And Moses built an altar and named it The LORD Is My Banner. “Indeed,” he said, “a hand was lifted up toward the throne of the LORD.”Exodus 17:15-16
Motivation. Incentive. Drive. Inspiration. What spurs you to reach goals, realize dreams, gain victory over your struggles?
When I became a grandma for the first time, my heart soared with delight. Seeing her sweet innocent face and realizing God might bless me with more grandbabies in the future caused me to consider my purpose and my own mortality. I found myself searching for ways to live longer. I read articles on the healthiest diet and the best exercise for … uh … let’s just say women my age.
That was a little over seven years ago. I wish I could tell you I chose the Mediterranean Diet and stuck with it, or perhaps low carb or intermittent fasting. Truth is, life revved into high speed and now there’s eight grandbabies with number nine making her appearance in just a few short months.
So here I sit, pondering motivation.
My thoughts take me to Exodus 17. I can hear you now, “Wow! Me, too!” Hang in there with me, hopefully this will make sense real soon.
First, a little backstory to the scripture.
The Old Testament is replete with the telling of savage wars between God’s people and their enemies. Losing a battle meant more than losing your life. Loss meant your family and all you owned and knew would be taken as plunder. Sometimes lives were spared and sold into slavery, but loss to the enemy meant loss of everything.
God’s people didn’t always include great numbers of soldiers. Often it was the farmers and family men who fought to protect their nation and way of life.
Imagine hand-to-hand combat. Brutal, exhausting battles raging. To keep their warriors focused and their adrenaline surging, armies would often carry a tall pole with their nation’s banner flying high above them.
This banner wasn’t so much for patriotic purposes as it was to remind the soldiers why they were fighting. I imagine some, as their bodies ached and vision blurred, looked to the banner and saw the faces of their wives and children. Maybe they heard their mother’s voice, “Shalom, may God Almighty go before you.”
Here’s where Exodus 17 shines. The Amalekites once again attacked God’s people. Moses instructed Joshua to select some men and go fight the enemy. He also told Joshua that he, Moses, would go to a hilltop and raise the Lord’s staff as they fought.
Ah, you say. That Sunday School lesson you learned as a child is unfolding. Here is where Aaron and Hur held Moses arms up when he began to tire because as long as the Lord’s staff was in the air, His people prevailed.
Through the power of God, Joshua defeated the evil enemy. The Lord told Moses to write down and tell Joshua, “I will blot out the memory of Amalek under heaven” (verse 14). Moses then built an alter and named it Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is My Banner. Moses worshipped and announced that indeed, his hand would be lifted toward the Lord’s throne.
Do you feel it yet? A stirring in your heart, building like a heavenly earthquake in your soul? You know what I mean. That “Aha!” moment when you suddenly see something in scripture you never saw before.
Jehovah Nissi– The Lord is Your Banner!
The Lord, strong and mighty, going before you and closing in behind.
The Lord, shining like the morning sun, covering you with His grace.
The Lord, the One who knows you best and loves you most, fighting your battles for you.
The Lord, your sustainer who holds your head up in the midst of your struggles and pushes forward in victory because He reigns over you in power and love.
The Lord, deserving of all glory for every sunrise, breath, and blessing.
The LORD, my Motivation.
The LORD, my Incentive.
The LORD, my Drive.
The LORD, my Inspiration.
My preacher-husband is known to say, “If that doesn’t light your fire, your wood is wet.” He always follows with the reminder from Elijah—God can burn wet wood!
Be encouraged, friend. Look to Jehovah Nissi for your reason.
Jehovah Nissi is The Lord our Banner. Just as he blotted out the evil enemy, Amalek, He will blot out our enemy. And we can look to Him to provide everything we need to see victory in the midst of the battles.
Hmm, if only God would hide every Dunkin Donut shop and rid the world of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
What is our reason? May it be The LORD, the One who knows us best and loves us most, fighting our battles for us. by Shelley Pierce #parents #parenthoodTweet