Deborah is an awesome Bible character! Whenever I think of her, I think of a Xena Warrior Princess type chick who loved the Lord and obeyed his instructions quickly and fully. We know Deborah was consistent, heard clearly from the Lord, and had confidence and courage to spare. #goals
Deborah had a pretty sweet gig: she would chill under the “palm of Deborah” (as Judges 4:5 calls it) where she would judge the people and hear from God on their behalf. I’m sure she probably had a routine down and had her “spot” in which she would do her job. She was in a comfort zone – she was somewhere that was familiar and known. I would imagine she had regulars and had mundane conversations with the other people around her as she went about her everyday life.
But then she calls Barak, the man who would lead the army of Israel against their enemy – talk about exciting! She gives him his mission and he asks for her to come along for the ride (we’ll talk more about this tomorrow), a request she agrees to without hesitation. I love the way Matthew Henry puts it in his commentary: “She would not send him where she would not go herself. Those that in God’s name call others to their duty should be very ready to assist them in it.”
Deborah was obedient to the voice of God, responding promptly to his voice and stewarding his directives to the people well. But more than that, she responded by getting out of her comfort zone when the opportunity presented itself. Did she have to go with Barak? No. She had done her part and told him what God had said. But she was willing to go with the man out of duty to the people of Israel and the God she so diligently served.
This challenges me because I love routine. I don’t do the same thing every day because that’s boring to me, but I have my patterns: Tuesdays always flow the same way and the rest of the week follows a consistent pattern. I always sit in the same section at church, I talk to the same people, go to the same coffee shops, listen to the same music, etc. I have a routine and a comfort zone and sometimes, most times, I struggle to get out of it.
Just the other day, I saw a friend at church and she asked if I wanted to sit with her and her friend and I said “no” because I had my spot… how dumb is that?! While this wasn’t God speaking to me, it was an opportunity to get to know some new people and I waved it away, cherishing my section and my routine over those relationships – Lord change my heart!
Deborah challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone when God speaks and break out of my routine when I hear his voice beckoning me into the uncomfortable unknown. Thankfully he is with us when we dare to venture outside of our normal borders, flexing our faith muscle as we respond to him.
How do you respond when the Lord invites you to expand your comfort zone? Do you struggle to embrace change? How can we respond in faith to God’s word today, even (or especially) if it means we’re going to be uncomfortable?
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