Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Victory’

Hallelujah!

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.  ~~  Luke 24:51-53  (KJV)

After the agony of Good Friday…

After the silence and sorrow of Saturday…

After the amazement and confusion of the empty tomb…

We have the joy and gratitude and wonder of complete and eternal victory!

Father, God,

Help us to be continually in the temple, praising You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

Joshua Fought The Battle — Or Did He?

Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.  ~~  Joshua 6:1-5 (KJV)

We’ve all heard the song “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho…”

But today’s reading says otherwise. The battle was not Joshua’s, but the Lord’s. God gave specific instructions which had to be obeyed. Had Joshua not obeyed the Lord, the walls would not have collapsed.

So exactly what did they do? Well the army marched around the city once a day for seven days — without saying a word. The Ark of the Covenant went before them. And seven priests with trumpets (or shofar) led the Ark.

We have, in effect, the heralding trumpets (seven, the perfect number) leading the presence of the Lord as symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant, followed by the silent army. Imagine the wonder of the besieged citizens of Jericho.

This is not the kind of battle Jericho had prepared for. And this strange parade happens every day for six days. Then on the seventh, the parade circles the city seven times. The shofar sound a long, loud blast, and the army gives a great shout. The walls of the city tremble and collapse.

The army of Israel is, at that moment, the army of God. The city is theirs. But the battle was not Joshua’s, nor even the army’s. The battle was God’s and was won before it began through the obedience of Joshua and the children of Israel.

We need to remember that the battle belongs to God. Our part in this war is to heed the counsel of the Lord and obey.

So what battle are you facing today? What has the Lord told you about it? Have you sought His direction? The Lord’s victory becomes ours through obedience.

Father, God,

Help us to listen to Your voice and heed Your words about our lives. Stiffen our wills to be obedient to Your prompting. Help us to keep silent when You would have us to keep silent, and to shout when You would have us shout.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

What Banner Do You Carry?

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so 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 the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; [Exodus 17:15 Hebrew YHWH Nissi]

~~ Exodus 17:8-15  New King James Version (NKJV)

In today’s political climate, we see people carrying placards and banners and signs with the names of candidates or causes. And generally, they are not quiet about what or whom they support.

It makes me wonder why we aren’t as vocal and evident about our Lord and the things He has done for us. As I look back on my own life, I see places where He gave me huge benefits.

During the forties and fifties, our society was quite different from what it is now. Family meant that Dad had a job, and Mom stayed at home with the children. My parents had divorced, so my mother worked a job that kept her moving weekly or monthly, and my father lived in another state. But instead of being impoverished, God provided me with a home in my grandparents’ house, a godly physician as mentor, and a close knit church family. I grew up with a foundation of faith which was to serve me well in coming years.

When life brings problems, as it frequently does, my first impulse is to lean on the Lord. When you let Him fight your battles, victory is assured.

If you look at the scripture, Moses kept his hands raised. Raised hands are a symbol of praise. Sometimes it isn’t easy to praise the Lord. When finances are tight or relationships are fractured, praise comes hard. When we least feel like praising it is precisely the time to praise Him the most.

It isn’t easy, but if we are blessed, we have our own Aaron and Hur to help us keep our hands lifted.

Then when the battle has been won, we lift the banner in easy praise to the Lord!

Father, God,

Help us to remember that the battle is Yours, not ours. The victory is Yours, not ours. But in that victory, we win, too. Give us the grace and courage to proclaim Your victory in our lives.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.