Turning Wimps into Warriors

Learning the story of Deborah, a strong woman of God.

James Greer
Jun 9, 2019    
In this sermon Pastor James Greer teaches us about a strong woman of God named Deborah, who helped Barak find his power and strength as warrior. He explained that her guidance and support brought out his leadership skills, and made him a confident man. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:00 Ooh, let's welcome the Alexandria Campus as well, let's hear it. Woo Hoo. Hey man, I'm telling you, I'm so excited about this morning's message. It's really how a woman judge in the Bible, that many people may not know about, her name was Deborah. And Deborah learned how to turn men into godly men, into manhood. And some of the characteristics that she had, my wife had. And she went and really turned a man that could have been a wimp into a warrior, I guess. You know, most men know that they need to be a spiritual leader, they want to be a better father, they want to be a better husband, they really just don't know how to do it. Many times men, if they fear they're going to lose or if they think they're going to get embarrassed, they just won't try. This almost happened to a man in the Bible named Barak, but also almost happened to a pastor named James. I was this close to missing my calling. I was this close to missing the next step that God had in my life.

James Greer: 01:08 Now Deborah, that we're going to talk about in the Bible, was the only woman judge that I know of. She just happened to have the same name that my wife did. And as you know, and we'll talk about it later, that I didn't read well and I would get very embarrassed, very insecure when I had to stand in front of people. And my wife wouldn't of learned something that I'm going to teach you to later, she had the ministry of her presence, that would give me an inner security and strength and a power that I needed to go ahead and do what God called me to do. If not, I'd of missed the greatest calling in my life. Now I'm going to tell you, this ministry that I'm on teach you today is so important, because my wife taught it to me. But you can have it as a man, a woman, a boy and girl. Ladies, you can do it to help your man step into manhood, your son, maybe it's your brother, or maybe it's somebody you work with. But I believe every husband and father can do it for their children. It's when you walk in the room, it gives the inner peace for that person. And I think it's the greatest ministry there is, and it's not taught any textbook, and it's not taught at school. I've taught on this message of Deborah before, but I missed it. I always thought Deborah stepped out to be the judge, and Barak who was over all the army.I always saw him as kind of a wimp, that just almost missed his calling. I never really realized the significance of how important it was that Deborah, the judge, how she came along beside him, helping him find this calling, and be used greatly by God. And that's what I want to look at today.

James Greer: 02:56 It's not just for wives, it's for every one of us in here today. Like Deborah, the children of Israel had sinned, and they'd gone into bondage. And they cried out to God, and God raised up a leader, and that leader happened to be a prophet that's named Deborah, the judge. And God told her, he said, listen, not only am I going to raise up a judge, you know, a prophet named Deborah. I'm going to have Deborah use her calling, and, she's going to call Barak. And Barak, you go gather up 10,000 chariots, and we're going to go against the very army that's had us into bondage, and I'm going to use Barak and Deborah, to deliver the children of Israel.

James Greer: 03:41 And you're going to see what happens. You'll pick it up, and you should really go home and read Judges chapter four. It's so important it's the real story in judges four, and I'll read verses eight and nine. "And Barack said to Deborah, Deborah gives him the challenge. Deborah said, go get the army's, get 10,000 of them. We're going to go, and she said, we're going to go attack. And Barak says to Deborah, I'm going to go, if you go with me. But if you won't go with me, I'm not going. Now, here is the head of the army, and he says, I'll go, but I'm not going with you aren't. And she answers, and she says, of course I'll go with you, Deborah answered. But you know, but you're not going to get the credit for the victory. The Lord let a woman defeat Sisera, so Deborah went with Barak.

