Three Women of Faith



I. AN OVERCOMING FAITH: Rahab — Joshua 2:1-21
1. She heard — Josh. 2:10; Rom. 10:17
2. She believed — Josh. 2:9
3. She asked and received — Josh. 2:12-14
4. She confessed what she received — Josh. 2:21; Mk. 11:24
5. She acted correctly — Josh. 2:4
6. She endured
7. She received the correct reward — Josh. 2:22
8. She affected others — Josh. 6:22-23; Acts 16:31; Ps. 2:8.

II. A PERFORMING FAITH: Mary — Mark 14:3-9

1. Performance springs from devotion — Lk. 12
2. Prepares to perform
3. Wise in sharing planned action
4. Involves sacrifice — Mk. 14:5
5. Above average performance disturbs most — Mk. 14:4
6. Receives criticism from man — Mk. 14:5; Mt. 5:11-12
7. Receives commendation from Jesus

III. AN INSPIRING FAITH: Deborah — Judges 4:1-26

1. Quality must be strong — Jdg. 4:4
2. Must recognize personal ministry
3. Sharing is imperative — Jdg. 4:6-7
4. Inspires others to fulfill God’s Will — Jdg. 4:8
5. Motives must be pure
6. Faith speaks at the right time — Jdg. 4:14
7. Enables to watch others win great victories — Heb. 11:32




Many years ago I faced 60 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, but glory to God, it is only the grace of God that kept me out of prison. God spoke to me and said, “I’ve delivered you; I have set you free.” I KNOW what the grace of God will do.

You may say, “I was never a prostitute, or I was never in a situation such as you were.” Then you have a lot to be thankful for.

As we study Rahab, we will see her overcoming faith. We will see how she overcame her background among the heathen people where she lived; and how she overcame all the difficulties and problems of her life, and ended up in Faith’s hall of fame.

The Bible declares that God is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t matter what your education is, what your religious background is, or whatever situation you might be facing in life; Jesus Christ can take you from wherever you are and bring you

1. She heard. The first step we must recognize is that she heard. Joshua 2:10 says, “FOR WE HAVE HEARD HOW THE LORD…” She goes on to say what the Lord had done. She says, “FOR WE HAVE HEARD HOW THE LORD DRIED UP THE WATER OF THE RED SEA FOR YOU, WHEN YE CAME OUT OF EGYPT; AND WHAT YE DID UNTO THE TWO KINGS OF THE AMORITES, THAT WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JORDAN, SIHON AND OG, WHOM YE UTTERLY DESTROYED.” She said, “We have heard of these things.” Romans 10:17 says, “FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.”

 It has always been a Biblical principle that faith comes by hearing. Rahab began to hear the reports of what God had done for His people, and something was quickened within her. She began to recognize that this was the Almighty God, because she said, “We have heard what all He has done.”

The same principle will work today. As you and I walk with the Lord, as we learn His Word, stand upon His promises, see Him do miracles in our lives and for those round about us, the news will scatter and people will hear what great things God has done for us. They will KNOW what God has done for us, and they will begin to come to investigate. They will learn that God heals, and that He will save your husband, your wife, your son, or your daughter. He will bless you spiritually, physically, mentally and financially.

You came to the Lord because you heard some of these

Many people today are not open to hear the things of God. They want to stay in the same box they are in. But, praise God, one of the first steps in an overcoming faith is to hear the truth, that God is God. You must hear that all the promises of God are yea and amen (II Corinthians 1:20). You must hear the Word that it is God’s will for you to be healthy, it is His will for your mind to be free from fear and frustration, and it is His will to guide you and direct your every step. It’s His will to lead you in your job, your work, your school, and with your family. It IS the will of God. It is only as you HEAR these things that they will be quickened to you.

As I began to hear some of the teachings concerning the walk of faith, it began to be quickened to my heart. After I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I began to understand the Word like I never had before. I began to see things that I never had seen before. I began to hear some tapes, read some books, and receive things. I began to hear that God still heals, that God would provide all my needs, and that He is no respecter of persons.

As I began to hear these things, they began to turn inside of me. Something inside of me was quickened, and I began to recognize the truth of the Word of God. This is what had happened to Rahab. She said, “We HEARD how the Lord had done these great and mighty things for you.”

I began to hear what God was doing for this man, and for that woman. I began to read books and see what God was doing, and I said, “God, You’re no respecter of persons. You love me as much as you love them.” As I began to hear these things, something began to happen. Isn’t that how it has been with your life? As you have heard more of the Word of God, it has been quickened on the inside of you. It has challenged you.

 The first step in overcoming is to hear. You must get the worldly ear wax out of your ears, and hear the Word of God and not the traditions of man and the ways of the world.

 2. She believed. Rahab said, “I KNOW THAT THE LORD HATH GIVEN YOU THE LAND” (Joshua 2:9). What made her say this? She had heard about the move of God, and something inside of her was quickened and she believed it. She said, “I KNOW THAT THE LORD HATH GIVEN YOU THE LAND.” How did she know that? Somehow down inside of her, she knew it.

 As you continue to walk with God and learn the things of God, you will begin to know that God’s Word is true. You will learn that He has given you perfect health, and will also honor His Word concerning any spiritual, mental or financial needs in your life. You will know that His Word says you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus Who strengthens you, and that He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.

 As you begin to know and believe these things, it will cause a stirring and a churning inside of you that all the powers of darkness cannot stop, and all the disappointments of life cannot put out. The Spirit of God will move inside of you, as you begin to believe the Word of God. It is only as you believe the Word of God that it is quickened to you. That is when it really begins to come to pass in your life.

 The second step for Rahab was to believe. Therefore, what we must do, as we read the pages of God’s Word, is believe them. As we listen to cassette tapes and read good books, we need to believe them, if the message lines up with the Word of God.

As you find a passage that blesses you, begin to confess it with your mouth. Say, “My heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord; I shall not be ashamed. I SHALL NOT be afraid of evil tidings, because my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” As you begin to confess Scriptures such as these, you will begin to KNOW that the Word of God is true and you will begin to BELIEVE.

