Several years ago, my husband and I visited the birth and burial place of one of America’s most decorated war heroes, Sgt. Alvin C. York. During WW1, he single-handedly captured 90 German soldiers. In a time of war and chaos like the world had never seen before, he was given the option to forgo serving in the Army by having his pastor send a letter stating he was a conscientious objector. Instead, he chose to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesars.” He never looked upon himself as a hero; he was only doing what he felt God was calling him to do to show his love and honor of God and country. By surrendering to God’s best for him, he helped win a mighty battle. He knew God was with him and gave Him the glory, and he brought honor to the American Nation.
In Exodus 17:8-16 we see another great battle, one in which God revealed Himself to Moses as Jehovah Nissi, THE LORD IS MY BANNER. After the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, Israel found itself wandering and vulnerable in the wilderness. Enter the enemy, Amalek. While Moses’ young apprentice, Joshua, was leading the Israelites into battle, Moses positioned himself at the highest point he could find to pray. His brother Aaron and another man, Hur, accompanied him. As Moses lifted his hands and prayed, the Israelites were winning the battle, but as he grew weary, and his arms came down, Amalek would be winning the battle. When Aaron realized the need for Moses’ arms to stay up while he was praying, Aaron and Hur positioned Moses on a rock, and they held his arms until the battle was won.
Upon conquering the enemy, God told Moses to record what had happened and read it for Joshua to hear. God knew the time was coming when Moses would be gone, and the leadership of the Israelites would be handed over to Joshua. He would become the one to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land and defeat Jericho. There were still plenty of battles ahead of Joshua and God wanted him to remember back to this particular battle so he would see it was God who won the victory.
As was the custom, Moses built an altar as a place of remembrance. It was at this altar that Moses called God Jehovah Nissi. God revealed to him that God Himself is our banner, our victory, the one who wins our battles. There were still battles to be fought, more enemies like Amalek, who would seek to destroy and conquer them. God’s message to Moses, Joshua, the Israelites, and us, is to gather under Jehovah Nissi as your banner; trust Him in the outcome of all our battles. There will always be war; don’t be surprised or paralyzed by it. The ultimate victory belongs to the Lord.
Life’s battles and victories are more than a fun game of Capture the Flag. It’s more like Sgt. York who surrendered his right not to fight and chose to get into the battle out of obedience to God. He is still Jehovah Nissi today. He fights battles on our behalf and provides the victories. What are you battling today? Drugs, sex, abuse, anger, unforgiveness, fear, a false sense of identity? Whatever it is, God will fight this battle with you and give you victory. Do you trust Him? Are you willing to surrender control of your out-of-control life, and place your battle into His hands?
You are my banner, my victory. I place into Your hands my battle with _______________ . I surrender it to you. Remind me to trust that You are fighting the battle for me, You are the only One, who can give me victory in this. I surrender my will to You. I know I can’t fight this battle alone, I need you to fight for me. Thank You for giving me the victory.
It’s in Your Strong Name I pray, Amen.
Keep praying. Keep lifting up the name of the Lord our banner, Jehovah Nissi. You never have to fight alone. Our Father never expected us to have to fight alone. He is here to fight with us. Give it to Him and He WILL give you the VICTORY!