James Greer: 04:36 Now I can't believe it, and then if you drop down to verse 14 then it said this, "And Deborah sent for Barak, and said, now it's time to go. Let's get ready to go." This is important, first he said, I don't want to go, I'm not going to go if you don't go with me. And then she said, I'll go with you. Now it's time to go, and she says, you get up today, the Lord will hand over Sisera. The Lord has already cleared the way for you." I want you to remember that. "She said, "Not only is the Lord going to be with you, God has gone before you, God's already cleared the way. So Barak led the 10,000 men, and they win." I want you to know, I don't know what's going on in your life, but I want you to know God's already gone before you and he's already cleared the way. Amen? That was so fantastic about this story. See, I want you to know, first of all, knowing who Deborah was. She was a judge, a spiritual leader, but most of all, I want, you know, choose an encourager of men to step into their real manhood. And today if there's ever a time that we need women to encourage men to step into their manhood, not be feminist. Amen? We need men to learn how to be men, and we need women that aren't ashamed to help their men to be men. So Barak, he was the counterpart, he was the head of the Israel Army. Israel, they were in great need. They called out, and God said, no. I know when I was in the greatest need in my life that God sent my Deborah, my wife. I had no real purpose, I had no real direction, I was just wandering around in life, and God knew what I needed. Some of you all are here today, and you have a great need in your life, and I want you to know you're not here by accident, you're here by divine appointment. And God did send his son, and his son is named Jesus Christ, and he's here to help meet the greatest need in your life.

James Greer: 06:31 See in Judges 4:3 it tells what happened. Because see, "The enemy, the one that had ruled over them had 900 iron chariots, and he was very cruel to the people of Israel, and he'd done it for 20 years. So they cried out the Lord for help." And guess what God did. Verse four because of that, "The prophetess named Deborah, the judge of Israel at that time. He said they cried out, and they sent a woman judge." A lot of people didn't even know there was a woman in the Bible named Deborah that God used to be a judge. Can I tell you all a secret, God used women in the Old Testament, and God used women in the New Testament. Not only was she a judge and a spiritual leader. In the New Testament, God used women.

James Greer: 07:18 Matter of fact, did you all know that probably the first prophetess in The New Testament was women? When Jesus came from the grave, he spoke to a woman. He said, hey, go back and tell all the followers that Jesus is not dead, but Jesus is alive. Some of women are were the greatest help during the most critical times in life. When Jesus hanging on the cross, when everybody else left, he looked down and he said, behold, my mother. The women were there, everybody else left. There's some of the greatest ones, and the greatest times that we have needs of.

James Greer: 07:47 She could've said, let me tell you what she could've done. She was the judge, she was in charge. First of all, she could have fired him, for being disobedient. Maybe you didn't fire the man in your life, but maybe you've given up on him. Maybe it's today you need to reignite the fire for him. She could have replaced him, maybe lots of women try that. Be careful, maybe you've replaced your man emotionally with somebody else, and you shouldn't be doing that. She could've taken his job. I've never seen a time in life where that's happened so much. So many wives have taken over their husband's jobs. But when they did it, they really wish they hadn't done it. Dad, he won't discipline the kids, so now you're the disciplinarian. He won't take over the paying the bills, so you're paying the bills. He won't get up and come to church, so you're bringing the kids and come to church. So now you're taking all the responsibility. There's just one problem, now you can handle it. So you tried to just take it.

James Greer: 08:56 And then maybe she could have tried, she could of belittled him. What's wrong with you? Why can't you step up? Why can't you be the man of man? Why can't you do what God called you to do? Let me give you a free insight ladies. Let me do the preaching, you do the living it out. Free. Amen? And then fifth, this is a dangerous one, they do it all the time. You could have tried to fix him. If you haven't gotten married yet, let me give you a free insight, what you see is what you get. [inaudible] said that, but precious Jesus, you're so right. I see people all the time, they get married, and they think, after I marry them, I'm going to fix him. When I used to do a lot of counseling, I don't do much now. And I'll tell you, I had a lady come to us, we'd known them for years and years, and she came to all of us, she said, I'm going to leave that sucker. I said, why are you leaving him? Because I've been with him for 17 years, and he has not changed. I said, what do you mean? She said, he's just like he was when I married him. I said, well no joke. She said, but I thought sooner or later he would change, and he hasn't. Well, I said, what you see is what you get. But I've tried harder and harder and harder, but doesn't matter. Let me tell you what, there's only one person that can change people, and it's not you, it's God. Amen? God's in the changing business, and you can't do it. So you try to try to change them, try to try to fix them, you can't do it.