As you confess Psalm 91, “the angels of the Lord encamp round about me, and NO evil shall befall me, because I abide under the shadow of the Almighty God, and God ALONE is my shelter, my fortress; God ALONE is my refuge, in God alone do I trust, God’s Word alone is my shield, and God’s Word ALONE is my buckler” you will know that God’s angels are there. You will know they encamp round about you. Believing comes as you hear the Word of God. The reason faith people believe so much more than many people is because they have heard so much more.


Notice how the men that were with Joshua talked. Did they talk like they were not going to conquer Jericho? Here they were inside the walls of Jericho, talking with a harlot, and they said to her, “When our God gives us the city we will take care of you.” Those men were talking faith.

Christian friends, you can be telling everybody what God’s Word says. You can say, “God is going to give it to me.” You can boldly proclaim it, and if it is based upon the Word of God, it certainly shall come to pass. Rahab asked and she received. She took the spies at their word. She believed that if she would help them escape they would see to it that she and her family were not destroyed when they took the city. She took the word of a couple of men, who were servants of God.

Today we have THE Word of God to follow. It says that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed. It says whatsoever we ask the Father in the name of Jesus, He will give it to us. If Rahab could take the word of these men, because they were servants of God, surely you and I can read the Word and say, “God, I believe Your Word is just as you say. I don’t care what I see, what I smell, what I taste, what I hear, or what I feel. God I believe Your Word. I believe that Your Word is true above everything else.”

Remember, we are in a better position and condition than this harlot was. She lived before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but now we have the Holy Spirit of God living on the inside of us. We have all the promises of the New Testament to help us overcome in EVERY circumstance and EVERY situation. You might ask, “How about my family?” “How about my sons and my daughters?” “How about my job?” “How about school?” “How about my finances?” In every circumstance and in every situation, God can move and answer. In EVERY circumstance and in EVERY situation, you and I can ask and receive.

4. She confessed what she received. The fourth step in the overcoming faith of Rahab is that she confessed what she received. In Joshua 2:21 it says, “AND SHE SAID, ACCORDING UNTO YOUR WORDS, SO BE IT.” Did she have any proof? Could she see anything with her eyes, smell anything with her nose, taste anything with her mouth, hear anything with her ears, or feel anything? Did she have any natural proof at all, that she would live if those men did what they said? No, she had no natural evidence at all.

This is the key to faith. With no natural evidence at all, she said, “ACCORDING UNTO YOUR WORDS, SO BE IT.” She said, “I believe the words you are speaking, and I know you will not lie to me. The God you are serving has so influenced YOUR life, that I don’t believe you will lie.”

If more people would really believe, when someone laid hands on them and said, “In the name of Jesus, be healed,” a lot more people would get healed. If you receive a righteous man, you receive his reward; if you receive a prophet, you receive his reward. What does that mean? If you receive God’s Word, you will receive your needs met.

As I speak in line with the Word of God, and you receive it, you can receive whatever is promised to you. When I teach you the Word of God, and share the Word of God with you; even by way of this book, then you can receive the blessing from it.

Rahab heard. She asked, received, and confessed what she received before she ever had it. Right? She said, “According unto YOUR WORD, so be it.” She said, “Now, I don’t see how you’re going to get in here; those walls are tall, and the army of Jericho is big; but according to your word, I believe God has given you this city — so be it.” She had a right confession. Likewise, you and I can take God’s Word and find any promise He has made to us, and we can say, “According to Your Word, SO BE IT.”

As you read the Word you find that this is what many men and women of God did. They faced circumstances that were impossible to the natural mind, but they said, “According to Your Word, Lord, so be it.” Rahab confessed and she received. Whenever YOU pray the prayer of faith (Mark 11:24, “WHAT THINGS SOEVER YE DESIRE, WHEN YE PRAY, BELIEVE THAT YE RECEIVE THEM, AND YE SHALL HAVE THEM”), then you can say, “According to Your Word, Father God; according to Mark 11:24, so be it.”

5. She acted correctly. Let’s look at the fifth step in this woman’s overcoming faith. She really believed that God was going to do it, therefore she began to act correctly. In Joshua 2:4 we find that she hid the men, then let them down by a cord through a window on the city wall. Faith must ALWAYS have a corresponding action. You can do all the believing you want to with your head, but you will not be able to act upon it.

This woman believed with more than just her head, because she was putting her life and the lives of her family on the line. She believed that these men who served God would honor their word, to such an extent that she hid them (risked her life), then let them out the window in order for them to escape. Before they left they told her, “All right, if you really believe us, then bind this line of scarlet thread in the window you let us down by.”

Most people would say, “Well, I must have some better evidence, than a piece of scarlet thread, that you’re going to do what you said. How do I know God is going to do what He said?” That’s where faith comes in. Rahab believed in the God of these men, and she believed that these men would not lie to her. Therefore, she acted correctly. She hid them, she helped them escape, and then she took and bound a line of scarlet thread in the window where she let them down.

Many times you may find yourself in a situation that looks worse than Jericho. The enemy has you boxed in, and you want a way out. Then God speaks and gives you instructions concerning how to get out. Remember this: God will always give directions that will seem peculiar and strange to the natural man. Why is this? He wants to see if you are really trusting Him.

He says He has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. To bind your window with scarlet thread as proof that you believe that you are going to escape when the Israelite army comes in, doesn’t make sense to the natural mind, does it? But, this is how God moves. Rahab did it, and received exactly what she believed for.

6. She endured. The sixth thing concerning this overcoming faith is that she endured. She remained faithful. Don’t you know that after she let the spies down and walked around in that city from day to day, the devil said, “Rahab, you are stupid. You let two men come in here and con you, and tell you that their God is going to capture this city and save you. Rahab, you know that many a mighty army has come against this city. They’ve made great sieges, but they haven’t been able to take this city. And, Rahab, do you know that bunch of people out there are not even an army? Do you realize that they don’t have the mighty weapons or the mighty generals? Rahab, how do you really know it’s true that those Red Sea waters parted? Maybe someone just exaggerated a little bit.” Can’t you imagine how the devil began to work on her mind?

