Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
The Book of Judges has a certain rhythm. People who were close to God would fall away from him. Then trouble would enter their life, so they’d cry out to God. God would answer their cries and deliver them. Then, after a time, the cycle would begin again.
But in that cycle God provided leaders. One such leader was Deborah, a prophetess and a judge. She was an instrument of God who called for Barak to follow a plan laid out by God to give victory over the enemy.
But Barak said he would not carry out Deborah’s request unless she, as God’s spokesperson, went with him. Deborah noted that if she went with him, the honor would not be his, for God would deliver the enemy “into the hands of a woman.” Barak’s response, in effect, was “So what?”
Barak did not fuss about who got the credit or honor; he only wanted to make sure God’s prophet—and thus God—would be with him.
Maybe you have heard that a team can accomplish a great deal if its members don’t care who gets the credit. The same can be said for the church. If individual church members are looking for credit or honor, then the glory of God is not central and the result is a church that is weaker, not stronger. Heroes of faith grow by giving credit to God.
Dear God, forgive me when I seek to put myself first. Help me to point others to you—in word and deed—day by day. May the name of Jesus be lifted up, I pray. Amen.
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