Not all of us respond with enthusiasm when God encourages us to step out in faith. When God tells us to move in faith, some are afraid to do so while others roll their eyes; many settle for less and become complacent in their hearts. Question is, do you think that the Lord is pleased with the complacent heart? This is why He encourages us and, for that same reason, did not put us in this world by ourselves. God gave us each other because we need each other to help push one another to be better.

I Need You, You Need Me

There’s a song that Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir sang many years ago and still comes on the radio today.  The lyrics to that song speaks of how I need you, and how you need me.  Why do we need each other?

Why we need each other

Well, to be frank, I would ask:  how would we make it in the world if we did not have each other?  I know and have seen what a community that works together can accomplish should they stick together rather than work apart.  Yet, such coming together as communities is very rare; it sadly seems to only happen after tragedies and that’s even become rare nowadays as the world becomes more apathetic.

Within the Church itself, we know that the body of Christ cannot properly function if all parts aren’t working together.  As Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, though we may be individual members of the body of Christ, we are blessed with unique gifts from one Spirit to work together to profit all of us (t).  So, in other words,  we need each other for the purpose of uplifting one another but look at today’s church.

In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul spoke more on this thought when he wrote, “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples (doubt, hesitation, reluctance) of the weak (Rom. 15:1-2).” The fact of the matter is that some of us move with enthusiasm and courage when we hear from the Lord. For those that move with such enthusiasm, they move with little to no hesitation towards God’s blessings.

However, on the opposite side of this are those that are too paralyzed in fear to move towards God’s blessings. Some of us are so fearful to push towards God’s blessings that our faith becomes reluctant faith. Now, I would suggest to you that reluctant faith isn’t true faith at all because it is filled with doubt (Jas. 1:6-8). So, again, those who are strong in faith should encourage others, not for our own glory, but in order to please our neighbor and to edify (uplift) them.

Encouraging the weak

As true believers, we must remember what our goal in life should be. What is that goal? Yes, it should certainly be to inherit the heavenly kingdom through true faith (John 3:16). However, we must remember that according to the Great Commission, we are to make disciples (followers) of Christ of all people; we are here to share the good news (Matt. 28:19-20)! In other words, we are here to help guide others to their blessings from God, especially those that are now reluctant to move.

Motivational Faith

In order to encourage others, unhesitating faith in the Lord is required.  I want you to understand today that your unhesitating faith has the power to motivate others to get up to their feet and lay hold of their blessings.  One of the best examples of this motivational faith is shown to us through the story of Deborah and Barak.  Who were these two people?

Deborah and Barak

Barak was a general for the army of the children of Israel at a time during the days after Joshua’s passing away. During the time period of the judges of Israel, the children of Israel lived on a roller coaster of good periods and terrible periods; there were days where their obedience led to being blessed and their disobedience led to great struggle. During the days of Barak and Deborah, the children of Israel were living under the harsh oppression of Jabin, the king of Canaan (Judg. 4:1-3).

Deborah, we are told, was both a judge and a prophetess of God (Judg. 4:4). Deborah, as a judge, you could consider to be like a commander of the whole army of Israel. In a manner of speaking, she was seen as a leader of the people as scripture tells us the people would come up to her ‘office’ to hear her judgment and guidance (Judg. 4:5). Among the judges, Deborah was very unique in being considered a prophetess; this meant she not only heard from the Lord but delivered His message to the people as well.

Barak’s reluctance

Now, in this passage of scripture from Judges 4, we see the great difference between Barak and Deborah. The first thing we see is Barak and his reluctance to deploy 10,000 troops against the oppressor of the children of Israel as he had been commanded to do by God (Judg. 4:6).

Scripture shows us Barak’s reluctance when he was confronted by Deborah for not doing as the Lord had commanded (Judg. 4:6). Deborah, I believe, was frustrated as to why Barak was sitting down rather than moving, especially when God had guaranteed the defeat of their oppressor (Judg. 4:7).

This guarantee from the Lord, as we saw in my sermon last week, was very similar to the guarantee made by God to Joshua about the Promised Land (Josh. 1:1-3). We see again this week the case of God saying that your blessings are already here, all you have to do is go and take possession of them!

I will repeat to you again this week, if it wasn’t clear last week, God has already promised to you that His blessings are yours. All that you have to do in order for you to receive your blessings from God is have faith and move to take possession of your blessing – now is not the time to sit down! The problem with Barak was that he was too reluctant to take on Jabin’s army which out classed Israel’s army with 900 chariots of iron (Judg. 4:3).

Now, let’s notice the results of Barak’s reluctance to move in faith.  Barak’s reluctance certainly delayed the children of Israel from being delivered from their oppression.  What this also meant was that the blessing of God was delayed because of Barak’s reluctance.  The children of Israel were delayed from enjoying God’s blessing.

I hope you are paying attention to the fact that reluctance will delay and block you from your blessings!  In the end, your reluctance to move in faith will extend your afflictions, troubles, struggles, and tribulation!

This brings me back around to the thought that I had last week:  How do you respond and react when the going gets tough?  Barak sat down!  Do you also sit down?  