Many times when you have prayed the prayer of faith, have asked your Father God for something, and have received it by faith; the enemy comes to you and says, “O foolish one! This is ridiculous for you to believe that God will REALLY change your husband, will really give you that financial blessing, or that He can really touch the mind of that son or daughter who is on narcotics and set them free. O foolish person! Do you really believe that God can do that?”

Sometimes when those walls of Jericho (your problem) surround you and you are inside, they look high. They are high when you’re on the outside, but I believe they’re higher on the inside. Rahab, this woman who chose to believe the living God, was on the inside.

This is where you are going to find yourself most of the time — on the inside of the problem. Everywhere you look it will say, “No, no, impossible, impossible; can’t be done, can’t be done.” Remember God is in there with you, you are not in there by yourself; you have the promises of God that are eternal. And God says, “I am not a man that I should lie; I am the Lord thy God, I change not.”

Right now, as you read this book, you may be surrounded by the high walls of a situation or circumstance that seems impossible. It may be a family problem, a financial problem, a physical problem, a mental problem, or fear. Dear saints of God, I want you to know that Jesus Christ is with you. Those walls of confusion, frustration, sickness, disappointment, hurt, poverty, or whatever they might be may have you in bondage; but I want you to know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will destroy those walls for you and loose you and set you free from your captivity.

This woman, Rahab, was in REAL captivity. Can you imagine? Here’s a prostitute in a huge city, believing God; with a scarlet thread in her window and the word of a couple of men who said, “God is going to give us this city, and when He does we will let you live!” Don’t you know that as she walked around, the devil said, “You are stupid.”

I’ve walked around many times inside my walls of Jericho and the devil has said, “Willis, you’ve gone too far now. Use your head; why don’t you settle down and be more reasonable and logical about these things?” But I just rear back and say, “My God is quite capable, and quite able, to destroy all these walls of Jericho by which I am being held captive!”

Rahab remained faithful. She held on during the days she was waiting. Now don’t you know that while the Israelites walked about that city on the first day and nothing happened, all the people inside the city were talking — “What are those stupid Israelites doing out there? Did you hear what they did today? They walked around the walls of Jericho. They were so afraid and so fearful as they looked at those walls, that all they did was just walk and stand and look in awe at our mighty fortress.”

The second day, when the Israelites walked around the city again and nothing happened, do you think the devil was on Rahab’s back? Has he ever been on your back? Day after day, while you’re inside there saying, “I believe God, I believe God”? While you’re in there, as Rahab was, those walls will not come tumbling down; if the devil can stop you from believing the Word of God.

Therefore, when you are inside those walls of Jericho — in that problem (be it spiritual, physical, mental or financial) — and you look to the north, south, east and west, and all you see is walls with “impossible” written in them; you must then hold on and say, “I believe God, I believe God. I believe what His Word says; I believe it’s true. I don’t know how I’m going to come out, but I’m coming out because I believe God.”

Rahab endured, and she remained faithful. You will have to do the same. Those walls will look so high, that situation will look so impossible, that person will look so far away from God, that the enemy will make you believe the answer will never come. Endure and remain faithful and God will answer.

7. She received the correct reward. In the sixth chapter of Joshua we read that the Israelites walked around the walls one time a day for six days, seven times on the seventh day, hollered and shouted on the seventh day, and the walls fell down flat. The twenty-second verse says, “BUT JOSHUA HAD SAID UNTO THE TWO MEN THAT HAD SPIED OUT THE COUNTRY, GO INTO THE HARLOT’S HOUSE, AND BRING OUT THENCE THE WOMAN, AND ALL THAT SHE HATH, AS YE SWARE UNTO HER.” She received the correct reward.

Likewise, anytime you hear the Word of God and believe it, pray the prayer of faith and act accordingly, and hold fast and endure; then you too shall receive the correct reward. What is the correct reward? Exactly what you prayed in faith and asked God for.

Rahab received the correct reward. If you are within the walls of Jericho and you ask Him for a healing in your body, then the correct reward is the healing of your body. If you’ve asked for your husband to be saved, then the correct reward is the salvation of your husband. If you’ve asked for your wife to be saved, that is the correct reward. If you’ve asked for a financial miracle, that is the correct reward. If you’ve asked for your mind or someone else’s mind to be free, then the correct reward for your hearing, believing, receiving, acting and holding, is that God will move for you and liberate you and liberate that person for whom you have prayed.

8. She affected others. The eighth, and last, step in the overcoming faith of this woman, Rahab, is that she affected others. What does it say in Joshua 6:22 and 23? “BUT JOSHUA HAD SAID UNTO THE TWO MEN THAT HAD SPIED OUT THE COUNTRY, GO INTO THE HARLOT’S HOUSE, AND BRING OUT THENCE THE WOMAN, AND ALL THAT SHE HATH, AS YE SWARE UNTO HER. AND THE YOUNG MEN THAT WERE SPIES WENT IN, AND BROUGHT OUT RAHAB, AND HER FATHER…” She affected her daddy.

In the midst of a city, a harlot stood believing God, and Dad changed. Because she stood upon God’s Word and believed God, her father was affected. Can’t you picture her family? Mama and papa had been raised in Jericho, raised in bondage and captivity, and said, “Now, we’ve been Baptists all our lives, and God doesn’t heal any more — those days are gone!”

“Well, if you don’t get communion at our church, you’re just not going to make it!”

Can’t you picture her father and mother. However, Rahab’s faith stuck so deep inside of her that it influenced her father and mother. They began to believe their daughter more than everything and everybody else in Jericho. When you believe God for your family, your life will touch them and they will believe your God more than they will all their gods.

