The battles and ventures we face in life never come at random, nor do the people that come alongside us in those seasons. God has designed our lives so intricately that He alone knows exactly how they’re going to play out and to what purpose, for His glory.
“One day she [Deborah] sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.’ Barak told her, ‘I will go, but only if you go with me.’” (Judges 4:6-8)
In reading the account of Deborah, this one statement stuck out to me:
“I will go, but only if you go with me.”
If you continue reading the chapter, you find that God did, in fact, give Barak victory as He promised. The victory was already there because God said it was, and that wasn’t going to change. So why, then, did Barak not want to go without Deborah? He clearly wasn’t concerned about taking personal credit for winning the battle. And it doesn’t appear he doubted God. He doesn’t question what Deborah told him to do, so it’s not that he lacked confidence in the Lord. So, then, what was it?
I can only liken it to a specific moment in my life when I recall saying something similar to a spiritual leader in my life. She was encouraging me to step into leadership as a small group leader, as the Lord had prompted me. My response? “I’ll do it, but only if you’ll be my coach.”
It’s not that I didn’t believe God would go with me and do what only He can in the lives of anyone that would attend. It was myself that I didn’t believe in.
I can tell you that in that season of my life, it made no sense for me to step into leadership. I had zero confidence in myself to lead, and it was in this particular season that everything in my world seemed to be crumbling around me. Not to mention that I was six months’ pregnant with my second child and extremely hormonal and emotional. There was nothing that screamed I was emotionally stable enough to be any sort of leader in ministry….except the Holy Spirit, who I was certain had to be getting His wires crossed for another, and this lady, who I was beginning to think was just as confused as the Holy Spirit, who was backing up what the He was saying.
I didn’t question God’s ability; I questioned myself. I decided to bite the bullet and go with it, regardless of how insane it seemed, but only if my spiritual leader would agree to go with me. It was her encouragement that gave me the courage to step out in obedience. You see, it’s one thing to know that God goes before you, prepares the way, and is the one who equips you for certain success and has even chosen you to be the one to do it. It’s completely different to have the embodiment of someone that can physically look you in the eye and tell you, “You can do this.” It fuels your spirit to have someone else have confidence in you. You draw from their faith and can begin believing in yourself.
Such was the case for me. I believe Deborah was this person for Barak. That person that comes alongside you on your journey that’s leading you to your destiny. The victory God has promised. We were never meant to do life alone, because battles are never won alone. God knew he needed Deborah to go into battle with him in order for him to have confidence in himself, just as He knew I needed my friend to go with me. If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have stepped into leadership, which set me on the path to my destiny. I’m forever grateful that she did.
Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing, reading, and traveling. Time and people is what she values most. You can read more about her here.