Mission 1:8 Generation Now Devotional | 2018 - Day 20

Barak: Weakness Turned to Strength

By Gavin Swanson

“Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”

Hebrews 11:33-34

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and underqualified when you were asked to do a certain task? Do you ever see God calling you to do something, and you think he picked the wrong guy?

In Judges 4 we see the story of Barak. If we take the time to read this story you may wonder: how did this man make it into the Hebrews Hall of Faith? Barak was a warrior who was afraid to go into battle unless accompanied by Deborah. So, what’s the deal here?

When we read Hebrews 11:33-34 and we see the name Barak, we see the reason he was listed in the middle of verse 34: “whose weakness was turned to strength.”

Barak’s life is a beautiful illustration of a person God used to lead despite glaring flaws. Leadership is all about God using us despite our weaknesses and strength, despite our failures and successes.

Leonard Sweet summarizes this very well: “On the cross, leadership dies. On the cross, success dies. On the cross, skills die, and excellence dies. All of my strengths—nailed to the cross. All of my weaknesses—nailed to the cross. All of my yearnings for bigger and better, for anything other than Christ himself—nailed to that same cross.”

Despite our past mistakes, preconceived ideas, or supposed strengths, our legacy isn’t about what we have done, but about what God has done through us. We as believers have been tasked to be an open vessel for the glory of the Lord, humbling ourselves before Him for His name’s sake.

It wasn’t Barak who conquered kingdoms. It was God who conquered kingdoms using an imperfect man willing to submit himself to God. We are called to do the same, to open our hearts to the calling that God has for us.

God doesn’t call the qualified. God qualifies the called.

Questions for Thought

  1. Do you trust God to use you regardless of your strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Are you more worried about what you’re doing to leave a legacy or preparing yourself for how God will use you?
  3. What fears are holding you back from submitting yourself to God’s calling for your life?

Child Connection Questions

Discuss with your children the various gifts and talents you observe in their life. Allow your child to share his/her strengths and giftedness. Plan a family showcase highlighting each individual’s talents and giftedness affirming them in their gifts.


Spend some time in prayer and meditation. Talk to God about your fears and what is keeping you from fulfilling the things He has called you to do.

Author Bio

Gavin Swanson

Associate Minister to Students

Gavin loves hanging out and teaching students the gospel. He is passionate about reaching students so that they may have opportunities to grow in community and deeper in their faith. Originally from Nebraska, Gavin loves throwing around frisbee and snowboarding in his free time.