The Fine Art of Failure: Week 5 - Day 4

Opening Prayer

Jesus, open our minds and hearts to hear your word today.  Allow us to know your presence and hear your voice and give us the courage to follow you.

 

Read

Judges 4:4-5 (NIV), “Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

 

Reflect

Deborah was a godly judge (or leader) in Israel during a time when Israel had turned from God and were living in sin.  God had given them over to Jabin, the ruler of Canaan, who had cruelly oppressed them for years.  As was the case repeatedly, after years of oppression, the Israelites cried out to the Lord and he answered them through Deborah (see Judges 4:6).  Now you have probably guessed correctly that Deborah was a woman and you may know that during the time Deborah was judge in Israel, women didn’t have much value and very few rights.  Yet God used her anyway.

Have you ever felt unqualified to do a job?  Have you felt unqualified to serve the Church or your community in a way you felt God calling you?  In 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 (NIV) it says, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

 

Apply

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a Christian say that they wished “so and so” would become a Christian because they are rich or in a high position or are a strong leader or have some other grand status that will really help God in winning souls.  God doesn’t need any of that.

God wants you.  Who you are.  Where you are.  As you are.  If you sense his tug at your heart to serve in a particular way, move toward him.  Move toward the calling he is putting on you.  He doesn’t need your help to accomplish anything, but he loves you and wants you to participate in his kingdom - not because of your position or your wisdom or anything else.  Like Deborah, when we are faithful he will bring about his plan through us.

 

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we want to know you, but we are weak and are helpless to know you unless you reveal yourself to us.  Open our ears to hear your calling and help us to understand how upside down your kingdom is to our world.  Show us how to act according to faith in you and not according to our own understanding.

 

Terry Schneider