James Greer: 10:27 Let me give you three things Deborah did, that encouraged Barak. The one that said, hey, I'm not going unless you go with me. Let me give you three things she did to cause Barack to step into his manhood, to accept the responsibility that God called him to do, that everyone in here could do for her man. First of all, she fortified him, she strengthened him, she came along beside, him. She said, you know, I'll go with you if you need me to go. She didn't have to go, she could have delegated somebody else to go, but she came along beside him because she knew that God had called him to go. She wanted him to fulfill his God given calling. When a man fulfills his God given calling, you'll be happier as a wife. He'll be a better dad. He'll be better on the job. She wanted him to do it. But see, she came on along beside him cause she knew that h felt intimidated. She knew that he was insecure. He knew that he was fearful. Can I tell you something? Most men are not going to tell their wives that's how they really feel. Sometimes ladies, if you're wise, you can see the potential in another man, your husband, or your boys before they can see it their self, so it's called discernment.

James Greer: 11:50 If you really want to know the truth, that's what God does with us. He looks down, he sees us as we could be, thank God, not as we are. And ladies, you have that, you have the gift of the discernment, so kind of use it. Men know what they should do. Men know they should be the spiritual head. Men know they should be the leaders. Men know they should be the provider's. Men know they should be the protector. But they're so intimidated, they're so insecure, they just don't know how to do it. You've got to learn to come along beside them. You can try to go before him, you can push them down, or you can bring them up. The choice is yours. That's the whole story of my life. When I was at a critical point in my life, when I finally started coming back to church, I was really going to come because I thought my kids needed to be in church. Well, I found out, I need to be a church. You're right. You just don't know how bad I needed to be in it, I know. I know when you need to be in church, but anyway, it's a private story, I know. But anyway, so I started coming for a while, and they asked me if I teach a class, and I thought, how can I teach a class? I was so insecure, and so afraid to get in front of people. And when I did, I would start sweating. I always had to bring a handkerchief, because I was wringing wet with sweat. My wife would always sit next to me, and I would start reading it, and she had had to be on the same page. It's your story. And we would read the words I couldn't read, which was a lot of them. She would read and, then she's stop, then I just start reading again. She would read, I'd stop and she'd just start reading. And so she knew that if she would read, and I would read, I wouldn't give up. We'd be in the same room and we'd sit in a circle. And people in the room were there together as a small group, a journey, group, whatever you want to call it. She didn't try to go in front of me, she didn't try to go over me, she learned to come beside me.

James Greer: 13:56 I'm going to teach you something that you hadn't ever been taught before. She brought the Ministry of her presence. Which would give me an inner strength, and a peace, and a power, which she still does, to be able to do what God called me to do as a husband, a father, and a pastor. It's so important ladies, if you could learn this ministry which is not taught, it's probably the most important ministry that you could ever have. The ministry of your presence applies not only to your mate, but to your kids, to your friends, and any person that you come in contact with. It means when you walk in the room whether it's at school, or whether it's preaching, whether it's a room, wherever they're at, that they get an inner peace and an inner confidence, an inner power just to say, hey, they're there, they don't have to say anything. There was one time I used to go around and speak, and talk all the time, and I'd always get nervous. And the first thing I would do, I would go on when I was in the back before I came out, I'd start saying where's Debbie sitting? She is out there. Yeah, where's she sitting? And I would scan the room, and I'd look for her. And then I would just look at her if I was getting nervous, I just looked at her, and she'd be going, yeah, mm hmm, that's right. And it would just give me a peace, and a power, and an inner strength. And I'm going to tell you, you can do that with your kids, you can do it with a friend. Hey, she still does it today. I was girl speak Wednesday night, and I don't do that often. And I was going to speak to some of the journey groups, and my wife said, oh, you look like you're a little emotional. I said, are you going to be there? She said, you know, I will. She knows when she needs to be there, and when she knows that she's there, she knows why she's there. And I was sharing my heart, and we got through it, and I'll never forget what she said at the end of the meeting. She said, and I'm sharing what we can do, and she said, well, what can we do for you? It's the ministry of her presence. If you want to learn something, you learn the ministry of your presence, and it'll change people's lives. It does. You don't have to just be married to a husband, you can do it to other people. A lot of times I'll sit and get ready to preach, and somebody put their hand on there and say, hey, it's okay. This morning right before I came in to preach, somebody sent me a text said, I love you, the man of the hour. God's going to use you, just do it. It's just the ministry of the presence, it's the greatest ministry there is. You can't preach without having people like that, you can't teach, you can't be the mother, you can't be the father, you can't be there.

