The Sidelined Soldier

Posted: August 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Judges 5:6-7 “…the caravans ceased, travelers walked through byways. The villages were unoccupied and rulers ceased in Israel until you arose – you, Deborah, arose – a mother in Israel.”

Know what the word “unoccupied” means in the Hebrew? Flabby.

The rulers had grown fat and sloppy. The soldiers were lazy and afraid. People couldn’t even walk on the main road. The nation that was chosen as God’s precious possession -those who had been delivered from the hands of the Egyptians and launched straight through the center of the sea – had become hiders.

I think it’s possible to live inside kingdom borders but outside kingdom purpose. It’s possible to know the Bible but never know battle…never confront an enemy…never wrestle with an angel until something happens. Something shifts. We’ve become good in the church at wrestling with philosophy and methodology and each other – but I wonder sometimes if all that activity keeps us safely on the back roads and out of the heat of the real war, where eternal destinies are lost and won.

The word “arose” in the Hebrew means “Stir up, strengthen, arise and abide.” What distinguished Deborah from the people around her? Not geography – they all lived in the same place. Not theology – they all believed in the same God. Not circumstance – they all faced the same bad guy. What distinguished Deborah (and Jael), is they got up. They stopped hiding and faced the fight. They dropped the dead weight of fear and hopelessness and distraction and pursued victory with a vengeance.

When I was little, we used to sing “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered.” When I read this Deborah story – and so many like it in the Bible (Matthew 13:15) – I wonder if maybe God is singing the same thing to us.

With faith for dropping weight,


  1. Ann Dunagan says:

    I think it’s possible to live inside kingdom borders but outside kingdom purpose.

    Oh my, Bo. That sentence, and that entire paragraph is sobering. It’s like something I would imagine reading in some great classic – and be a statement I would highlight in yellow, and then come back to years later to get the wording right.

    May we live, not just inside the kingdom, but in the bulls-eye center of God’s purpose.

    It’s not enough to merely “have” a purpose and a call of God on our lives”; instead, we need to ones that fervently seek after Jesus Himself, so that we’re ones that others will say, “She, or he, is definitely one who definitely “will” fulfill that purpose and call” – by God’s grace.

    Jon just finished up this week’s evangelistic outreach – complete with wind, lightning, rainstorms, Muslim threats, joyful pastors, and souls saved. In a few hours, he’ll be heading to Osanidde . . . to hug our precious kids and to encourage our wonderful leaders.

    What joy. And what an honor to be the wife and mommy holding up the home-fort from this end. It’s such a privilege to be one of His commissioned ones, ready at His command to do His bidding and to go forward in whatever battle He calls us to . . . and to know that He, Himself, is our VICTORY!!!

    Bless you, dear friend.

  2. This is exactly what I am convicted of and frustrated with right now! We have so many freedoms in America, I have so many people around me that agree with me, my spiritual muscles are very weak. I think it lessons the value of my praise. My response is to keep looking for opportunities to say, ‘Yes”, ways to serve and ways to battle, so that I’m in the practice of it and when a greater opportunity arises, pray that I’ll be ready. A friend told me “don’t eat the seed” meaning there is so much good stuff I am learning about God, I must share it… scatter the seed.
    P.S. I’m impressed by your concise writing. I really tend to go on and on!

  3. bolovesjoe says:

    Thanks, Ann – you’re a great encouragement to me.

    Christy – I totally agree with you! Also, I don’t think anyone has ever called me “concise” before so that’s a great compliment, indeed!

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