Israel was traditionally set up to have its men be the rulers on every level. It was unusual for Israel to follow the leadership of a woman. But with God’s anointing and favor, Deborah was called to be God’s prophetess, so much so that her anointing couldn’t be missed by Israel. Despite Israel’s laid down rules, she became their leader and they came to her to have their disputes decided under the Palm of Deborah—note that the tree was named after her.
In following her story, you’d discover that she was a straight shooter—never holding back what needed to be said, and was clearly a very confident woman, too. It was on this path that she led Israel to freedom and victory over their oppressor—quite an unusual trend for a woman at the time.
Have you, like Deborah, been called to follow a path less (or not) traveled by anyone of your particular quality? Do you fear rejection and possible hatred from the people that you’ve been called to serve?—
Are you a woman called to speak up where women are expected to be quiet and submissive, and comply with every- and any-?
Are you a man called to speak against an injustice done to women (or even children) in a place where your fellow men will jeer, laugh, and shake their head at you?
Are you an elite called to speak for the wrongly oppressed in a society where you could possibly lose your place and standing among your peers if you do so?
You’re not different from Deborah. Deborah could have decided to ignore her gift of prophecy when God met her with it. She could have neglected to speak up the first time a dispute came along that no one could decide, but the Holy Spirit had given her wisdom to; she could have been afraid and wondered how people would look at her for speaking where women were forbidden to do so. But taking that first fearful step many years ago was what finally gave her the place of a judge in Israel, and which eventually put her in a position to lead Israel out of captivity. Note that even she told Barak that if he didn’t go to war without her, it would be said that God granted Israel victory through the hand of a woman—as though such a thing at the time was a taboo! But thank God for Barak, who acknowledged that if God saw it fit to make Deborah a prophetess and judge over Israel, then it would also be befitting for her to lead Israel to overcome captivity as other judges before/after her did; by Barak’s reasoning, Deborah shouldn’t be denied the place of leadership in war that other judges before her had been given unquestioned, simply because she was a woman!
As God promised Joshua prosperity and success, and that He would be with Joshua wherever he went as long as Joshua didn’t let the Book of Law depart from his mouth, so God was with Deborah and granted her victory too; and so God will be with you if you trust and obey Him and take that first step into that unusual territory.
Just as Deborah’s gift and anointing was so great that the people considered her for a position that by gender she didn’t qualify for—if you submit to God’s will, training, and discipline, following the path that He’s placed you on—you, too, won’t be ignored for long where you’ve been sent. This was the case with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. If you continue in your calling, you will bring about a mighty revolution that will set people free through God’s Word and Truth, and your work will set a new pace for generations to come.
Remember to always trust God and obey. Don’t worry about the critics who sound like they know all and have much to say; people like that have been around since the beginning. They’ll only have as much power over you as you let them have; stay true to your calling. Don’t worry about the friends, family or comrades that will call you a sellout, traitor, or troublemaker. Just move forward in the direction that the Holy Spirit leads—step by step, place by place, moment by moment, day by day—until the very end, and you will see that the good Lord Himself will grant you victory as He did those before you. God bless you!
About the Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
*The Article, I Am Deborah, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP), and is part of the I Am Series.