Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013 … Our Banner In Battle

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 198

Passage of the Day #1: Exodus 17: 14-15 [God is always our banner in battle. ] [NLT]  
14 After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”). 
 Contextual Study involving today’s passage found in Exodus, Chapter 17Go to this link … 

Reference Passage of the Day #1: 1st John 4: 4-6 [God’s power is always greater than the power of the enemy!] …  
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

 Reference Passage of the Day #2: Ephesians 6: 10-12 [God is our armor and our banner in battle!] …  10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Reference Passage of the Day #3: Matthew 5: 14-16 [Our testimony and lifestyle becomes our banner to shine Christ as our light into a dark world.] …  
14 “You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father… "

Devotional Song: Go to this link   … Today, again this day by using this link you will hear the group, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, singing, “Great Great God” which lifts us up with the truth that there is no one like our God. He truly is our Jehovah Nissi, … our banner in battle, … or strength in weakness, … and always our salvation.

My Journal for Today: Yesterday in my devotional blog (see this link) my lesson was that everyday is in a battle against the spiritual forces which come against our faith. However, my point was that we can go into a battle expecting victory because of the truth found in 1st John 4: 4 … that the God who resides in our hearts as Christians is greater and stronger than the forces of the spiritual enemies who come against us, … Satan, the world, and our own flesh.

Today, I revisit some of those same truths from the great story found in Exodus, Chapter 17 [linked above]. When Moses and God’s people, under the battle-field leadership of Joshua, went into battle with the far superior forces of the Amalekites, Moses stood on a hill and held up the same shepherd’s staff which God had fashioned for Moses at the burning bush and used to display God’s power when Moses held up the staff to part the waters of the Red Sea. As long as the Israelite forces could see that staff being held up by Moses, they prevailed in battle; but when Moses’ staff was no longer visible to God’s warriors, the Amalekites prevailed. And finally in Exodus 17: 14-15 we read that Aaron and Hur helped Moses hold up the staff; and the Israelites won the battle; and so Moses dedicated that place of victory, naming it “Jehovah (or Yahweh) Nissi,” which means “The LORD is our banner!”

So, my fellow warrior, … knowing that we must go into battle daily. what do we, who know that God is our armor, weapons, and power in battle, show forth as our banner? What do others see in us that becomes like the staff held up by Moses?

Well, I can almost hear some of you readers jumping ahead of me, having read those passages above which I’ve copied as references. And I can sense you saying, “We, as Christians, have our lives and testimonies, which become the “Jehovah Nissi” for others to see, declaring that God goes before us and declares HIS victory in our lives.”

Have you ever noticed what happens when you’re confronted by someone who is under Satan’s or the world’s influence and they give you, as a Christian, an opportunity to share your story, … openly, truthfully, and with personal vulnerability? It’s truly amazing what will happen. If they’re not hiding behind a shield of denial or defensiveness; and they’re willing to listen to your story of how Christ changed (and is changing) your life, you will experience – at least a momentary – victory over darkness. Why? … Because like Moses’ staff in the battle over the Amalekites, your testimony (or the way you live your life as a Christian) is your “Jehovah Nissi,” … your banner in battle.

When I started being honest and open and vulnerable, sharing my story of how Christ reformed my life from an unbelieving p0rn addict into a Christ-pursuing addict to God’s word, those who needed the power of God’s grace in their lives flocked to me like moths to a night light, asking me how God had changed me. And when I told them, and they applied the same truths their lives, they changed too. That’s Jehovah Nissi shining His light of truth (see Matthew 5: 14-16) into a dark world. It’s a Christian warrior wearing the full armor of God and carrying the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6: 10-18) into battle, which becomes Jehovah Nissi for all to see God’s power working in your life.

 I hope you’ve taken the time to listen to the song, Great Great God, to which I’ve linked you here in this journal entry. My “fave” group, … Phillips, Craig, and Dean, … sing of a God Who goes before us as our banner and declares the victory that was won by Jesus on the cross, … which, of course, is the victory that any Christian can display to the world as our “Jehovah Nissi” if we are but willing to live as Christ and share our testimony of His victory in our lives with others.

My Prayer for Today … LORD, You are my Yahweh Nissi!!! … Amen

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