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Two sides of a coin

Judges 4:4-9 – “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.”

Sorry there are so many verses – one or two just wouldn’t do!

Let’s think about Deborah for a few minutes today. I was having a lively discussion with my little spitfire daughter last night. I love her tenacity and grit. She isn’t afraid to lay it out – even to a teacher, respectfully of course. 

She reminds me a lot of Deborah. Deborah is the only female judge that I know of in the time of the judges. Can you imagine? Women were usually considered second class citizens in those days. Yet, here she was telling it like it is to an army commander. 

Deborah was a judge. But she was also a wife – and more likely than not, a mother. No children are specifically mentioned but they usually come along with the territory of a wife. 

I know that Deborah was prophesying when she said that the victory would be given to a woman, but can’t you hear just a bit of sass in that response? I can almost see the eyes rolling and the arms flopping to pick up her things to leave. Maybe there was some mumbling under her breath. I’m sure many prayers were lifted for this man who needed a woman to come along to assure Israel’s victory. 

I guess the point that I want to make is this – there are two sides to every coin. Every woman has two sides – the “get out of my way or I’ll run you over” side and the “here, let me take care of that” side. The side that says “well, I’ll do it because it needs to be done” and the “come on, you can do it” side. We all have two sides. In my perspective, a woman’s two sides are just more pronounced. It depends on the day. 

I was thinking about what I’m teaching my daughter. Am I doing it right? Will she have that meek and quiet spirit that is sometimes needed in a relationship? I know she already has developed the “get it done” gene. And the sass gene seems to be working quite well too. 

I want her to be like Deborah- capable of being wife and leader all at the same time. A wife is a helpmate – someone to come alongside and help out, not a dictator or wet washcloth to be swished around. But rather, a beautiful combination of sass and grit, gentleness and compassion. 

We need more “Deborah”s in this world. We need more women listening to God’s word and living his statutes and commands in their life. We need more gentleness and compassion in our marriages. We need more grit and sass for Godly truths in our society. We need more lively conversations between a parent and their child. We need more students respectfully stumping their educators.

 We need more pronounced sides to our coins. It’s okay to have two sides – God gave them to us for specific times in our life. We need to develop them both equally and efficiently. 

If you have children, pray for them. They need it. We, as parents who hold ourself accountable to God and God alone, need to develop within our children the characteristics they need to be the Godly men and women He is calling them to be. Pray for both sides of the coin. 

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Don’t be afraid

Judges 6:12,14,15 – “And the angel of he LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I note spent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

Here is Gideon. The “mighty man of valor”. Doesn’t look very mighty or valiant does he? He is afraid of the calling of God. He is scared to do what God is asking him to do. He is coming up with every excuse in the book. And he has a big book.

Have you ever been scared to do what God is calling you to do? I have and I think we all have at some point or another. For me, it is fear of the unknown. I like to know what is going to happen and when. I really like to know the how, but that is negotiable. ¬†When we follow God, sometimes we don’t get the answers to these questions. He just says “do this” and we are supposed to do it. No need to ask questions. He’s got it all under control. But if you are like me, that is way beyond your comfort zone. And that is a big step.

But God is able. And He is okay with you testing Him to know you are doing exactly what He wants you to do. Gideon was very proficient in that area. Check out some more of Judges and see how Gideon tested God. It’s kinda funny, actually. I’m surprised God didn’t get frustrated with him and thump him on the head. I know I would have. But this story is a great example of God’s long-suffering.

Anyway, today princess, don’t be afraid to ask God what he wants you to do. Then don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. It will be scary. You may not have a clue how it will turn out. But go ahead and jump. It will totally be worth the initial discomfort.

Yum, cake!

Yesterday at church, my pastor spoke on Gideon (Judges 6). Israel was messed up at the time. They had just had 40 years of peace and then decided to follow a false god. What is up with that? Why decide to follow this god when you have the One True God? I’m sure they didn’t get up one morning and say, “Know what? I think I will give idol worship a go!” It probably creeped in quietly and slowly. That’s the way sin usually is – the devil feeds us bits and pieces until we eat the whole cake!

Well, God saw something in Gideon. Judges 6:12 says, “When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.'” This man had just been threshing his wheat in secret. There was nothing mighty or warrior-like about what he was doing. God saw in him the ability to accomplish incredible things – things that would be impossible by human standards.

Princess, that is what God is seeing in you right this second. He looks upon you and sees opportunity. He sees you as beautiful and He sees you working for Him. Gideon tested God on several occasions. It wasn’t like God said “go fight thousands of men with only 300” and Gideon said “okay.” No, Gideon tested God to know that he wasn’t crazy.

God may be asking you to do something way outside of your comfort zone. You might feel like God is crazy for asking you to do this. But, princess, if God is telling you to do it, He will give you all that you need to do it! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”(KJV) This verse has kept me afloat more times than I can count.

So princess, don’t let sin creep into your life and eat away your opportunity. Pluck it out of your thoughts and refocus. Remember that God sees you as an amazing warrior princess for Him and that, in and through Him, nothing is impossible.