James Greer: 16:18 See, what she did was said, hey, I'm just going to be with you, and she gave him the strength that he needed to go do what God called him to do. When you walk into your home do you, do you have the ministry of your presence? See, it does two things, it gives the inner strength. Does your presence intimidate, or does it strengthen? You can do the same thing with God, you practice his presence. On the way to church this morning when I was driving I said, God, I'm just trying to practice your presence. Would you be here with me? Ladies you can help your husband, or help your man, or help your son find his identity, who he is in Christ. Or do you bring intimidation? You do one or the other. You either intimidate them, or you helping them find their identification. Even at my age now, I still like my wife's presence, I like it when I preach, I like it when I teach, she's my inner strength, and nobody can give me confidence like she can. It's the greatest ministry that you can ever give.

James Greer: 17:29 I don't think is funny when some woman talks down to her husband in front of people, by the way, I don't think it's cute, I don't laugh at it. I think it's humiliating, and I don't think he could step into the manhood that God called him to. I don't think men should put down their wives in front of people. If you all really have a problem, I think you should it in private. That's for free.

James Greer: 17:58 Genesis 2:18 says, "Now the Lord said, it's not good, it's not sufficient, it's not satisfying, that man should be alone. I'm going to make him (A what?) helper suitable, adapted, complete for him." You're going to help him step into there. My mother always tried to help me to do better. My wife came along to help me be what God called me to be. See, that's what you do, when you come into your husband life, you help him. When you come in your son's life, you help him. You're better because of them, you bring security, not insecurity. Learn the ministry of your presence. This is the greatest thing you could learn today. You don't have to be married to do this. You can help other men do this. Men, you can help your wives do that. I've got ladies at this church to do that all the time. The Ministry of their presence. Be used. Men fear failure, men have insecurities. Men's fear of failure, and losing, and embarrassing is so bad, many times they won't try just because of that. But let me tell you what, when you learn the ministry of your presence, and you bring an inner strength and an inner peace and they know they can believe in you, man, they'll storm hell with a water pistol for you. They'll do it. Let's get some men going. Amen?

James Greer: 19:23 Second, do you know what Deborah did? She learned to turn Barak's heart and head to God. She said, I'm going to encourage his manhood, I'm going to turn his attention to God. In verse six she said, "And the Lord, the God of Israel, has he not commanded you, you get 10,000 men and go forward?" She said, I'm going to tell you what. And then in verse fourteen she said, "Hey, you go this day, the Lord's already given you Sisera into your hands." You notice what she's doing? She said, hey, I'm not jumping ahead of you, I'm not getting in front of you. The Lord's already gone before you, he's already given you way, he's already cleared the way.

James Greer: 20:00 Hey women, hmm, you're not the head. Look, you all ready? But you've sure got the power to turn the head. Can I tell you, wherever the head goes, the body goes. Have you ever been driving a car, and you start looking somewhere, there. It goes. If you're out on a motorcycle you sure better be careful because you'll run off the road. And ladies, you might not be the head of the house, but you've got the power to turn that head wherever you want it to go. And what she did was this, she started saying, man, God's already given you bounty, he's already cleared way, God's told you to go, why don't you go? She's turned the attention off of the weakness, and turned it into the power of God. And he started saying, oh, maybe I can do this, she's going to be along with me, God's going to be with me, let's charge, let's fight the battle. Ladies learn to turn the man's head to God. Amen?

James Greer: 20:43 I mean, when your husband comes home like I did not long ago, I was so discouraged. I was telling my wife, why I can't keep going forward, why I can't do this, why God's not going to do that, why God's not going love me. She said, oh man, God blessed you, man. Look what all God's done, look what God's got in store for you, your last half is going to be your best half. Man, after I got through crying and pouting, I got up the next day, I said, let's charge. Hell. Amen? Let's go. Amen? I mean, that's what God wants you do, turn their head, turn your head to the right thing. Turn their head to the right man, and you'll get the right power. Learn the ministry of God's presence, learn the ministry of your presence, learn to turn their heads the right way. "And she saw Barak's dignity." Or she knew that men want to be respected.

