Rise Up with your YES
As a little girl who loved to take charge, Deborah was one of my heroes! God allowed her, a woman with great responsibility as a judge and prophetess for the people of Israel, to lead a military charge against their enemies. It all sounds very glamorous until you stop to consider some difficult moments Deborah might have faced in this adventure. We know she was married, so this foray into military maneuvering required her to be away from her family. And not only to travel, but to travel with men into a “man’s world,” a soldiers’ campground. Did you ever stop to consider if Deborah might have lacked privacy or adequate restroom facilities?
But Deborah chose to rise up! She understood that she would get the honor for this military victory, but also that a tremendous challenge was before her. Deborah stepped in where another leader would not. And although it seems that Barak had sidestepped his responsibility, Deborah graciously accompanied and encouraged him to lead in the battle. She tells him, “Go! . . . Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?”
How had God gone ahead of Deborah? While we don’t know the details of her early life, when we meet her under the palm tree of Deborah in Judges 4, she is described as a prophetess, the leader of Israel, and someone who decides disputes for the people of Israel. Surely that didn’t happen overnight. To hear God speak so clearly, she must have tuned her ear to listen for His voice, to respond to His commands. She must have said yes to Him time and time again before she said yes in this big moment.
We just celebrated Christmas and were reminded of another woman who gave her “yes” under very different circumstances. Mary said yes to bearing the Son of God. Who can forget her gracious words? “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Mary also faced difficult circumstances and was likely misunderstood many times. But what we remember so many years later is her yes.
Where is God asking you to rise up? In what situation do you need to give your yes to Him? It may be bold, brave, and very public. Or it may be quiet but equally risky. Will you listen for His voice? Will you say yes?