Episode 9 - Failure doesn't need to be final

How many times are we faithless in our day-to-day walk with God? And then allow the weight of our faithlessness to bring us down?


Today we are starting a brand new series called Faith Full: Women of the Bible. It’s a biographical* study of four different women. 


This week we kick off our series talking about a woman in the Old Testament: Deborah. 


Judges preceded the Kings in Israel's history and Deborah was the only female judge mentioned in Scripture. 


Our story picks up when Deborah tells Barak what God told her: that Barak needs to take his men out to battle and God will deliver them over to him. Barak’s response? “If you will go with me, then I will go. But if you will not go, I'm not going.“


This answer gives us an idea of Barak’s confidence level.


But hello friends, if you go to Hebrews 11:33, who do you find in that big, long list of people that are considered faithful?




Oh my, how this hits home! How many times are we faithless in our day-to-day walk with God? We can drop the ball, we can become timid. We can become afraid of circumstances or the unknown.  There are so many things that can shake us in our faith. 


And for us, the biggest takeaway from the story of Deborah is: Our faithlessness does not have to be final. We see that over and over again in Hebrews 11, the people who are listed there were not perfect people. They did not start in perfect faith. 


Barak moved when Deborah said, “God told me this.” It’s as if Barak’s faith was sparked by Deborah’s confidence in God, and he went on a great act of obedience that landed him in the Hall of Faith. 




A huge lesson from this particular story is that every woman can choose to make herself available to God. He will work out His purposes through whoever He chooses, whether it's the wife of a friend of the enemy, whether it's the judge with her own Palm tree, whether it's the leader who was timid but eventually finally found the faith to step forward.


Yet look what happened when a single woman made herself available to God. 


If you happen to find yourself in a place of faithlessness or in a place where your faith is weak, remember: It doesn't have to be final! You can draw from someone else's faith as Barack did with Deborah. 


*(If you're not familiar with a biographical study, basically it’s a study on the life of a person in the Bible. This type of study not only gives us very practical takeaways, but it also tells us more about the nature of God. ) 


Listener question of the week:


In this week’s question: Jen shared with us “what is her favorite vacation spot?” and AJ talked about her favorite vacation memory.  New York, museums, the great outdoors, and mountain biking are involved in this spontaneous conversation. 


Thank you for sending in these questions. If you have a question for us, we’d love to answer it!  It can be super silly or a little bit deeper. It doesn't matter! Email us at hello@thesojoacademy.com.



Challenge of the week


For this week's challenge, we want you to read about Deborah's life and think about your own life.


If you are thinking to yourself, “I don't really know if I have faith to act and to be obedient”, here's the great news:  faith itself is a gift from God.  


You've been saved through faith. This is not your own doing, it is a gift of God.


So you can be confident in that gift and you can take that faith and go through very practical disciplines, prayer, reading the Bible, being in community with other believers to stand on that faith. 


We don't have to have super-sized, monumental, spiritual,  amounts of faith for it to work. A mustard seed size is all we need. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be a little bit of genuine faith in our trustworthy God.


  • Study on Women of the Bible in more depth with a 4-week Bible Study Bundle with a full Bible Study, a printable Bible journaling kit, Scripture reading and writing plan, and BONUS videos FIND IT HERE.



  • Don’t forget to download your free Scriptures Reading Plan below and use them in your reflections this month:



“Our obedience always needs to be prompted by faith. This is a life lesson that has totally revolutionized my life, because if you're obeying, just because it's expected of you, God's not pleased with that. He is pleased with faith, faith in His goodness, faith in His character, faith that He's going to do what He said He would do just as He told Deborah: “I'm going to deliver this army into your hand.” - Arabah Joy 


“God wants us to act in faith, not just out of obedience sake.” - Arabah Joy


“Every woman can choose to make herself available to God. God will work out his purposes through whom he chooses. He will work out his purposes through whoever he chooses, whether it's the wife of a friend of the enemy, whether it's the judge with her own Palm tree, whether it's the leader who was timid, but yet eventually finally found the faith to step forward.” - Jen Evangelista


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Also, If you have a question for us, it could be super silly, it can be a little bit deeper. It doesn’t matter, email us at hello@sojoacademy.com... you may just hear the answer on an upcoming podcast episode!