, yet another expressed her appreciation for my stand on a vital issue, another let me know she was praying for me, still another jolted me by letting me know she considered me a youth leader, a different one yet thanked me for watching out for her in a tough situation, and another one requested that I give a talk just to the young women. They all were above reproach in that they succeeded in encouraging me without appealing to or awaking my natural desire for them as women. These were some of my Deborahs. Thank you, Deborah.
What about the Baraks? What of the young man who is called but doesn't feel he has the ability to fulfill it? First off, get this straight: whom God calls He equips and empowers. Next lesson...the real issue isn't ability but availability. Ready for more? Faith in God is more important than how you feel about yourself. If we run all these concepts through the blender, we conclude that your job is to be available trusting God to equip you to do His work. You believe in prayer, don't you? Confess your sense of inadequacy and fear to God, and ask Him to equip you sufficiently to do your task to His glory and no more.
"But what about my Deborah?!!" Do not make Deborah a precondition to your service. And, my dear friend, do not commit the grievous error of searching out your own Deborah. God knows we all need our encouragers. Petition the Sender for someone like that, and leave it up to Him whether He will send you a Deborah or a Jonathan.
We do not know if the original Deborah and Barak were single. But you are. The Barak-Deborah relationships must be outstanding in their purity. Their purpose is fulfilling God's call, not satisfying their romantic and sensual needs. Ask God to keep you romantically asleep lest you spoil the effectiveness of these special relationships. Trust the Lord. He will awake you if the proper time ever comes!
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