How would you describe yourself? Are you similar to a fire, a flower, or a fake? Have you found yourself asking God about the next step to take, the next stop to make, while refusing to be fake? I have. And once again, I have determined, that it’s okay for me to be a flower and it’s okay for others to be fire. As long as I am not fake. I will be used of Him.
I don’t know about you, but just when I think I know who I am, life takes a twist and I discover more about myself than I knew before. During these times, I think about fires, flowers and fakes. We all know people who would fall into one of these categories. However, we are not held accountable for them. We are solely responsible for ourselves. The gravity of character, behooves me to visit the question and examine if I am being true to myself, to others, and ultimately to God.
Admiration swells within me for those who have fire and zeal, burning and blazing a trail for God. I also love those beautiful people who, as flowers, grace the field of life with radiant splendor and shine their praises to their Creator. About the fakes. All of us have been around a fake or two, and know how ugly that can be. And if we were completely honest, most of us have taken on the robe of not being “real” on occasion, ourselves.
So, who am I? Who are you? Ultimately, we are children of God. Loved. Adored. Accepted. But what about our calling? The field of service for Him. I contemplate the direction I’m traveling and the goals set before me. I then ask, am I a flower, a fire, or a fake?
In the book of Judges, we find a descriptive story that showcases two strong women. One is like a fire and the other as a flower. Both are mighty warriors. During this time, the Israelites were conquering the land of Canaan that God had given to them. Since they had no leader, the people relied upon the judges of that time to deliver them from their enemies. We see Deborah, a prophetess who was also judging Israel, call for a man named Barak. She tells him,
“‘This is what the Lord, the God Israel, commands you; call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.’ Barak told her, ‘I will go, but only if you go with me.’ ‘Very well’, she replied, ‘I will go with you, But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.’ “
It was a big deal for a woman to be a judge in those days. And it was a bigger deal for her to go to battle and fight. Until this account, it was unheard of. And we may wonder why Barak was depending on her anyway?
Historians tell us that it was well know that Sisera had 900 iron clad chariots. He had ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. Barak was fearful, but Deborah lights a fire under him and Barak calls the 10,000 warriors as she commands. As promised, Deborah goes along. I can only imagine what Deborah was thinking. This fake-what kind of a soldier are you anyway, Barak? King Sisera heard that Barak had gone up, and called for all 900 of his iron chariots and all of his warriors. Basically, the king was eager and fully prepared to slaughter the insurgents.
“Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Get ready! This is the day the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you.’ So Barak led his 10,000 warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle. When Barak attacked, the Lord threw Sisera and all his chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera leaped down from his chariot and escaped on foot. Then Barak chased the chariots and the enemy army. Not a single one was left alive.”
“Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid. So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. ‘Please give me some water,’ he said. ‘I’m thirsty.’ So she gave him some milk from a leather bag and covered him again. ‘Stand at the door of the tent,’ he told her. ‘If anybody comes and asks you if there is anyone here, say no.’ ”
“But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and a tent peg in her hand. Then, she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died.”
We notice Deborah, who glows brilliantly and strikes when the iron is hot. Our attention then shifts to Jael, who silently rises in the middle of a field, and as a flower, brilliantly spreads her blooms before us. Both women are courageous and mighty in valor, yet so different in personality. Both women are strong, diligent, and dedicated. We see one boldly declaring the Word of God, and the other quietly performing the will of God.
What type do you better relate to? I am convinced that all of us have individual qualities, and I firmly hold to the belief that whether you feel like a fire or a flower, you are a warrior in God’s army. Keep shining and growing. Continue living and fighting. Because who knows whether we will ride out to battle to meet the enemy or if the battle will come to us in our humble abode. No matter where. The battle will be won!
I just want to encourage those who are on the battle front, I say -Blaze away the trail! And to you, who feel like a flower blooming beside an unknown tent somewhere, I remind -Be strong and keep a weapon prepared to win the victory!
True- God can’t use fake, but He will take and make us into a shape that pleases Him. All of us can be warriors. Our challenge is to be true to ourselves and to God. Then, go out and Light a fire or plant a flower for His Kingdom today!