Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. Judges 4:8-9 ESV
Have you ever felt like your past actions disqualify you from being used in God’s bigger plan? Have you ever felt a strong conviction, yet not acted on it, only to regret it later? We can all relate to Barak on some level. If we look at the back story of this scene, Barak is asking Deborah to do something God had told him to do. He wanted to trust God, but he wanted to verify. He wanted Deborah on the battlefield with him to take on what he looked at as a suicidal mission. Long story short, God came through, but a woman named Jael got the glory when she was the one to kill Sisera. Acting on faith is sometimes scary, and sometimes we fail to do what God asks of us. Just because we fail to act though, doesn’t mean God disqualifies you. In Hebrews 11:32, the famous “faith hall of fame chapter” Barak is mentioned as a man of great faith. God continued to use him, even though in this instance, Barak failed to trust in Him.
There are going to be times God convicts us to share our faith, and we may be apprehensive. There are times we will sin and feel unqualified to serve in the kingdom. What we see from Barak and many other examples in God’s word that despite our own shortcomings, God will continue to use people to carry out His plan, for His glory, regardless of their own sin. Don’t let self-condemnation tell you that God cannot use you. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, and in that promise we have a holy confidence that God will use us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
Father, I thank you that I don’t have to be perfect. I think you that you created me to do good works in Christ Jesus, and that even though I may fail, you are good, and compassionate and loving. Give me wisdom, and a holy confidence to carry out your will each day in obedience. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Read Judges 4 and 5
What can we learn from Deborah, Barak and Jael?
Ask God to reveal areas where you may be weak in obedience.