Notice it says: “AND HER MOTHER, AND HER BRETHREN, AND ALL THAT SHE HAD; AND THEY BROUGHT OUT ALL HER KINDRED…” God has promised you your household; and right here in the Old Testament we have a picture of a woman who was a harlot, who believed in God and stood for mama and papa and brothers and all that she had, and glory to God, she received that reward.

Today we stand in that very position — Jesus Christ has come and paid the price and set us free, and mama and papa and sons and daughters and all of your family CAN be delivered from the Jericho they are in! Mama and papa will come out. Your sons and daughters will come out. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Susie will come out. Your neighbors, and anyone else you are believing God for will come to Jesus as you stand upon the Word of God. God has promised you your household (Acts 16:31); and the heathen for your inheritance (Psalm 2:8).

The Faith “hall of fame” of Hebrews, chapter 11, is an example for us to follow. Every one of the men and women in Hebrews 11 affected other people’s lives. As you stand upon God’s Word, and stay faithful to God, you too will affect the lives of others. God used Rahab to influence the lives of all of her family. Every person casts a shadow. The desire of my heart is to see my shadow touch many people’s lives and influence them for Jesus.

As Rahab affected others, you and I can affect others today. God is no respecter of persons, and surely our circumstances are no more difficult, or harder to believe for deliverance, than hers. Surely your circumstance, your situation is no more unbelievable, no more seemingly impossible, no more ridiculous or absurd than it was with Rahab, who possessed an overcoming faith.

I want to encourage you to stand fast for what you are believing God for. I don’t care what comes your way, I don’t care what it looks like; I want to encourage you to stand fast. Study the men and women of God in the Word. Many times God has brought me through situations by reminding me of Moses, or Joshua, or Gideon, or Daniel, or the Hebrew children, or Elisha, or Elijah, or Noah, or Enoch. He brought back to my remembrance some other man or some woman of God and how they were victorious.

Many times the Holy Spirit brought back to my remembrance Mary, the mother of Jesus. One of the greatest faith testimonies in the whole Bible was when a woman said, “BE IT UNTO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD.” Many times these things have come back to my remembrance to help me to break out of the walls of Jericho. As you learn the Word of God and study the lives of these men and women, you too will be able to come out victoriously.

“Father, thank You for the beautiful examples that the Bible gives us. I thank You, Father, as we study these examples we too can be encouraged. We too can receive confidence and assurance that what You did for them, You have not stopped doing. You looked then for men and women who would believe You in order for You to give them a miracle.

“Father God, in the name of Jesus, I know that You are looking today for men and women who will believe You, in order to give them a miracle, too. It won’t be just so they can say, ‘I received a miracle’; but in order for them to touch and influence other lives, that they might be changed and come to know Jesus of Nazareth as we know Him.

“It will be so that other people might be able to live free from fear and torment, and know this love of God, and this peace that surpasseth understanding. It will be so that they might be free from fear concerning the future, for they will know that Jesus holds all tomorrows in His hands.

“Father, in Jesus’ name, I ask You now to encourage Your saints. Father God, touch them. Bring to their remembrance, Lord, to read and study Your Word, that You might bring life to them, and that they too might know the victory that Jesus has for them. Amen.”








1. Performance springs from devotion. The first thing we recognize is that performance springs from devotion, recognition of Who Jesus is, and His work. In Luke, chapter 12, we observed Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. Mary was SITTING and Martha was SERVING, and we discovered that both serving and sitting are important. I have found that performance springs from devotion.

When a man or woman is really performing for Jesus, is loyal to Him and serving Him, it’s because of devotion. This devotion doesn’t come automatically. The woman who anointed Jesus had some previous contacts with Him, or heard something that made her come prepared that day with precious ointment to anoint Him. You and I need to recognize that our devotion will cause a greater performance in our lives.

In a faith that performs, you must always realize your performance springs from your devotion. If there is little devotion to Jesus, or not a good clear recognition that He saved you, healed you, provided many things for you; then you will not have much performance of God’s Word. If you are going to have a performing faith, you must recognize it comes from devotion.

2. Prepares to perform. A performing faith prepares to perform. This woman came prepared to anoint Jesus. It was not a spur-of-the moment act. She “came aforehand.” I want to encourage you to prepare yourself whenever you come to hear the Word taught. You prepare to go out into the world, don’t you? You get up in the morning and put clothes on, wash your face, and brush your hair. Every time the Word is being taught, you should prepare yourself to hear it. Plow the soil before you get there.

I’m sure that even as you read this book, there is something in your life about which you are seeking God. If you are prepared to receive, the Holy Spirit will meet your need. If you make it a habit to prepare yourself before time to hear the Word, you will be amazed at how God will honor your preparation.

The minister who is speaking (God has put in the body apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists, for the edifying of the saints) will speak forth particular nuggets of truth or change his sermon to meet your need. If you haven’t come prepared to perform, and receive something, then your faith is inoperative, and there is nothing God can really do to bless you that day.

3. Wise in sharing planned action. A performing faith is wise in sharing it’s planned action. The woman who anointed Jesus had in her mind what she was going to do, because it says she came aforehand. However, there is no record that anyone else knew of her intention. A performing faith knows it must be wise in sharing planned action.

Others will attempt to talk you out of it, they will doubt that it’s God; and you can give Satan information to plan his attacks against you. Now suppose Mary, with this bottle of ointment that was worth nearly three hundred pence, had gotten four or five people together before she went, and said, “I’m going to anoint Jesus with this ointment today.”

They would probably have said, “No, you better give that money to the poor.” Learn to be wise in sharing what you are going to do.

God can give me a revelation to do something, and I can know it in my heart. I can share it with you, but unless the Holy Spirit has touched your heart, it won’t really mean anything to you. You have probably had the same experience. God shared something with you, and set you on fire. You shared it with somebody else, and they were nice and appreciative, but you could tell it didn’t do for them what it did for you. Why? They didn’t have the revelation of it. It didn’t prick their hearts like it did yours.

Perhaps you received a nugget from God’s Word that you wanted to share with someone, but when you shared, it didn’t do for them what it did for you. Why? Because they didn’t need that particular thing at that moment. Covet those little nuggets God gives you. Hold onto them, feed on them and don’t let the devil steal them from you.

