During June we’re focusing on responding to God’s call. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Lori Witham
The story of Deborah in Judges is a story about responding to God’s call, our prayer focus for this month. What I appreciate most about this story is the idea that when we hear God’s call to take action, we aren’t to doubt our abilities. That’s because God has already gone ahead to give us victory in the battle. We are simply to be ready to serve where He wants when He asks us. Then we’ll see Him at work within us.
Let me set the stage. During the time before Israel had kings, Deborah was an Israelite judge and a prophetess. She settled disputes, and through God she guided the people to follow Him. Barak was an Israelite military commander. Canaan was oppressing Israel, and Sisera was Canaan’s military commander. Jael was a simple Kenite woman living in a tent.
God saw that Canaan was oppressing Israel and He heard the Israelite people’s prayers for Him to save them from the oppression. So through God, Deborah instructed Barak to lead the army of Israel to defeat Canaan’s army. Reading ahead you know that God defeats Canaan. But when asked, Barak doubted his own abilities, especially when looking at the size of Canaan’s army. So he told Deborah he would only go if she did. He was relying on Deborah’s abilities, not God’s! Deborah, though, knew God was the Almighty and the One who would cause the victory. To teach Barak to trust in God when He called, and that it doesn’t depend on anything we can do to win the battle, she prophesied that the battle would be won through a lowly woman, not a strong army captain. Sure enough, the mighty Canaan commander was killed by the lowly Jael, a nomadic Kenite woman.
So how does this story apply to responding to God’s call today, and our prayer for revival in the Lower Ramu area? Here’s how I see it. We have a mighty battle before us, and Satan is oppressing the people of the Lower Ramu area. Christians around the world have been praying to God that there would be revival in the Lower Ramu area of PNG, and that people would not be oppressed by Satan’s power but turn to Christ’s almighty power and salvation. God has heard our prayers, and He is beginning to send warriors to fight against the oppressor. PBT has surveyed the area, and we are beginning to find ways to work with these language groups. Step by step we are following God’s lead and moving forward.
God will be victorious in this battle. But this is my prayer: when God calls, soldiers will respond by trusting in His abilities, and not back away because of their inabilities. I pray we will all remember that God has gone ahead of us and He will win the battle.
Lori works in the Publications Department, serving remotely from the USA as a desktop publishing specialist.