First thing in the morning before I got out of bed, I used to pray, “Lord, with You it’s going to be a great day.” However, in the last month or so, it seems that my attitude changed and my prayer was “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me, help me, help me.” Not that it’s necessarily a bad prayer, and of course I do need His help always. But this prayer was motivated more by the dread of what would happen in a day, than faith that it would be a good one! When we dread things, we can be pretty sure we’re going to extend their existence. So when I realized what I was doing, I stopped and changed my prayer back to the “great day” prayer.
The Bible tells us we should always expect victory if we are walking in alignment with Him. And if something isn’t going to be good for us, He lets us know and shows us the way out, around, through or over. And in the end we still get the victory with Him.
One of the names for God in the Old Testament is Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord our Banner.” The victory banner is what we are to hold up BEFORE going into any battle the Lord leads us into. Exodus 17 gives us a great example of this.
The Amalekites came to attack Moses and God told Moses to go and take the rod with him that he miraculously used in parting the Red sea. The rod represented the presence and victory of God. Moses had faith in God’s presence. Whenever Moses held up this rod, he had faith that God was there to give him victory. Holding up this rod, Moses absolutely believed he already had the sure victory of God, even before anything happened.
The Amalekites came to attack Moses and God’s people. “And Moses said unto Joshua, ‘Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand” (Exod. 17:9). Moses had faith before the battle even started, that with God on his side, he would win.
“So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed” (vv. 10-11). Right there is an amazing lesson for us: Keep lifting up the rod of God, keep saying, “I have the victory.” When we get weary, or start to dread, stop it. Get that victory faith up there again.
“But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (v. 12). Another great lesson: Lots of times we need help to keep our faith for victory strong. We don’t have to always do it by ourselves.
“And Joshua discomfited [overthrew and flattened him] Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi [the Lord our banner]” (vv.13-15).
By faith we go into every battle shouting the victory from the beginning, and seeing it manifest in the end.
Another great example is found in Second Chronicles 20. In this record three different armies collaborated to take over Jehoshaphat and his people. They even brought a lot of wealth with them in the form of jewelry and other riches, probably intending to bargain after they won. They would split up the spoil and sweeten the pot with their own riches if they wanted something specific.
But they weren’t going to win. Jehoshaphat got the people together and they prayed to God about what to do. They acted on their faith.
“Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them” (v.15-16). “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa” (v.20).
Then look at this amazing act of faith. Before they even started the battle, they started to sing and praise God. They had faith that they would win and they began to sing about it and praise God for victory. And look what God did:
“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (v.22). This is awesome! The people didn’t SEE what God was doing, they had faith He would do it. And when they praised Him for the victory even BEFORE they saw any evidence, it was THEN that the Lord ambushed the enemy. And look how He did it:
“For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another” (v.23). Wild, huh?!
And when the people came to see what happened, “behold, dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much” (vv.24-25).
There are many more Bible records showing the awesome results of having faith for our victory before we actually see it. And like in the case with Jehoshaphat, it was AFTER they had faith for victory and praised God for it, that God set up the ambush where the three armies killed off each other!
So don’t be like I was. Don’t let dread get you down. Instead of dread, let’s have faith for the victory and hold up that victory banner of our Lord as we start each day.
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