Leadership is full of tough choices, but it often begins with a simple decision.
In Judges 4, when Deborah urged Barak on behalf of God to go and conquer Sisera’s army, timid Barak would only go if Deborah accompanied him. Even then, Deborah had to exhort him: “Get up, because this is the day Yahweh has given Sisera into your hand! Did not the Lord already go out before you?” (Judg 4:14). The message is clear: “get up, because God is on the move!”
God frequently admonishes his people throughout the Scriptures to “get up” using this Hebrew command, qûm (koom). He uses it to motivate Abram (Gen 13:17), Jacob (Gen 31:13, 35:1), Moses (Deut 2:13, 24), Joshua (Josh 1:2, 7:13, 8:1), Samuel (1 Sam 16:12), Elijah (1 Ki 19:5, 7), Jeremiah (Jer 13:4, 18:2), Ezekiel (Ez 3:22), and even Jonah (Jon 1:2, 3:2). God often uses the word when someone knows what he or she should do but needs some encouragement to actually do it. Yet when God says qûm, he has already laid the groundwork necessary for the task ahead. He just waits for his people to say yes.
Isaiah speaks to the battered people of God with these words: “Get up!” (51:17), “Shake yourself from the dust and get up!” (52:2), “get up, shine, for your light has come and the glory of Yahweh has shone on you” (60:1). Despite their history, God’s mission is bigger than their shame, and he waits to use their lives for his glory.
Perhaps this can encourage us as well. Today, God asks us to be the light of the world, but this leadership starts with a simple decision: will we get up?