To those that are strong of faith, how do you respond and react when you see those around you sit down in reluctance to move towards their blessing?  Do you encourage them to get moving or do you blow by them, leaving them behind, to get to your blessing?

Deborah’s unhesitating faith

Let’s be truthful, there will be times that we will have to move in faith regardless of what others say and do; we will have to leave them behind in those times to move to our blessing.  However, there will be lots of times where the Lord will call on us to slow down in order to help those that are reluctantly sitting by the wayside.

Some of us who are strong in faith may have moments of frustration with those who are reluctant to move in faith, like Deborah may have had with Barak. Yet, in those moments, we should remember that love suffers long – it is patient (1 Cor .13:4); again we should bear with the hesitance and reluctance of those that are weak in faith. Though Deborah may have been frustrated with Barak, she needed him and he certainly needed her – she chose love.

In my key verse, we’ll see that after being confronted by Deborah about his reluctance to move, Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go!” This almost sounds like Barak was being witty but the man truly was in fear to move; I believe he feared for his life. I would even suggest to you that Barak may have thought that his fear and reluctance would influence Deborah to change her mind about deploying against their oppressor!

8 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!” 9 So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.


Be aware of this:  when you’re strong of faith, those that are fearful and reluctant will often try to influence you to join them in the same fear and reluctance.  Because you are strong of faith and have the courage to push forward, you must resist joining them in fear and reluctance when they say ‘don’t go’.  When those that are fearful and reluctant see your courage to move, there’s a chance that your courage will strengthen their faith. 

You see, we need each other in these moments!  Consider where you would be today if you didn’t have someone to motivate and encourage you through your times of reluctance.  For me personally, when I was of reluctant faith, for example, when my dad passed away or when my kidneys failed, I would have been lost without the courage of others.  You see, I was surrounded by the love and courage that encouraged me to keep moving forward because God had a blessing already prepared for me!

Where Barak may have thought Deborah would be afraid to go with him, her response, as we see in my key verse was, “I will surely go with you.” There was no pause or hesitation from Deborah! We would say that Deborah was built different because she was not moved by the 900 chariots of Jabin! She was not fearful of Jabin because she knew and believed in the one that could easily move Jabin’s chariots and army out of her way!

Deborah’s faith in God motivated her as she desired to move to His promise and guarantee.  On that same note, I would even suggest to you that Deborah had grown tired of God’s blessing being put off!  You see, Deborah desired for her and her brothers and sisters to be delivered from oppression; she desired to take possession of the blessing!  Why would anyone be slow to move towards God’s guarantee of a blessing?  

We will see that Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered [victory] into your hand (Judg. 4:14).” Deborah was encouraging the man to get up to his feet – have some courage and have faith in God! This thought puts me in mind of what David said when he said, full of faith, “The Lord is my light and salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid (Ps. 27:1)?”

I believe that many of us need to hear that kind of encouragement each and every time we become reluctant to move in faith.  You see, I see everyday as an opportunity to lay hold of the blessings that the Lord has for us should we choose to do so!  If you have not laid hold of your blessing today, understand that this is the day in which God has delivered victory into your hand!

We Need Each Other

Barak needed Deborah to encourage him and to even go with him in order for him to feel confident in having success against Jabin.  You see, Deborah saying she would go with him made him get to his feet, deploy the 10,000, and then go on to defeat the oppressor of the children of Israel.  

Surround yourself with good

I say to you that we need each other in the same manner that Barak needed Deborah.  Yes, I say to you today, that all of us need a Deborah in our life!  We need those that will push us towards our blessings rather than those that will allow us to settle for less.  You need to make sure that you surround yourself with good people!

 What do I mean by “good people”?  When I say “good people”, I want you to understand that I am speaking of those that are God-fearing; those that are holy and righteous through their faith of justification in Christ. 

In the book of Proverbs, we are told to surround ourselves with the council of the wise.  We are told in Proverbs that those that fear the Lord are considered to be wise (Prov. 1:7).  The actions of the wise are, therefore, governed by their fear of God’s judgment; those that are wise learn to walk in a manner of obedience according to the word of God in order to please the Lord.

It is also said in the book of Proverbs that whoever walks with wise men will also be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Prov. 13:20). You see, Deborah was a God-fearing woman and was wise to live in obedience to His word. Because Deborah’s faith in God was steadfast – strong and full of confidence – it comforted Barak and inspired him! We need each other to comfort and to inspire when we are reluctant.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote to them to be careful of the company they keep. Paul said, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits (1 Cor. 15:33). Do not surround yourself with minds that are of no faith! As Deborah uplifted Barak by encouraging him to move in faith, you need those around you that will encourage you to be steadfast in our faith!

When we need each other, we need to ensure that we are of a spirit that is open to encourage others and also open to being encouraged. As we have seen today, you and I should strive to be more like Deborah, that is, we must be steadfast and unhesitant in our faith in the Lord.  When we all move in this manner, fear and anxiety will grow dimmer and dimmer as we all progress towards our blessings.


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