Now, if this woman had gone and told what she was going to do before she got ready to do it, people would have tried to talk her out of it. Listen, saints, I’ve seen many times in the past when I had a hard time doing something because I told what I was going to do a long time before I did it. That gave the devil a lot of fighting time, and gave me a lot of time to doubt.

Haven’t there been times in your life when you were fired up to do something, and before you did it you told somebody else about it? Then, didn’t you have to fight in order to do it? That is an indication that you weren’t wise in sharing. What you should have done was keep it to yourself until after you did it.

4. Involves sacrifice. The fourth thing about a performing faith is that it involves sacrifice. There is no way you can serve the Lord Jesus without sacrificing. Mark 14:5 says, “FOR IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOLD FOR MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED PENCE.” In that day a tenth of that would be a good day’s wages.

This woman made a sacrifice of giving up something. Jesus loves voluntary sacrifice. She wasn’t asked, it wasn’t required of her; she just wanted to do this for Jesus. She wanted to make a sacrifice. We don’t have any Biblical information to support the fact she might have been wealthy. She probably wasn’t, because there weren’t many wealthy people associated with Jesus.

Her sacrifice, and the value of it, pinpointed her evaluation of Jesus and His Word. Your sacrifice, in preparing to perform, in preparing yourself to come to receive the Word, will pinpoint your evaluation of what you believe Jesus can give you. Your sacrifice in laying aside some of the things that you would like to do, in order to meditate in the Word, listen to tapes, or study the Scripture, will pinpoint your evaluation of Jesus.

“DELIGHT THYSELF ALSO IN THE LORD; AND HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART,” says Psalm 37:4. The word delight means to have pleasure in His Word. You know that anything you have pleasure in doing, you enjoy and will try to do it all you can. If you delight yourself in the Word (you have pleasure in the Word), then you can easily spend time in the Word. It is a sacrifice to spend a lot of time studying the Word and meditating the Word. Voluntarily make that sacrifice, and God will bless you. As you do it, it gets to the place where it is a delight, and is pleasurable to feed upon the Word.

This woman made a great sacrifice, and for you to begin to take time to meditate on the Word, and make up your mind to serve Jesus, you must make sacrifices.

The sacrifice that Mary made could have been needed by her to break a yoke. I’m going to use my brother-in-law as an example. A special offering was being received, but he had nothing to give. He said, “Lord, I don’t have anything in particular to give.”

Do you know what God showed him? All at once he remembered his shotgun, which had been given to him by his father. It was an old antique shotgun, and was worth a lot of money. He saw that shotgun, and knew that for some reason, he needed to get rid of it. He felt that God had showed him that the gun had some kind of hold on him, and meant something to him that it ought not to mean.

I don’t know why Mary did what she did. It may have been a real sacrifice for her, but even if she was wealthy, she still did a good thing. Either way it was a sacrifice because she knew she was going to have trouble about pouring that much oil on somebody’s head.


You must realize — serving Jesus always involves sacrifice.


5. Above average performance disturbs most. We need to realize that above average performance disturbs most people. For you, or me, or anyone else to be going on with the Lord will disturb most people. When you began to walk by faith, did it disturb the people around you? Did they think you were a fanatic? If you go to church more than once a week or have begun reading your Bible daily, that disturbs them too.

Mark 14:4 says, “AND THERE WERE SOME THAT HAD INDIGNATION WITHIN THEMSELVES.” In other words, they were grieved and displeased. Normally it is more inwardly. For example, you have changed your performance for Jesus. When you received Jesus as Savior, and were filled with the Holy Ghost, your performance went up, and it grieved and disturbed those whom you associated with. They thought you were REALLY “fanatic.” Right?

In order for you to have a performing faith, you must realize that above average performance is always going to disturb someone. Why? People know they ought to be doing more; therefore, they will put pressure on you to get back down to their level. What should your reaction be? Perform more, and do not back up. Keep on witnessing and sharing what God is doing in your life.

I’m sure that nearly all who read this book could say that since they sold out to Jesus they disturbed people — mama, daddy, husband, son, daughter, brothers, sisters, neighbors. The farther you go with Jesus, the more disturbing you are to people. The healing message disturbs? Casting out demons disturbs? Raising your hands in praise disturbs? The enemy works in different ways and different situations to cause you to back up. Just don’t do it.

6. Receives criticism from man. Another thing about a performing faith is that it receives criticism from man. If the desire in you is to learn the Word of God and to be faithful, the enemy is going to cause you trouble. You may fall, make mistakes, or goof up; but repent, come back, and go on with Jesus. Going deeper with Jesus will cause you trouble, because the enemy will have people around to criticize you.

Mark 14:5 says, “AND THEY MURMURED AGAINST HER.” This word “murmured” means “like a snorting horse.” In the Greek that is what murmured refers to — like a snorting horse. They were like snorting horses. She came, she anointed Jesus, and here they were — snorting. “THEY MURMURED AGAINST HER.”

If there is any one Scripture in the Bible every Christian should know, it is Matthew 5:11-12, “BLESSED ARE YE WHEN MEN SHALL REVILE YOU, AND PERSECUTE YOU, AND SHALL SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY, FOR MY SAKE. REJOICE, AND BE EXCEEDING GLAD: FOR GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN: FOR SO PERSECUTED THEY THE PROPHETS WHICH WERE BEFORE YOU.” This is contrary to the world, isn’t it? When people start reviling and persecuting you, what does Jesus say to do? Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Realize, Christian, you are going to receive criticism. Man will always make an attempt to justify it. The way they attempted to justify their criticism of her was to say the ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Criticism is always given “justifiably.” Every one who criticizes you, attempting to pull you back from going on with Jesus, is going to justify why he is doing it. If he says you’re a fanatic, or you’re crazy, or you’re going too far, he’s going to justify why he says it. He’ll say, “Well, I don’t think all that’s necessary. My mother went to church only once a week for years, and she was just as good as anybody.”

