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

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

Exodus 17:8-16

Moses stood on a HILL. He didn’t go into the valley. He stood where he would be seen by Joshua. He positioned himself so Joshua could easily look up and be reminded of the victory that was guaranteed. Battles will come. They will. We already know this. However, even though we will be required to fight, we do not fight for a place of victory. We are fighting from a place of victory, with confidence in what God has said. As Joshua was engaged in battle and he and his men were fighting, they could look up and see Moses holding the staff in his hands, stretched out to God, as a banner over them. They would be encouraged and strengthen themselves in determination again and press in. Their victory was guaranteed. All they had to do was not quit (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Our faith will always be tested. Whatever God speaks to us will be tested.  We believe it and are then given the opportunity to hold to what we believe in the midst of trial. There are many battles that we will and have faced in our individual lives. In the midst of our battle, it is easy to become discouraged and weary, thinking that the effort is useless and the victory far off.  However, it is when we choose every day not to quit, but instead, to look up at the One who hold us in His hands and has already given us the victory that we are then encouraged to press on and not quit.  It is not the huge, valiant efforts that bring glory in the midst of a battle, even though they are important.  The most glorious efforts are the small, seemingly unimportant efforts. The things that are done, not based on how we feel in the moment, but are based on the determination to lay hold of what Christ has laid hold for us, in the every day, mundane moments.

It is in the heat of the battle, when our hands are tired and legs are shaky that we begin to lose focus and take our eyes off the Lord. We begin to agree with the lies of the enemy. Every time Joshua looked up, he was reminded of the victory. Once we look up, we realize that we have taken on more than we have been given by God. Instead of agreeing with our flesh or the lies of the enemy, choose to agree with God in the victory He has given us. God is shaping us to be so established in our identity in Him that we walk from a place of victory, instead of walking around beat up in our sins, guilt, and inabilities.  My Grandpa recently shared with me this truth:

 “You are free. You are just taking something on that is not yours. We claim a lot of things that are not ours.  We have to establish our minds in the Word so we know what is ours and what is not.  The Devil slyly puts those things out there for us to agree with and we just kind of take it.  We need to renew our minds in the Word of God.”

Our victory has very little to do with us. It is solely based on Jesus and what He has done for us.  It is a guarantee, however, and we choose to agree with Him and obey Him.  In our battles, we begin to see the character of God as the One who fights for us and gives us our victory.  It was here that Moses declared God’s character of victory. God is my banner. He is my victory. I just need to look to Him; the battle is His.  God doesn’t waste anything! He uses the battles to show us who He is and who we are.  We see His trustworthiness, His ability, and His determination in every battle we face.

“These (all kinds of trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7

Exodus 17:15, Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”)

Take Away: Recognize that the battle you face now doesn’t have to take you down.  Look up to Him.  He is your Banner of Victory.  He has already fought for you.  Trust Him and depend on Him. Have confidence in what He says.  Don’t quit.