THE DEBORAH MOMENT
A few days ago, I was chatting over coffee with the Lord when He very specifically told me “It’s time to change your clothes”. I responded in question, a bit shocked. It was, after all, early still and I’d nowhere to be for a couple of hours. Of course, I was totally undialed in (I did say it was early!) and I’m grateful He is so patient to allow me time to process. I had been sharing with Him that I was ready to shed everything that was old and to step from the past season into the new one I could see ahead of me. The Holy Spirit had me write out a detailed plan a few days earlier and I’d prayed over it all and walked through the usual trepidation of moving into something much bigger than me. But I’d read something Chuck Pierce wrote that transformation (new identity) was removing last season’s garment and allowing Him to clothe us in a display of His power in order to complete this time to begin again. I remembered a dream I’d had years before about being in a bathroom stall and changing clothes; I walked out of the bathroom and into a whole new picture of life. I felt it was that time again. As all that came to mind, I headed for my closet and began pulling out clothes that represented a season gone by. (This wasn’t easy – I have a really hard time letting clothes go. I seem to attach memories.) I sat down on the floor and began folding them, remembering where I’d worn each piece and what I’d been doing when I heard His voice again “Get out from under the tree, Debra”.
I was startled at the intensity of His words as well as His voice! It’s what I think He must have told Deborah all those years ago when she ‘arose & went with him (Barak) to Kadesh’. She had been sitting under the palm tree (a symbol of leadership; Psalm 92:12) so many years as a judge and prophetess with people coming every day to seek her wisdom and advice. She relied on God and exercised authority as He guided her.
I’m sure we’ve all been in this place. I’ve sat under the ‘palm’ for a while now, comforted by my daily routine and running the ministry. While under the tree, God provided me the opportunity to develop my strengths, His vision for Eden’s Song and my own spiritual gifts. I read, prayed and leaned into learning more about myself as well as how to build other’s up with joy, hope and love. Like Deborah, God was developing me in His ways and thoughts; I felt I have been being prepared ‘for such a time as this’. Today I could feel the atmosphere begin to shift and move around me, so when I heard His voice move me out from under the tree, I knew it was time for obedience.
The story of Deborah and Barak in Judges 4 says that Barak came to Deborah and she ‘arose and went with him to Kadesh’. The Hebrew word Quadesh means ‘to make clean; (morally & ceremonially) to consecrate, dedicate; set apart, be holy, to prepare). Change is hard. Leaving what you know, what is comfortable and routine can be scary. But, Deborah was ready, as if all of time was captured in this one moment. When Barak asked her to accompany him into battle, she moved out from under the tree in total obedience to God’s request. In that place of Kadesh, Barak and Deborah found empowerment through worship and prayer. Deborah let go of all that was secure in order to take the light, which was once a beacon calling others to her, out from under the tree and into the world.
I could relate to that. I also felt a shift in the ‘call’ and the direction of our ministry. As I took that first unnerving step into obedience and began moving toward the path God was laying out before us, I could feel the release into a brand new season. In Judges 5, Deborah’s song implored her to AWAKE, meaning literally to ‘wake up, open your eyes and stir yourself’; in the same verse Barak was told to ARISE. Some of us must arise to the challenge, other will need to awaken to the test; either way an action must be taken & we cannot do it in our own strength. 2Cor 4:7 says that we have a treasure in earthen vessel that the excellence of the power is of God and not ourselves. That treasure we hold within our human frailty is the divine light of the Gospel. The weaker the vessel (the more laid down our lives are), the stronger His power will appear to be and the treasure valued all the more.
I just want to encourage you. If you are being called to a deeper level of trusting God step out from ‘under the tree’ & find your strength in 1 Cor 13:13 where Paul tells us that until the time we stand before God in Glory, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly and love extravagantly.
Let your light Shine!