Devotional Week 26 Tuesday
“For I am determined to know nothing, to be acquainted with nothing, except Jesus Christ.”
I Corinthians 2: 2
King James Version and
“Daughters of Deborah” Part 3
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, self-discipline and effort.”
Is there some dream in my life where I believe I should follow God and put His heavenly determination toward His plan for me?
"Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the road blocks that lay before you.”
“I have found that great people do have in common an immense belief in their mission. They also have great determination as well as an ability to work hard. At the crucial moment of decision, they draw on their accumulated wisdom. Above all, they have integrity.”
I have always admired individuals who exhibit great artistic talent. This is why I’m so fond of Betty Carr who does the painting for our gift book marks and the Transformation Garden website. But one thing I’ve learned after becoming acquainted with a number of artists – painting, sculpting and other such endeavors aren’t easy. I had the mistaken idea that all the artwork and photography I enjoy just happens, naturally. Well, it doesn’t! In fact, in a recent article I read by a famous painter, John Nieto, he said that one of his instructors, very early in his career, told him that artwork was 90% sitting in a chair working and 10% talent. I must say, the friends I’ve made through the years who have been successful at any endeavor, have been those who are not afraid or hesitant to take on hard work and then keep at it no matter how difficult the task becomes.
The ability to stick with something, to see a project through to completion, is how Webster’s dictionary defines the word, “determination,” which is the quality of being resolute or firm in purpose.
If a word describes God’s daughter, Deborah, it is certainly the word, “determined.” Let me give you three examples of how this champion’s determination helped her see the way clear to follow God’s leading:
First, even though Deborah was a woman in a man’s world, when God told her to arise with a message for Barak, she was determined to share, with the head of the army, what God wanted him to do. No excuses or hesitancy. She determined to convey to Barak what God had called His people to take on.
Second, although King Jabin and Sisera, with their 900 chariots of iron, seemed unconquerable, Deborah determined in her heart that if God said He would give Israel victory, God meant what He said. Deborah did not second guess God or doubt His word and her determined spirit rubbed off on everyone else.
Third, Deborah didn’t just deliver a message to Barak and the army, she was determined to see the job through to the end so she stayed with Barak until victory was accomplished. Determined people finish what they start. When it’s a task for God, they don’t walk off the job until it is done!
Throughout history, determined daughters of Deborah have paved the way for you and me today with their examples. There’s no one who exemplifies the quality of determination more than Sojourner Truth. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York around 1797. One of thirteen children, she was sold in 1806 to John Neely for $100. She suffered many hardships at the hands of Neely who was cruel and harsh, beating her with bundles of rods. Finally, when laws were changed in New York and Truth was freed, she became a Christian leader fighting for freedom for both slaves and women. Her most well known speech, “Ain’t I A Woman” was given at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio in 1851. When this precious woman finished speaking, here’s how Frances Gage described the responses: “Amid roars of applause, she returned to her corner leaving more than one of us with streaming eyes, and hearts beating with gratitude. She had taken us up in her strong arms and carried us safely over the slough of difficulty turning the whole tide in our favor. I have never in my life seen anything like the magical influence that subdued the mobbish spirit of the day, and turned the sneers and jeers of an excited crowd into notes of respect and admiration. Hundreds rushed up to shake hands with her, and congratulate the glorious old mother, and bid her God-speed on her mission.”
One day, after Sojourner Truth was told of a threat to burn down the hall where she was to speak, she said: “Then I will speak upon the ashes.” Not even the intimidation of a hostile crowd could deter her.
The third characteristic of the daughters of Deborah is determination. In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, “To become what we are capable of becoming is the only end in life.”
“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who goes where (she) is had to begin where (she) was.”
Richard L. Evans
“Lord, in union with Your love, unite my work with Your great work, and perfect it. As a drop of water, poured into a river, is taken up into the activity of the river, so may my labour become part of Your work.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus