Tag Archives: victory

In the Darkness

This is the time of the year when things start to get interesting as I leave the house for my morning walks with my dogs. The mornings are starting off a bit darker than before, so I find myself fumbling around to attach their leashes to their harnesses. As I walk by the arborvitaes bushes, I do the quite routine, yet not-so-normal to onlookers, flinging of my left hand in front of me to feel for webs so I don’t walk into a spider web and forever be itching for the rest of the day.

As I get myself ready in the morning, I am pretty good at feeling my way around. I am familiar with the same walk, the same location of items, the same surroundings. I know what is supposed to be there if the sun was lighting the path. But even so, even though I know what is supposed to be around me, I do not see everything. We do not see everything around us. There is a great battle happening. The angel armies of God are all around us, protecting us, shielding us, battling it out against the evil that lurks all about us.

There have been moments when I considered what is going on around me. I know my imagination is nothing close to reality. But I also know that we serve an awesome God, and He has already won the victory. I know as well that He promises that NOTHING can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28). Find rest in His refuge. Find confidence in His victory. Find strength in His power. Keep pressing onward. The battle is around us, but we will win this fight my friends! The God of Angel Armies is fighting for us each and every moment. You do not even know how great the fight is—but you know the Victor—and you know the length He will go for you.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 [NLT]

The Lord is My Banner

In Exodus 17, after the defeat of the Amalekites, Moses builds an altar and named it Yahweh-nissi, which means “the LORD is my banner.” This may seem strange for us to embrace personally, unless we have a good understanding of a banner. When we think banner, we think of something posted at a convention or bazaar.

Think of a banner as the flag taken into battle. To the army, the flag is a great symbol. This shows the side of who you are fighting. This is a symbolization of strength and security. If you are defeated, the flag is taken. Think of capture the flag. The flag is also a place to rally. One would return to the flag, the rally point, after battle. Consider a sporting event, where the individual teams or schools are represented at different rally points. A person knows where to find their teammates when they find their flag. The banner is also lifted high. This is important to the battle against the Amalekites. Remember, as long as Moses raised the banner high, the Israelites were winning. Lifting the flag high was a great symbol against the Amalekites. It showed all that it was in fact the Lord fighting this battle—He was bringing victory for His chosen people.

What can we take away from this? How is the Lord our personal Banner? He is our strength and our security. It is at His altar that we can fall and find comfort in His strength and His security. As well, it is at His altar that we find safety—He is our rally point. We are meant to run to Him. Just as Moses lifted high the banner during the battle, so we lift Jesus high. We lift our hands to Him. We raise our voices to Him. When we think upon these things, it is then that we can embrace Yahweh-nissi. The LORD is my banner.

“Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).” – Exodus 17:15 [NLT]

He Will Carry You

Eleven years is a long time. I remember that day like it was yesterday—the day when plans changed. I realized something I always knew, but came to know more deeply—that I was not in control—that there would be moments when it didn’t matter how hard I tried, I would fail. Things changed that day. Over the years, I have held to this truth—that God carries us through.

God carried the Israelites through the Red Sea and through the Wilderness. Though they were knee deep in disobedience, He provided. He did not abandon. He was the reason the Red Sea parted. He the One Who provided the manna, the water, the quail. He was the One Who illuminated the sky with a pillar of fire. In the same way, He carried Joseph. The Bible says He was with Joseph, even through the darkness of prison. He was with him. He is with us too.

God is the love of your life and mine, whether you realize this or not. He loves you more than anyone else can possibly love you. He created you. He formed you. He provides for you. He watches over you. He has a great plan for YOU. He is the love of your life. Today, boldly declare His Word. Walk with confidence. His Word tells us that through Him we have victory. Live victorious my friend. He will carry you through.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 [NIV]

Feet Planted

Yesterday I read something that said that it was important to firmly plant both feet on the ground—that it was a good foundation. For each person, when we stand with our feet firmly planted on the ground, there is only so much strength and ability to keep us standing. For me, because of health issues, sometimes I feel as if the wind could blow me over.

If you go through life believing you only have to plant both feet on the ground, that you only need to rely on yourself and your own ability and strength, you are going to get knocked down. It might take awhile. You might not come down easy. But you cannot live life in your own strength and make it to the finish line still standing.

God’s Word tells us that we need a firm foundation. The only firm foundation is Christ Jesus. We stand firm on Him. He helps us to stand firm. He gives us the strength to stand firm. It is because of Him that we are able to stand in victory at the end of the race. So today, don’t just plant both of your feet firmly on the ground—plant yourself in Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 [NIV]

One Sneaky Dog

10606005_10153078767998776_8901731169283629346_nHaving two dogs certainly can be entertaining. This morning as I was preparing to leave for work I noticed Marci was walking what looked to be an obstacle course underneath the kitchen table. I did not understand why she was weaving and turning through chairs until I saw where the course brought her. She was trying to sneak to Max’s bone, grab it, and then sneak away. She could have easily walked straight toward the bone and snatched it but she figured he would catch her and intervene. Instead, mom (me) spotted her naughty paws and repossessed the bone.

Marci was a sneak because she did not want to get caught. She was doing something wrong. It would not have made her actions right if she wasn’t caught; it was still wrong. She knew it was wrong too. In life there are times when we think something is not so bad so long as we don’t get caught. Guess what!?! Whether you are caught or not by human eyes, security cameras, etc., God sees all and knows all. You can deceive, lie, steal, cheat, and sin again and again without human detection but God sees. So why does that not bring us to reconsider these poor decisions? Why do we sneak around to do these bad things in an attempt to not get caught by people, rather than stop altogether with these bad things because they are wrong and we want to please God who sees all?

Tonight let us praise God and thank Him for His mercy. Let us remember that today we did things we were not meant to do, but we did them anyway. For some of us, we tried to hide what we did. For some of us, we were already alone and didn’t think anyone would find out. Pray that God will reveal these things to you and that the Holy Spirit would convict you and God would give you the strength to overcome and claim victory through Jesus. We have not yet achieved perfection, but we can make it to the finish line. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” – Hebrews 4:13 [NLT]

When to Run

There are moments when we are supposed to press forward in a particular direction and moments that we should turn away from a situation. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “choose your battles.” It takes good discernment to know when to continue forward and when to run in another direction. Proverbs 22:3 states: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

There are times in our lives when it is best for us to not continue forward down a particular path. Perhaps a person or situation will not be beneficial to our spiritual walk. Perhaps there is danger lurking and God has another path for us. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas found out that there was a plot to stone them and they ran. They took off and went to another area.

It is important to know when to stand your ground and when to move onward. We might not always make the right decision. Always ask yourself, does what I am doing give glory to God? Does what I am doing further the Kingdom? Or is it simply fighting back in a battle that is not ours? Remember that Christ already has the victory. We are meant to share the message of Christ, not force it upon people. There were moments when Jesus Christ left particular areas. He was focused on His mission; so too, we should stay focused.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” – Proverbs 22:3 [NIV]

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Only A Simple Thing

There are moments when we look at our problems and they seem so big. Rather than say, “My God is bigger than my problems,” we focus on the problem which causes worry and anxiety.

In today’s verse, we read “this is only a simple thing for the LORD.” Only a simple thing. We need to remind ourselves daily that our God can do the impossible. Something that we consider difficult is “only a simple thing.” Something that we cannot do alone is “only a simple thing” for Him.

God is our Creator. He formed everything. He knows everything. As Romans 11:36 reminds us, “… everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory” (NLT). Remember this today. You might be facing a big problem in your life right now, but for God it’s only a simple thing. Put it in His hands and feel the peace that He alone can provide.

“But this is only a simple thing for the LORD, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab!” – 2 Kings 3:18 [NLT]

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Watch the Lord’s Victory

In 2 Chronicles, it says that the people would “not even need to fight.” They were to “stand still and watch the LORD’s victory.” Sometimes we do not like to “stand still.” Most people are okay with watching television, but when it comes to our own lives, we think we have to do something. We have to do something to fix everything. Look around and you’ll see the evidence.

In this verse the people are told to take their positions. They were to be ready. But they were not going to have to do anything. They would be watching the Lord as He did great things. They simply had to watch with eyes open and see the victory.

For every situation in life, it is not always going to be the same. You will not always need to be fighting and keeping busy toward the goal. There are times when God will have you slow down for a moment so He can show you His great power and control. When you are to stand still, be sure to stand still. Open your eyes and see what the Lord has done.

“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!” – 2 Chronicles 20:17 [NLT]

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The Battle is Not Yours

There are times when we take things very personally. When someone says something about us, we get upset and take it to heart. There are even moments when people say things about God and it is also upsetting. I will admit that there are many times that I see things written or hear things said about God and I am disturbed and I grieve.

We must remember that the battle is not ours. We are to stand firm in our faith; however, God does not need us to prove He is God. He also does not need us to save people; we cannot save people. Only through God can sinners be saved. We can be used by God. We can be a vessel in His great plan, but the battle is not ours.

Remember that the battle is God’s battle and you will not carry a heavy burden that you were never intended to carry in the first place. Too many people get burned out because they think they need to help God out. God is all-powerful. God is in control. The battle has already been won. We already have victory through Christ. Understanding that will put a lot of things in perspective.

“He said, ‘Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” – 2 Chronicles 20:15 [NLT]

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Slipped

“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord,” we read in 2 Chronicles 14, and we learn of his reforms. We also read of the battle against the Ethiopians. They came marching out with a vast army and Asa called out to the Lord for help. He said, “There is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty” (v. 11 NLT). They received great victory, a victory that only could come from the Lord.

The Bible continues to say that “Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life,” and yet something happened (2 Chronicles 15:17b NLT). Baasha king of Israel was on the attack. Now this time Asa didn’t approach the Lord as he did when the Ethiopians were before him. Instead he took silver and gold from the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and sent it to Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram. Asa’s trust went from the Lord to an army’s power—from the Lord to what money could buy him.

Hanani visited King Asa and informed him of the consequences of his actions. Not only did he miss the opportunity to destroy the army but he also would be at war for the rest of his life. No peace. He was once fully committed but he slipped. Our passage today says, “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Remember that. When you are facing something, He is ready to strengthen you. You are not alone and you do not need to devise some plan trusting in money and people—trust in Him. Through Christ you can do all things!

“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, ‘Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the LORD your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the LORD, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” – 2 Chronicles 16:7-9 [NLT]

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