Women of worship inspire me. There is something beautiful & fierce about a woman passionately pursuing Jesus with her heart & with her song. Though sometimes misunderstood, the church needs that juxtaposition of femininity and strength. To all of the Women of Worship out there, I offer this encouragement from the life of one of my favorite women in scripture…
“Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, & the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.”
Deborah was a leader & a wife, a prophetess, & a military strategist. She was a warrior & a worshipper. God put her in a position of authority over the whole nation of Israel (a huge deal in such a culture), & she did not shrink back. Her sensitivity to the voice of the Lord and willingness to go to battle set the Israelites free from the cruel oppression of King Jabin of Canaan. After winning the battle, she sang praise “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song” (Judges 5:3). Displaying such courage, her life provides a striking example of the power that exists in a woman who understands who she is meant to be.
Mothers speak courage into their children to help them rise above fear. It is interesting that Deborah called herself “a mother in Israel” regarding her military leadership. What a perfect depiction of the feminine and the fierce – her nurture as a spiritual mother led the fearful children of Israel toward victory. Clearly, her leadership style as a woman was unique.
“Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose,until I arose, a mother in Israel.” (Judges 5:7)
Deborah led her people into battle for their freedom. Her femininity and fierceness were the secret recipe for victory for Israel. Our nation may not be at war, but we most certainly are living in the midst of a spiritual battle to be fought (Ephesians 6). As a female worship leader, you have an opportunity to be a Deborah to your church. RISE UP Woman of Worship! Rise as a mother to your congregants & speak courage that conquers fear. Rise as a warrior who seeks God’s strategies & leads people to fight for true freedom. You can do it because you were meant to be a worshipping warrior. You can do it because you know who won the victory, & you know that it’s your job is to lead people straight to him.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus (John 16:33)
Jessica Crawford is a singer, songwriter, worship leader, & the founder of the Love Out Loud Movement. Residing in Nashville, Tennessee, her latest release is Wildfire, produced by Daniel Ornellas of Tree63.