Saturday, October 22, 2016

Don't Fight Your Battles Alone

One day the Amalekites attacked the Israelites (Exodus 17) from behind, targeting the tired and weary ones that lagged in the back.  Though the cowardice strategy of our Enemy is to attack us at our weakest points, we need not fight our battles alone.

Moses, modeling this for us, immediately sprung into action gathering a team around him to deal with the attack.  Joshua selected warriors to hit the battle field.  Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up the hill overlooking the battlefield to pray - symbolized by the lifting of Moses' hands to God.  The collective result was victory.

There is no battle that you can fight alone.  Though tempted to do so by prideful and lonely thinking, victory is found with others around you.  Isolation, lack of trust, and loneliness are one of the best ways to ensure defeat after defeat in your life. You were not created to fight alone so quit trying to do it.

Many a stubborn person are stuck today in the misery of their defeats because of a continual refusal to seek help.  The true tragedy is not found in their defeat but rather in their refusal to embrace the key to victory.  They would rather lose alone than win with others - and that is pure tragedy.

Don't fight your battles alone.  God is your banner of victory - Jehovah-Nissi.  He wants to use people  in your life who will lift your hands when you are tired, fight alongside you, and worship Him with you when victory comes.

Fight together.

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden

Saturday, October 8, 2016

In Need Of Something New

And the name of the city from that time on will be:  The Lord is there! - Ezekiel 48:35

God's heart is wired for restoration, renewal, and hope.  He saw the brokenness of Jerusalem and envisioned, through the Prophet Ezekiel, a coming, new day.  No longer would the beloved city be identified with ruin, isolation, and desertion but with the mighty presence of God - Jehovah-Shammah.

How grateful are we for a God that not only knows we are in need of something new but desires to provide it?  He kindly and gently, yet with a quality of unresistible force, gives us the opportunity to walk in a new life that is full of His presence and power. One day we are known for misery and hopelessness; the next day and all the days that follow, we are described as The Lord is There!

I love the phrase "from that time on" in Ezekiel's vision.  Everyone needs a miracle moment named "from that time on."  It represents the end of the old and the beginning of something new.  It's a doorway.  It's a change that ushers in a whole new life of hope, peace, and provision.  Sometimes the transition is dramatic but other times it's gradual.  Either way is life-altering.

God gave Jerusalem a new name, a new city, a new time period, and a new faith.  He will do the same for you because His heart is wired for such an act of kindness.  His nature is eternally oriented to doing something new for those in need of something new.

Ex nihilo,

R.J. Rhoden