The first place to begin to overcome criticism is at home. When you can get victory over your husband, or over your wife, then nothing can stop you. Until you get victory there, the devil has an open door. He will use wives against husbands, and husbands against wives.

7. Receives commendation from Jesus. Last of all, a performing faith receives commendation from Jesus. The woman prepared, acted, made a sacrifice. It was above average, therefore it caused criticism. But look at what Jesus said: “WHERESOEVER THIS GOSPEL SHALL BE PREACHED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD, THIS ALSO THAT SHE HATH DONE SHALL BE SPOKEN OF FOR A MEMORIAL OF HER.”

You may receive a lot of criticism for performing for Jesus; but I want to tell you, with criticism you have another “C” coming — COMMENDATION from Jesus. Remember this, saints: the opposite side of criticism from man is commendation from Jesus. When man is criticizing you, Jesus is saying, “That’s My daughter; that’s My son. Stand for Me.”

Remember, you are going to be ridiculed any time you move for the Lord. You will be criticized, but you will also receive commendation from the Master. He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Keep your eyes off of the criticism and onto the commendation, because if you get your eye on the criticism, it will cause you to back up.

Confess this: “In Jesus’ name, my performance is increasing. I am receiving commendation from Jesus, and I recognize who criticism comes from. Lord, I thank You for the commendation. Thank You, Lord, You promised me my family, saved and going with You; You promised to bless us. Lord, I stand upon Your Word, and I thank You for strength to be faithful; because it’s not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit. Lord, You know that in myself I can’t do it. But, Jesus, I claim victory every day, all the way, in every thing; and I’m going to keep my eyes off the criticism and onto the commendation. Amen.”

III. AN INSPIRING FAITH. Judges 4:1-26. Now we will consider an inspiring faith. Before faith can infect others, it must be real and vital to you. Faith and fear work the same way. For example: if there are three or four people together and something happens, but no one lets fear take over; then it will not infect anyone. But, if one person lets fear take over; then it can infect someone else. When fear becomes real to you, then you will be able to pass it on. When faith becomes real to you, THEN you will be able to pass it on. Therefore, faith must be real and vital and operative in your life in order for it to influence others.

You may say, “Brother Willis, I’m not walking in the fullness of my faith.”

Walk in it where you are. A little infection is better than none.

The time frame that Judges 4:1-26 was written in was a time of spiritual decay, when faithfulness needed to be inspired. The people were in bondage. Verse 1 records, “AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AGAIN DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD.” They had drawn away from God, and ended up in captivity. For twenty years they had been in captivity by the enemy. Therefore, they needed someone to be faithful, to stand and inspire them to go on with the Lord God.

Deborah was a prophetess who was judging the people of Israel while they were under the bondage and reign of another nation. She was strong in faith, and was mightily used of the Lord to lead her people into victory.

Today people need to be infected with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because there is not much faith in the earth. When Jesus comes back, will He find faith? We know most people today are placing more confidence in the natural than they are in the spiritual. We know the natural laws are real, and that they work; but we can get to the place where we are putting more confidence in the natural that we are in the spiritual.

That is exactly what the devil wants us to do. He wants Christians to continually rely on the natural, rather than the spiritual. The natural works but, praise God, the supernatural is for God’s children. God’s desire is that we put our confidence in Him, in every area of our lives.

1. Quality must be strong. First of all, for faith to be infectious, or contagious, it must be strong. The stronger fear is in someone, the more infectious it is. Judges 4:4 says that Deborah was a prophetess who judged Israel at that time. In order for her to be the judge of Israel, she had to be strong in faith. She was strong enough, and moving with God mightily enough, that even under the bondage of the captivity she was still able to be of great help and value to her people.

Today many people are in captivity. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, your neighbors, and many of your friends are in captivity. They are under the bondage of Satan. Praise God, you have the opportunity to grow and mature in Jesus Christ and have a quality of faith that is strong, in order to lead them out of their captivity. God is calling you to have a faith that will enable you to break the strongholds the devil has upon people you know, and draw them unto Jesus.

Judges 4:3, “AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL CRIED UNTO THE LORD: FOR HE (the enemy) HAD NINE HUNDRED CHARIOTS OF IRON; AND TWENTY YEARS HE MIGHTILY OPPRESSED THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.” The devil is not using chariots today, but he has some mighty strong things with which he is oppressing people. He’s binding your loved ones and keeping them from coming to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have some loved ones whom he has bound and chained, and I’m holding fast with my faith for the yoke to be broken.

Realize that the quality of your faith is strong. How can the quality of your faith be strong? Romans 12:3 says, “GOD HATH DEALT TO EVERY MAN (every Christian, every individual) THE MEASURE OF FAITH.” The quality of faith God has given you is strong. Believe it is strong, and learn how to use it. Develop it by feeding upon the Word of God, and learning the conditions that need to be met.

Let me say it again — one of the first qualifications of an inspiring faith is strength. The quality of your faith IS strong, because God has given you the measure of faith. Mark 11:22 says, “HAVE FAITH IN GOD,” have the God-kind of faith. When you are born of God, and you receive God’s measure of faith, it’s the GOD kind of faith. It’s not man’s kind of faith, the natural kind of faith. Therefore, the quality of your faith is strong. It has potential in it that is beyond what any of us has ever comprehended.

We have the faith of God, the identical faith of God. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in every Christian. That means we have the same potential in the Spirit. The same potential of the Spirit that moved in Jesus is indwelling you and me. Jesus was a totally surrendered vessel, and you and I are becoming more and more surrendered.

As we become more and more yielded and submitted to the Holy Spirit, He can do a greater work in our lives. This is why Jesus said in John 14:12, “VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO.” Jesus didn’t do them in the flesh, and we can’t do them in the flesh.

By that I mean that Jesus did not do things in His own strength. He was totally yielded to the Holy Spirit of God. The more you and I are yielded to the Holy Spirit of God, the more He can control us. “Be ye not drunk with wine, but be ye filled with (in other words, be controlled by) the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 5:18). And as we are controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, the quality of faith that dwells within us is going to mushroom and grow.

