ArisEnjoy this message as Brooke shares a teaching from the book of Judges with a focus to “Arise, It’s Time to Move Forward and Take the Next Step.”
Focus Passage: “Deborah said to Barak, ‘Arise! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Has the Lord not gone out before you?’ So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.” (Judges 4:14, AMP)
Do you ever struggle with a “sin cycle”? Have you encountered seasons where your potential spiritual victories were overshadowed by fear, failure, and ultimately spiritual oppression?
I’ve certainly experienced these times in my life! Sometimes I move from a place of spiritual flourishing into a season of failure and oppression because I neglect to practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer and time in the Word. I fall into patterns of disobedience, fear, or apathy that keep me from seeking God’s face. If you’re looking for more encouraging content, make sure to read How to Overcome Fear God’s Way and Steps to Finding 2020 Vision.
But this passage and others throughout the Bible remind me that God has the power to lift me–and all of us–up out of these cycles of sin and failure! In this story, the children of Israel had left God’s ways and were suffering under the oppression of the Canaanites and General Sisera.
So, God used three Israelite heroes–Deborah, Barak, and Jael–to help deliver His people from the Canaanites and bring them into a new life with Him. He called His people to “arise” and know that it was time to move forward and take the next step! To “arise” from their spiritual low point and step into a new age of radiance and joy!
So what can we learn from the story of Deborah (a prophetess), Barak (a military leader), and Jael (a housewife)? What qualities did these heroes have in common that helped them “arise” and know that it was time to move forward and take the next step to follow God with their whole hearts?
1. Wisdom and Discernment
Deborah was a fearless judge, prophetess, wife, and mother who received an anointing to carry God’s Word to Israel. She was known throughout the nation of Israel for her wisdom and discernment in spiritual matters.
So, when Deborah summoned Barak, an Israelite military leader, and told him to attack the Canaanites, he trusted her word. He relied on the wisdom that God shared through Deborah.
Spiritual discernment means hearing God’s voice to make wise decisions. If we want to step out and win battles for Jesus, we need to put the Word of God first and hold His wisdom in high regard, asking Him to lead us in every step!
“If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, AMP)
2. Courage During a Time of Oppression
Deborah and Barak went fearlessly to the front lines of the battle against Canaan. As soon as they received the Word of God, they obeyed it and went where He commanded!
Do we have the courage to fight the spiritual battles we’re facing today? Do we have the courage to trust Jesus as our Provider, Defender, and Savior every single day?
God calls us to be courageous in faith, whether that means praying for our coworkers, trusting Him for our next paycheck, or waking up early every morning to intercede for our cities and communities.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, AMP)
Kingdom-mindedness means being heavenly-minded or eternity-focused. It refers to making God the center of your living, giving top priority to His affairs, and striving to advance the Kingdom of God.
Barak knew that he would not get the glory for protecting Israel. Neither would Deborah. Instead, a humble housewife–Jael–would receive the glory for slaying the Canaanite general Sisera and defending Israel.
But Barak and Deborah were not bitter! They knew that, above all, God deserved the glory and they would honor Him by their obedience. So they submitted to God’s will and used their unique gifts and talents to build His Kingdom instead of their own.
How can we, the modern church, do the same? How can we unite to live fully for the Kingdom of God?
4. Arise It’s Time to Move Forward and the Homefront Anointing
In the face of Deborah and Barak (and the whole Israelite army of God), the Canaanite army fled. The only survivor of the battle was General Sisera.
“And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, ‘Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.’ And he entered [her tent] with her, and behold Sisera lay dead with the tent peg in his temple.” (Judges 4:22, AMP)
In her actions to destroy Sisera, Jael demonstrated a spiritual wisdom and discernment that glorified God and put His Kingdom first! But this story also shows us how much God values the work we do in our homes.
Right here, right now, the enemy of all God’s people is after our homes. He wants to attack our family lives, our children, and the foundation of our communities. But by God’s grace, we can stand up against him every day, just like Jael.
“But the Lord is faithful, Who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NKJV)
Deborah, Barak, and Jael understood the importance of worship as a weapon. After the battle against Sisera and the Canaanites, they devoted time to singing a song of worship and praise to God!
You can read the song of Deborah in Judges 5. It’s a powerful reminder that the enemy cannot stay while you are praying and worshipping!
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” (Ephesians 6:12, AMP)
Our hearts to worship God and praise Him are such an important part of every battle against spiritual depression and seasons of darkness.
Let’s remember these amazing qualities demonstrated in the lives of Deborah, Barak, and Jael, and let’s stand up and walk in their footsteps! Our peace and our joy are assured in Christ, so it’s time to arise and move forward.
Jesus, help us to arise and know that it’s time to move forward and take the next step from our spiritual depression to a new life. Help us to shine and be radiant with Your glory and brilliance. Remind us that You are our light, and where You are, there is no darkness.