daughters before they head to school. Rise up, comes the whisper again, when I’m tempted to retreat from leading as I believe God’s called me to, during this challenge.
The irony, though, is I feel in rising I’m actually lying down. I lay down my flesh’s desire to sleep and allow the Holy Spirit to move me to rise instead. I let go of my perception others don’t care if I post a devotion or not, and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire the words I type (hopefully!). I release my expectations of how my hubby should respond (albeit not always and not perfect), and welcome the Holy Spirit’s wisdom on how to continue to love in a way meaningful to my husband. I set aside my desire to get out the door, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me as I pray over my children, trusting there is a word and love they both need to hear and receive for the day. Again, I lay down my insecurities and anticipations in the way I perceive others should or should not respond, to allow God to share what needs to be shared and move as He needs to move and lead (seriously, I pray so!).
And this is just in the first few hours of my day! We would be sitting here reading all day if I got into all the other moments at work, in the gym, on the field, in the stands, the bleachers, in meetings, through texts and messages and emails, on my drive home! Moments. So many moments where there is an opportunity to lay down self and allow Spirit to RISE. Where strength and peace replace weakness and dissonance.
God led me to the book of Judges, chapters four and five, over the weekend. I was not feeling well at all and He provided a word of encouragement in my down time. Two women, Debora and Jael, chose to RISE – and a nation grew stronger and experienced peace in their land for forty years. Strength and peace comes when we choose to cooperate and allow Him to RISE.
In this account Deborah arose on her nation’s behalf, when the others called to, did not. Not only did God move her to rise for her people, He was also compelling another woman to rise. Jael, a gal who was not even considered a part of the same nation as Deborah, she too rose. She moved to defeat the enemy who decided it would be ok to hide in her tent. If you read the recollection, so many questions come to mind…
Where was Deborah’s husband and why was he not leading? Why wouldn’t Barak answer the call without Deborah? Why had Jael’s husband moved their family so close to the enemy? Why was there peace with the enemy? Why did the enemy feel comfortable entering the tent? Why is this story of Jael’s courageous rising in God’s power, not as widely touted as David’s defeating of Goliath? Did it not take just as much resolve and courage to do so? The “WHY’S” do not matter, it only matters that both DID RISE.
And how inspiring for us, today! Perhaps it feels as though a spouse will not fulfill their God-given role. Like Deborah we can rise in our own calling. Perhaps God has shown us someone needing to respond to God’s call in their life, we can rise and intercede (or stand in) on their behalf. Perhaps outside circumstances have us too close to dangerous territory. We can seek God’s strength to rise above and overcome. Perhaps the enemy feels a little too welcome in our homes. At any moment, we can choose to take captive those places of compromise and ask the Lord to take them down in His strength. Perhaps we’ve read this story for the very first time, unlike the familiar story of David and Goliath, and we now see as women, we too can RISE and stand on Christ’s behalf for His glory and the sake of others!
I pray this moment meets you well, and strength and peace have risen up within you. Have a blessed day!
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