2. Must recognize personal ministry. Another qualification of an inspiring faith is to recognize our personal ministry. Deborah had the faith that she was truly called of God. Likewise, you must recognize your personal ministry. Israel was in captivity and they needed a leader. They needed someone who could lead them out. Deborah knew her place, and she knew who could do it. She had the faith as a prophetess of God. She had the mind of God, but she knew she didn’t have the feet to do it. In the midst of all this she used what she had.

Ladies, recognize your ministry. Deborah didn’t try to make herself the leader of the army; she didn’t say, “Well, God has shown me.” She was smart enough to know what her ministry was. She knew her place, and she knew her position. She knew that God had made her a prophetess and given her something to do, but she also knew that she had no business getting out of her position and doing something that God had called someone else to do.

Ladies, you need to recognize this, because if you don’t it will get you into trouble. It will get you into trouble in your relationship with your husband, your sons, your daughters, your daughter-in-law, or your son-in-law. Not knowing your place, you can try to run your son’s business, or your daughter-in-law’s business. This is why there is so much mother-in-law trouble today, because mothers don’t know their places. They haven’t cut the cord. They’re still trying to control their son or daughter.

I am going to share a revelation God gave me a long time ago. Right after my son Randy was married, I said to his wife, Brenda, “There is never any room or any reason for jealousy over Randy between you and my wife. You can’t be a mother to him; on the other hand, his mother can’t birth his children. His mother can’t reach out and put her arms around him and kiss and love him like you can. My wife can throw her arms around him and love him, but she can’t love him like you can love him. My wife can’t GIVE him the love you can give him. But at the same time, you can’t give him the love she can give him. You can’t take her place; it’s impossible. If you try to take her place, or think she is trying to take your place, then you’re going to have jealousy and you’re going to be at war.”

I said, “Brenda, you can’t take my wife’s place, but I want you to know there is no way my wife can take your place with Randy.”

Stay in your role, stay in your place and stay in your position. Don’t be jealous of another’s position, role, or relationship with someone. Men need to recognize this too, but usually there is more problems among women in this area. Teach this principle to your children.

Deborah recognized her personal ministry. She was a prophetess, she was the judge. She was in charge, but she said, “I don’t have the feet to do this job.” Since this book is primarily a teaching on “Women of Faith,” I emphasize the ladies’ role more.

Ladies, find your position and your role. Don’t get out of your place, because when you do you enter into perversion. You’re perverting your role, and it will always bring troubles. Learn your place, get your faith working, then God can use you mightily. The family without a woman isn’t a family at all. Can you picture a husband trying to be a family without a wife? It doesn’t work.

3. Sharing is imperative. You must realize sharing is imperative. In the fourth chapter, verses 6 and 7, we read that Deborah had faith to believe God wanted Israel’s enemies overthrown. She went to Barak and said, “HATH NOT THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL told you to do something?” You see, this is what had happened. She knew God was dealing with Barak, but Barak just didn’t have the faith. He had the feet, but he didn’t have the faith. She went to him in order to inspire him. She went to encourage and confirm to him, and say, “Barak, you are the man whom God wants to use.”

Ladies, many times there are men whom God wants to use, but they need some encouragement. They need to be inspired, and your sharing is imperative with them. You need to let them know. You can encourage your husband, “Honey, God wants to use you.” Sharing is imperative. Suppose Deborah had not gone to Barak with the encouragement he needed. Things would not have turned out as they did.

You must share your faith in Jesus Christ. When you see someone who is depressed or lonely, go share Jesus with them. It’s imperative that he be infected with the truth that Jesus will bring him out of his problem. Some brothers or sisters in the Lord may be having spiritual, physical, mental, or financial problems. It is imperative that you share with them. Let them know, “Jesus will help you.” If you see someone with family trouble, go to him and say, “Hey, let me encourage you to hold in there.” Share what God has done for you. Surely somewhere along the road someone encouraged you.

Sharing is imperative. Deborah shared with Barak. So you need to tell people, “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He can take care of you.”

4. Inspires others to fulfill God’s Will. You must realize that an inspiring faith inspires others to fulfill God’s will. Judges 4:8 says, “IF THOU WILT GO WITH ME, THEN I WILL GO.” Deborah went to Barak and said, “Barak, hasn’t God told you to do this?”

He said, “Yes, but that army out there is too big for me; but if you will go with me, I’ll go.”

There are times that you will see brothers or sisters in trouble. They may know that God wants them to have victory, but they need some encouragement. Your sharing can inspire them, and you can stand with them, and say, “Let me agree with you concerning this problem.” Your encouragement may be just what they need.

Barak was a man of God, and knew God could do anything. As you read this book you may know God CAN do anything, but sometimes you need someone to come along and share with you in order to inspire you to hold fast to the truth that God WILL do what He says He will do. Hold fast to your confession of faith! Numbers 23:19 says, “GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE.” All the promises of God are yea and amen (II Corinthians 1:20).

How do you inspire others? With the Word of God. How did Deborah inspire Barak? With the Word. She asked, “hath not the Lord God of Israel spoken unto thee?” She didn’t go to him and say, “Let me tell you what I can do.” She knew that by herself she couldn’t inspire him. But she could inspire him as she spoke God’s Word.

Speak the Word to those around you in need. Remind them that, “Romans 8:37 says you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus.” Deborah inspired Barak by asking the question, “Hath not God said?” Hath not God said He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world? Hath not God said that the love of God is shed abroad in your heart? Hath not God said that the joy of the Lord is your strength? Hath not God said you can do all things through Jesus Christ? Hath not God said that everything you put your hand to will prosper? Hath not God said by the stripes of Jesus you are healed?”

When the devil is racking your body with pain, the Scriptures give you something to hold on to. When you’re having financial needs, “Hath not God said, ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over’?” The Word of God will inspire you every time.

