Leading Like Deborah – Part Two

Last week we looked at Deborah, and how we could learn valuable leadership lessons by studying her story. We learned to prepare for the position, as well as use our investment in those we lead to have influence in their lives. This week we will continue on to see what other wisdom can be gleaned from studying her in the Book of Judges, Chapter 4.

3) Be Confident in the Calling

It’s very clear that Deborah was in tune with the voice of God. In Judges 4:6, we read about her calling Barak to lead the Israelites into a battle against Sisera and the Canaanites, a superior army in virtually every aspect of war. Depending on the version you’re reading, Deborah says something to the effect of “God commands you…” or “Didn’t God tell you…” (to take 10,000 men and fight). She also promises victory in this dangerous battle.

When you’re confident of what God is saying, you can call people to big, bold things in His name because your authority comes from Him. People will trust your leadership knowing that you are on God’s mission with no personal agenda of your own. Deborah was so close with God that she had the confidence to command the Israelites to fight what seemed like a losing battle against the Canaanites. This was not just a call to fight, but a promise to win.

If you want to lead the people around you to do big things in God’s name, then you need to learn to listen to His voice and walk in confidence when you hear from Him. Faith requires action, so be confident in the calling.

4) Give Glory to God

Last, but certainly not least, is found in Judges Chapter 5 where we read a beautiful song of praise to God for the Israelite victory over Sisera. Deborah could have easily taken the credit for her leadership – she could have gloated in the fact that it was her idea to fight, that she spoke confidence into the Israelites to help them win. But as we read Chapter 5, we see Deborah time and time again pointing all the glory back to the Lord. Even more important than Deborah giving glory to God might be that Barak joined her in this song. Through her leadership, Deborah’s faith was transferred to Barak and together they gave thanks to the Lord for the good things He had done.

When you lead your team to do something great when a person in your group finds freedom from a sin that held them in bondage, when you say something profound that causes the people around you to think about God a little differently, where will you give glory? You can choose to boast in yourself or to boast in your God. I choose the latter.