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Prayer: the place where victory is released before it is seen.

This is the second section of a short series of 6 posts on this section in Exodus and on the place of prayer.

Exodus 17:8-16

In the last post, we saw the value of God using Moses’ staff to be a banner of victory for Joshua and his men in battle.  The value of God using this staff was great and included reminding Moses that his weaknesses do not limit God’s power and that it was God’s leadership that would bring forth this victory for the Israelites.

This is the staff that Moses was holding while Joshua was in battle.  Let’s look that this same situation, now, from a different perspective.  Joshua knew about this staff; he had seen the wonders of God through it. He was aware that even when Moses would not open his mouth to give a command to Pharoah, it was Moses’ staff that God displayed His power with. When Moses told Joshua that he would hold this staff, it was a reminder that even in Joshua’s fears, insecurities, concerns about himself and about what would happen, that it was God who was going to deliver this victory and not him; that God uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise. Joshua was placed in that authority, so regardless of the circumstances or whether Joshua “had what it took,” Joshua could have confidence that he already had the victory because God chose to use him and his confidence was in God’s ability and promises not in the weakness of himself.

Another thing Joshua was reminded of when Moses said he would be holding the staff of God was that God had in fact done wonders with this staff. Not just the principle that God’s power is displayed in weak vessels, but beyond that: God is powerful, period. The staff had been turned into a snake. The staff was lifted up, parting the Red Sea for the Israelites to safely cross before it swallowed their enemies pursing them (14:16). Water gushed from a rock when Moses struck it with his staff (17:5-6). Moses was going to lift this staff up?! Well, okay. We have a victory on our hands.

I have a friend who never ceases to declare God’s ability. Dwight has these two phrases that always encourage me and cause me to remember that doubts are silly when your eyes are on God.  “God helps us to remember that You have never seen a giant” AND “When God steps up to the plate, it’s a HOME RUN, you don’t even have to look up.”   I LOVE these! When God says it, it’s done!

Not sure if you experience this, but I am facing right now a battle of different sorts than that of Joshua’s.  As I read the Word of God and see what He requires of me, knowing that my heart is wicked and I am far from what I want to be in His eyes, I am discouraged that I cannot in my own strength look like Him.  Now, I have tried, and do try… many times.  But, like Joshua, God was saying with the use of the staff, “Look, I want you out there, but this victory will come because of My power not yours.  All you need to do is look to Me and stay in the fight. DON”T GIVE UP.” 

Take away: Well, alright! This is very good news! Although it is also not an easy task, it is not impossible and God promises His Spirit who helps and guides us and actually does this work of making us like Jesus.  Keep your eyes on God; ask for His help to do this.  Look to Him and do not give up!