James Greer: 21:31 Men, men don't like to be disrespected. "She told Barak though, you know I'm going to go with you, but if I go, a woman's going to get part of the credit. He said, come on anyway," The wonderful thing about the story is she wasn't successful at getting him to do the whole thing. Because when he did get to winning, he ended up having a great victory. In fact, in Hebrews 11 guess what happened? We don't know the whole story, but we know that he's listed in the hall of fame. If you went back and read Hebrews 11:32 it says, we need to give you some example of say talking about heroes of faith. He said, "I don't have time to tell you, but did you know about Gideon? And he says, Barak, Sampson, Jephthah, David, Samuel." He's listed there. He's listed in the hero of faith. She helped him step in to manhood.

James Greer: 22:29 Now as I get ready to close, I don't know what's going on in your life. I know God wants you to step into the position that he's called you to. There's men, women, boys and girls that need your presence in their life. When you step into the room, whether it's this room, whether it's your journey group, or it's your house, does it bring inner strength and peace knowing that you're there? When you come into the church that those around you say, boy, I'm so glad they're here? When you look out and you're going to preach, man, your inner peace...When you go home to your wife or to kids or vice versa, do you bring an inner strength and a peace and a power? If not, would you like to? See, you can't do that on your own, you need to learn the mystery and the ministry of your presence.

James Greer: 23:24 You need to understand that Deborah was just simply a mouthpiece for God. Deborah was almost like a type of the Holy Spirit. Deborah said, listen, Barak, I can give you guidance, I can give you direction, and I can even give you comfort. And some of you all are here today and you're saying, that's what I need. Well, if you've accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, that's what you can get. If you're not, that'd be the first thing you need to do this morning. But if you have, the Holy Spirit's job is to guide you, to direct you, and to comfort you. In fact, in John 14:27 it says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives you." See some of you are here today, and you need inner peace, you need a new strength, you need the power. Some of you are facing some things, and you just don't know where to go or what to do. I'm here to tell you that God's already gone before you. If you went back and you would read Judges 4:14 it says, "And the Lord's already cleared the way for you." God's already cleared the way, so just relax. You might be here today and you're just afraid, like Barak was, insecure, and you just need somebody to come and pray for you and with you because you're just hurting. It's okay.

James Greer: 24:40 I always fear that people come to church, and what you're doing, you're embarrassed. You're worried about what somebody else would say, and how they feel. Don't worry about that here, I mess up all the time, I say things and do things that I shouldn't. If you're hurting and you want somebody to pray with you, and pray for you, quit worrying about everybody else. Just act like it's just me and you, and you and God, and practice God's presence, and somebody here would be glad to pray with you. Nobody's going to judge you, not here. You might be hearing God's been calling you and calling you and calling you for special tasks, a special ministry. Maybe to go into the ministry, and today, today you're going to just answer God's calling. I don't know what God's calling you to do, but I want tell you what, if you'll allow him, he wants to have his will and his way in your life today.

James Greer: 25:24 So would you stand and let me pray with you and just kind of pray for you. God, I thank you for your word. Hmm, I thank you for those people, God, that's come into my life, that surround me, that just gave me that inner peace, that strength, that comfort. God, I thank you for your Holy Spirit that does that. I thank you that we can just right now, God, relax and practice your presence because you're here. God, touch hearts, if they need to join this church, let this morning be the day. They need to follow through in public baptism, today would be the day. God, those that are hurting won't be ashamed, they can just come down and pray with somebody and relax. Those that need comfort, those that need guidance, those that need direction, God, just whatever they need today, you just touch their heart. Maybe just say, hey, I know for sure when I walk in the room, what I don't do is bring an inner peace to people, I probably bring turmoil, God, I want to confess that is a sin. God, I want to find peace in my life, where I can bring peace in other people's life. God, whatever it is they need, God, you're here today, your presence is here, let them have your will in their life. It's in Christs' name I pray. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360