This week will be looking at the story of Deborah and Barak from Judges 4, 5. (The story is a little bit complicated; you might want to look at it ahead of time.)  Here is a summary of the big idea:


FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN kept a plaque on his desk in the oval office which read: There’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.

Little wonder President Reagan achieved so much in his eight years as leader of the free world.

Yet that principle was not original with him. It comes from the heart of God. Here’s how the apostle Paul stated it:

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. PHILIPPIANS 3:7-9

In comparison to Jesus Christ and all the things He has made possible —His forgiveness, His love, His righteousness —everything else we may be or accomplish diminishes in significance. That level of acceptance and realization is developed in us when we willingly surrender to the Spirit’s work in our lives. Left to ourselves, we’ll hint and insist and suggest and even demand that everyone around us acknowledge the value of our contributions and applaud us for our abilities. I can tell you, that’s no way to live!

During the early years of my ministry, I lived as a prisoner to my own insecurities —shackled to my own feelings of inadequacy and an unending struggle to measure up to self-imposed standards of perfection. I was a mess! I finally learned to get out of the way. I traded off perfection and accepted reality: it’s all about Him, not me.

It’s time to take the attitude of Christ —laying down our lives in full surrender and obedience —and insist on giving Him the glory. You are wise to hit the “pause” button before doing anything else today. Ask the Lord to help you back off and allow Him to lead. John the Baptist got it right: “He must increase . . . I must decrease” (John 3:30, KJV). — Charles R. Swindoll, Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? A Year of Scriptural Meditations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum, 2018).

This week’s music: