Go With Jesus Not With Flesh
“And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” Judges 4:8 NKJV
Deborah is a Judge of Israel, and she listens to God’s instructions on how He will lead the people out of the oppression of the Canaanites. God tells her that He is going to deliver the Israelites from their affliction through Barak. He even tells her in detail what Barak should do and how He will deliver the Canaanites into their hands. Barak is called before Deborah and she tells Barak exactly what the Word of the Lord is and how he will be the tool used by the Lord for the deliverance of the people. But in the verse above we see Barak’s response to Deborah.
Barak had stood there and listened to the prophetess of the Lord tell him word for word what God had instructed. He had the very Word of God telling him that he would be successful in his efforts. In fact, he even had the play by play of how the events would unfold.
We know from reading the rest of this chapter that this is exactly what Barak did and it is exactly how God delivered the Canaanites into their hands. So Barak had a definitive Word from the Lord on what to do. But his response was, well, less than inspirational in its words of faith, given that Barak had a direct promise from God. He said to Deborah that he would go and do the work set before him, but only if she went as well.
Barak put more trust and faith in the flesh than in the Word and promise of God. He trusted the flesh to the degree that he would not move forward with God’s plan unless the one he truly trusted (Deborah) went as well. He trusted her more than he trusted the Lord. What he should have done is just move forward in faith and do what he was called to do. Because he did not, he did not get the glory for the victory. God still was faithful and delivered Israel, but Barak did not become all that he should have been in the Lord.
What has Jesus called you to do? What assignment has He entrusted to you? There are three things each of us should know as His followers today. First, He has assignments for each one of us. Second, He will personally lay what He has entrusted to you upon your heart, but you have to listen for Him. And finally, we must put our confidence totally in Him. He will give us others to strengthen and support us in our assignments, but our trust and confidence is never in them but must exclusively be in Jesus who has created and prepared us for the work He has for us. Stand steadfast in what He has called you to do not look to the flesh for your strength. Jesus will send us flesh (people) to aid us along the way, but those people are never the ones we are to put our hope and confidence in. We can be thankful for them but we still keep moving forward in the promises and the power of the Word.
J. Todd Hostetler