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Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Unlikely Leaders - a stack of sharp 31 pencils with one blue lead sticking above the rest on a blue background.

Daily Devotional | Leaders Take Initiative

The receptionist responded, “Are you crazy, lady?” and immediately hung up the phone. But that didn’t stop Judy Sheindlin. Three years later, in 1996, Sheindlin convinced CBS television producers to run a daytime reality court show starring her in the main role. For the next 25 years, Judge Judy became one of America’s most famous judges and personalities.

In the Old Testament, judges were appointed to preside over disputes and to act as military leaders. In Judges chapter 4, we find God’s people crying out to the Lord for help (v. 3). God loved His people so much that instead of allowing them to drift into sin constantly, He had permitted them to be sold into slavery (vv. 1–2). It took them 20 years to come to their senses (v. 3).

During this time of bondage, Deborah didn’t seek a leadership role or making a name for herself. She simply wanted to serve the Lord. The Hebrew word for leading (v. 4) means to judge, to govern, or to act as a decision-maker. The Israelites looked to Deborah for leadership, and she delivered: “She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided” (v. 5). When the time came to speak the truth, she didn’t shy away. She called for Barak, the army’s commander, to go into battle and free those enslaved (vv. 6–7).

When he hesitated to proceed alone (v. 8), Deborah agreed to go with Barak (v. 11) and predicted that the glory of the battle would go to a woman, and not to Barak (Judges 4:17–21).

>> Leaders rise to the challenge. And Christ followers can do that not because we are great but because God is on our side. Is there something you have been putting off doing? Whatever it is, ask God if this is His will, then stand tall and take the initiative.

Pray with Us

You don’t always give us clear guidance for our decisions; sometimes we have to make a move and simply trust that You will redirect us if You need to. We ask for Your wisdom as we take each step and boldness to follow through.

BY Dr. Chris Rappazini

Dr. Chris Rappazini believes “the Bible is still relevant, leadership is essential, and the church’s best days are still ahead.” Chris is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the University of Edinburgh, and Gonzaga University. He served as Associate Professor of Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their children now reside in North Carolina.

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