Deborah went to Barak and spoke the Word of God to him, and it inspired him to fulfill God’s will. When he heard the Word of God, he said, “If thou go with me.” Sometimes people need someone to “hold on to God” with them.

The Word will keep inspiring you, and you will keep climbing. The devil may try to push you down, but the Word will light your fire and you’ll climb back up. “Brother Willis, it seems like I spend a lot of my life going down and climbing back up.” That might be true, but remember that every time you go down and then climb back up, you are developing your faith muscles. You’re still holding on, and your grip is getting stronger. Next thing you know you will come to the place you can hold strong, and not back down.


Inspire others to fulfill God’s will by encouraging them.


5. Motives must be pure. An inspiring faith’s motives must be pure. Barak said, “I’ll go, if you go with me.” Deborah said, “I WILL SURELY GO…BUT THE JOURNEY…SHALL NOT BE FOR THINE HONOR.” I wonder why she said that. I wonder if she may have discerned something about Barak.

She was a prophetess of God, so I’m sure that many of the gifts were working in her. She had the faith; Barak had the feet. Barak was a man of God who loved God and wanted to serve Him. We know this because as Deborah challenged him with the Word he said, “I’ll go if you will go with me.” What he was saying was, “I know God can do it, but your faith will encourage me to go on to victory.”

She said, “I’ll go with you, but it’s not for YOUR honor.” She wanted him to get this thing straight; when they get the victory GOD would get the glory.

I’m going to use an example concerning a woman who was praying for God to save her husband. She said, “God, if my husband would be saved he could be at home, and be blessing the food, and go to services with us, and read the Bible to the children. And oh, God, it would just be so good to have him raising our children and teaching them the things of God.” So she prayed for him, and one day he got saved.

Oh, praise God, she was excited about it! God had blessed them. They had a home paid for, and cars, a summer home, and were very successful. Now he was saved; everything would be just perfect. They were prosperous in every way. Now with him saved and her saved and the children serving God, her dream was fulfilled. But he came in one day and said, “Honey, God has called me to be a missionary in Africa, and I’m going to sell all and go to Africa.”

Her reply was, “Oh, God, not that!”

You see, saints, you can desire these things of God, but you better make sure your motive is pure.

6. Faith speaks at the right time. An inspiring faith speaks at the right time. In Judges 4:14 Deborah spoke at the right time by saying, “THIS IS THE DAY.” Barak didn’t know really when to go, but Deborah had faith. Therefore she said, “Barak, THIS is the day.”

We can all speak the truth at the wrong time. We may argue by saying, “But what I said was true.” Yes, but it might have been the wrong time. Deborah had an inspiring faith and she spoke the truth at the right time, because she was in contact with God.

There are times when you need to tell your sons and daughters some things, or your husband or your wife. However, you need to seek God to set the situation in order for you to tell it at the right time. You can speak it and it will be the truth, but speaking it at the wrong time will cause repercussion. You can speak it at the right time, and sometimes still have repercussion. In fact, you probably will have some, but it will be less when you speak at the right time. I believe God will help each of us to know the right time to say what needs to be said.

7. Enables to watch others win great victories. An inspiring faith is able to watch others win great victories. Barak is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, and it doesn’t even mention Deborah. This is one of the keys to an inspiring faith. It is able to watch others win great victories. Let me say this to you, ladies. God will use you to inspire your men, but the men will end up getting the victories. If the names ever go into a book, it will probably be their names. Are you willing to have that kind of faith?

“You mean I’ll just be in the background?”

Well, there is a saying that behind every great man there is always a great woman. If you are in faith, it can be a great advantage to your husband in helping him to win spiritual victories.

God spoke to Deborah and it increased her faith. She went to Barak (who was not strong in faith) and challenged him, stirred him up, inspired him, and he went out and won a great victory. Everybody praised Barak!

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is the “faith hall of fame,” and it doesn’t even mention Deborah. It mentions the victory that Barak won; even though the only reason Barak won was because Deborah inspired him. She had the FAITH and he had the FEET. This is what we have to realize — an inspiring faith enables one to watch others win great victories.

Ladies, most of you will have a “Deborah position,” and that role is absolutely necessary and important. Most women are not ever going to preach and teach but, to a great degree, they are the backbone of the church. Women, because of the nature God built within them, often hear the things of God first. Then they believe God to bring their husbands in.

There are many more women serving the Lord than men, and the biggest part of the men who are serving came in after their wives. God uses women who are continually faithful to Jesus Christ to exercise faith for their mates.

Ladies, God has put something in you whereby you are different from men. God has made you, built you, and programmed you with a spiritual sensitivity — a concern and compassion. For example: men can’t take care of children like ladies do. That’s why ladies fulfill such a special ministry in the home. God made you that way; God put a tenderness in you that will cause you to hear from God.

If it was not for the women coming to the Lord Jesus Christ, some men never would get there. Ladies, be of good cheer; be of good courage — God has called you into a special ministry.

I believe your faith is going to be stronger than it ever has been before. I believe you are going to inspire your husband, or your wife, your sons, your daughters, your mother and dad, uncles and aunts, neighbors, your boss, and everyone else.

 Learn this: the first thing you are going to inspire them to do is try to put your light out, because the light dispels the darkness. But if you will stick in there, you will be able to inspire them to do the great things that God desires them to do.

I. AN OVERCOMING FAITH. Joshua 2:1-21. Only the grace of God can take a prostitute out of the land of Canaan and place her among the “faith” people of Hebrews, chapter eleven. This woman was a known prostitute, but God took her out of the prostitution business and changed her heart. She is listed in the hall of fame, with Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Daniel, the Hebrew children, all the great men and women of God. God never makes a mistake. This shows you the grace of God, and that it doesn’t matter where you start. God can take you regardless of where you are, and bring you into victory.into an overcoming, victorious life. The promises of God are for every believer. Let’s study the steps in Rahab’s overcoming faith.things. It became quickened inside of you. This is exactly what happened to Rahab, the harlot. She was open to hear the things of God.

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