Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stealing your spotlight

"Now Deborah, a prophetess...was judging Israel at that time...Now she sent and summoned Barak, and said to him, "Behold, the LORD, the God of Israel, has commanded, 'Go and march to Mount Tabor and take with you ten thousand men...I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army...and I will give him into your hands." Then Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go..." She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." (Judges 4:4-9)

Barak serves as the hands of faith for Deborah's heart of faith. Both serve as deliverers for the sons of Israel during this time of the judges. I love Deborah (we're friends; she just doesn't know it!). But Barak captured my heart tonight.

{Disclaimer: Forgive me, as I have no scholarly commentaries on my hands and I have yet figured out how to work my Bibleworks. (Shout-out to Bibleworks: It is an absolutely amazing bible language and commentary program , so I end up in tears with the little bit of time I have spent trying to learn it, and thus don't get very far.)}

But just between my Lord and I, I fell in love with the heart of Barak. Not only does he answer the summoning of the LORD's call to him through a woman, he also refuses to go to battle without her. But what made me want to weep was his acceptance to fight this battle, lead this battle, be 'the man,' and do so knowing he would get no glory for the victory - a woman would! (And she does - see verses 17 - 22). Now contrary to what you may be suspecting, I'm not about to go on a feminist or anti-feminist soap box here. Don't miss it dear sister: The honor would not be his, yet he fought anyway.

God is a Jealous God. He wants more praise. He wants more glory. Please know that His jealousy is one of the greatest things that could ever happen to you or me. Praise Him that He loves you deeply enough to care about where your affections are centered. To place them elsewhere after He (The God of Host, the God of all Creation, the Sustainer of Life) has told you that He would be your God is a missed blessing sister.

I wonder though how often we fight the spiritual battle hoping we'll get a little glory? The life-stripping sin of pride steals the life-changing glory of God as we seek to show off our gifts, gain someones attention, hear someones approval, or seek to find a compliment on our spiritual Nike running shoes that have kept us running this race so fast and 'well.' Sister - pride is a stinking thief. It robs you. And it robs God.

I pray that Philippians 2:1-11 would be written on our hearts. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves...having this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (vs. 3-4)." We need a little Barak in us - willing to join the battle with Christ and make it nothing but a grounds for Him to get the glory. Make our hearts nothing but a stage for which the spotlight to shine on Him. Make our steps be nothing but hidden behind the path of the cross.

He deserves the applause. He deserves the encore. He deserves all praise, glory, and honor. For He is the head of all things, and in Him, all things hold together. May we sit our rear ends at the foot of His cross if we can't fight with the attitude of Barak. I take that back - may we sit our rear ends at the foot of His cross if we can't fight with the attitude of Christ. For He had come to do His Father's will, disrobed Himself of all glory to walk amongst us in a body of flesh, and was crucified.

Dear Glorious One, make my life a stage for which you can receive all the glory. You are Glory. Humble me. I say 'yes' to walk and fight for You, knowing ahead of time, that the Glory is all yours. Defeater of Death and Risen One, to whom else could I compare You? I love you sweet Jesus...shine King of Glory! Shine!

PS - Jennyhope reminded me that I needed to return to blogville, so this late-night entry is for you :) No wait...I don't mean it's FOR you b/c you need a lesson on humility and are stealing Jesus' thunder or anything, but I meant that I love you and your heart enough to be delirious at work tomorrow so I can talk about Jesus tonight with you and my other siestas! I'll catch everyone up on my wonderful trip home this weekend real soon. Sadly, my camera has been sent off for surgery (the lens is messed up), so I have no pictures. I've missed you girls! My dog is snoring, so I'm going to go straighten him out before I go to bed...


Lisa said...

Sista Shelly -
Thank you for that spiritual "kick in the pants" that I needed this a.m. You have such a beautiful gift for the Word.
God is using you, girlfriend and I am blessed to be a pinpoint part of it. Keep those blogs coming - He speaks to me through you!!
Your Sister in Christ,

Debra said...

Shelly. This is a great post, so true, so needed.

Little Steps Of Faith said...

God has definitely anoited you to highlight parts of scripture that most would probably just read over without thought.
Anyways, I loved it. You taught me something lol.

Be Blessed:-)


jennyhope said...

I have bibleworks...love it

jennyhope said...

ps this was for me! Seriously! More Praise More Praise! I really am a wretch girl and the more I see myself for who I am the more I see that there is no way that anyone should make much of me! It is Him and Him alone. He alone is worthy. I need Him to steal my focus right now. I have settled for lesser things. I am so grateful for this word!! much love siesta!

MelanieJoy said...

I so needed this tonight. I'm not just having this struggle Spiritually but in my career as well. I do all the work at work and someone else gets the "glory"... I try to live out Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men".


Beloved said...

Hi! I found your blog through the LPM blog. I loved reading your post(s) so much and was really encouraged by them! Thanks so much for sharing your heart!

Sharon said...

Never thought of Barak in that way.
I was always jut so happy that there was a strong Godly woman to take example from.
How often do we even hear about strong Godly women from the pulpit.
And I remember thinking when I was young, "see God can use a woman".
But, I like your take on being willing to step up to the plate even when you know you are not the one who will get the glory.

Kelly S. said...

Oh how I wish I could study with you!!! I would love to be sitting across from you picking your brain about this passage. I have not spent much time in Judges and your posts have forced me to learn to use my Logos (which has brought me to tears more than once) so that I can inhale new truth and renew my feeble mind. I have a question...I noticed that the word blessed in Gen 12 translated barak was used in our notes from Boone. Best I can tell that is not the same word as the man's name in Judges 4. His name means lightning .....but don't you think that is intersting?? maybe not??? what do you think??
love you,

mandy said...

i love reading your thoughts on scripture --- i'm definitely one of your top "lurkers"....
love you

connorcolesmom said...

I loved your post, your new pictures and the new design (although for a minute I thought I had clicked on someone elses blog - I was a bit confused - LOL).

What are the pictures from?
I am glad you are back from vacation. We will have to meet up somewhere to have some dinner and good food soon :)
BTW: I did have someone buy the Deeper STill tickets but I think you should come anyway :)
It is going to be such a fun weekend!
I already have Dori, Patty and Leigh plus a few other blog siestas planning to meet up...
God bless sweet siesta!

Fred McKinnon said...

Shelly -

GOOD WORD. Like .. can I ask you .. honestly, were you eavesdropping on my Tuesday AM staff mtg/ with Steve Temmer, Jon Blankenship, and Justin Davidson? 'Cause like I was talking about this very thing - about the struggle to do it all for God's glory, and to do nothing out of selfish ambition ... amazing, this word speaks volumes to me in light of that mtg!

For the Kingdom,
Fred McKinnon
Worship Director, St. Simons Community Church
Pianist/Producer, blah, blah, blah