The word “banner” has been placed in front of me twice in one day. I have started over reading the bible chronologically and am reading Exodus. Last night I came to the story of the battle against Amalek.
So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; Exodus 17:9-15.
My study bible points out that Moses holding his hands up was a symbol of appeal to God for help and enablement. And the “banner”, recalling Moses’s petition with upraised hands.
Friends, some of you have hands that are getting heavy, growing weary, as you are holding your arms up, displaying God’s banner as you cry out to him for deliverance. Deliverances with trials of health, marriage issues, parenting concerns, depression, addiction, day to day weight of the world. Some of us have been doing so for years, some not as long. There will be seasons we grow tired, BUT God! Just as he delivered Aaron and Hur to Moses we can support each other as we walk side by side in this battle. He has given us a community, He has given us mentors, and most importantly He has given us His Word to guide us in truth! We can encourage and testify to the power of God in defense of His people, just as the Israelites did, led by Moses. We can help hold the hands up of those growing weary at the trial or phase of life they are in. For me, I can be tempted to grow weary in my spiritually unequal marriage. By God’s grace He is enabling my faith to grow stronger and my weariness to grow less.
I write often, so that I can remember ALL that God is doing DAILY! Just as Moses was commanded to “write this in a memorial and recite it to Joseph”, I want to write and memorialize God’s faithfulness. My flesh, my sin nature, can so easily forget. I can complain and grumble just as the Israelites did so often, right after God delivered in a big way. That is why I MUST write it all down.
If I keep my focus on God and not my circumstances I can see blessings upon blessings, I can see daily answered prayers and deliverances, I can see refining in myself and forgiveness by God on my road to sanctification. Those are all the things I want to memorialize.
A friend, a godly mentor, has a prison ministry. He sent me a message recounting his latest visit and that he was moved to the “red unit”, the worst of the worst where they send all the gang members from the other prisons in the state. He was anxious on his first visit in that unit and said “as I walked in the main area there, it was loud, demonic, people crying out in cursing, loud banging and echoing all around. I sat on a plastic chair and opened my bible to Romans and began seeking our God in His word.When my anxious thoughts multiply within me Your consolations delight my soul. I ask our Lord for His sword in remembrance through His Spirit.” After that he had encounters with different men where God’s Word pierced their soul. God provides our protection in EVERY situation by the sword of His Spirit. The second “banner” message I got was at the end of his email to me..
“The Lord has cause my heart to established a banner in His name, and of this I will declare, There is no power of man, nor is their any who can alter nor refute the power and might of His gospel, through the blood and the word of His only Son.” He didn’t know I was reading Exodus and the very same night I read that story of the Amalek battle I got his email.
I am excited to see all that this message of “The Lord is my Banner” will produce in my life. I want to encourage you that when your hands get tired and weary, waiting for the battle to end, waiting for our spouse’s eyes to be open, waiting for “it”to get easier waiting for whatever we feel will make it better, the only TRUE thing we KNOW that needs to lead our life is Christ. We don’t have to wait for that, we already have it!! Sometimes I feel like the waiting defines us. The unequally yoked marriage defines us. The balancing act we have to be ever so aware of defines us. But only if we let it!!
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30. I want my identity to be in Christ ALONE. Our circumstances do not define us. The saving work Christ did on the cross to bring us into God’s graces defines us. We are children of the King!!