Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord my banner

Exodus 17:8-16 Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 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.” 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. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat thereon. And Aaron and Hur held 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. And Joshua discomfited 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 recount 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 Jehovahnissi that is, The Lord my banner; for he said, “Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” 

Israel did not seek Amalek. Amalek sought Israel. In verse 7, Israel asks if the Lord is with them. They were unbelieving. God did not call them to the fight, but their unbelief exposed them. God had fought for them and provided for all their needs. They did nothing bu be the recipients of His grace. But this time Moses told Joshua to choose men and fight. 
Christ has finished the work for us alone. Christ has satisfied God for us. I can't fight death, judgment, or the penalty of sin. God does that whole thing for us. He has delivered us and cleanse us from our tresspasses. But the war with the flesh goes on. As long as we live in this body, we rage a war with it.

Galatians 5:16-17 This I say then: Galatians 5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

Regeneration is not fixing your flesh. Those that are in the flesh cannot please God. When we accept Christ, we receive a new Spirit, a new nature, a new life; but we also receive a new enemy, the flesh. 
It was the Lord who delivered them from Egypt, the Lord Who brought them to the Red Sea, the Lord Who fed them and warded them, Who guided them. But when in unbelief, questioning if the Lord is with them, then came Amalek. 
We have three implacable enemies we don't have before we come to the Lord:
the world, the flesh, the Devil.
How on earth am I going to life for God?

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 

This is why in John chapter 17 nineteen times Jesus talks about the world. It is a real enemy. 
We read about our enemy, the flesh, in Galatians 5. 
Galatians 5:16 This I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 
Galatians 5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 
When you and I sin against God it is because we are not trusting the Spirit of God that dwells in us; we are trusting ourselves and, of course, we fail. 
And we have read how the Devil is against us like a hungry lion. 

It is so easy for us to trust the flesh. So many christians fight a good battle against the world and the Devil, but how easy it is to yield to the lust of the flesh. 
How can we have victory then? 
The indwelling Spirit of God guarantees it. We do not need to fight this battle in uncertainty.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds...

Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. 

Colossians 1:28-29 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, for which I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily. 

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 

The unsaved men doesn't want Christ as his saviour; he wants the flesh stand before God. He wants to improve the flesh to be acceptable before God, and God won't accept it. 

Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 

What does God require? 
For is to put our trust in Him. It is very hard for us not to put our trust in the flesh. Some people are still putting their trust in their flesh for their salvation. You are no more powerful against the flesh after you re saved then you were after. The flesh hasn't been redeemed or freed from its desires. The lust of the flesh is still there. I do things I don't want to. How easily I say things I didn't want to. 

Regeneration: it is not the flesh made righteous; it is having a new nature. We wait for the redemption of our bodies. 
I am not saved by keeping my body under control. I am saved by what Jesus did for on the Cross, because I belong to the Saviour, because He has taken hold of me, because He has given me His Spirit to dwell in me. But I am still in a body that is unredeemed. 

Look at the method of the victory over Amalek:
Israel was unprepared in war to face the Amalekites. 
The method of the victory was two-fold: first with the intercession of Moses. Prayer. 
We are surrounded by our three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil; but we are not alone here.  
Jesus knew that and prayed for us. 

John 17:9 I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine. 
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. 

Isn't it wonderful that the Lord's hands never get tired to pray for us?

Romans 8:27, 34 And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who died, yea rather, who is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

We also have the Holy Spirit in us praying for us.

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

Did you ever stop to think that you have One praying for you in Heaven and One in you praying. The Lord does not take any chances on anything. When you became His property, He is going to take care of you. What is He praying for? That we might be perfected and kept. 
The Lord Jesus is in Heaven taking care of my interests up there, and the Spirit of God is taking care of His interests in us. Can you trust God to take care of His own?
The Spirit of God takes the victory. We only enjoy the delivery. God gets the victory!

The second part of the victory was the sword of Joshua. 
What is this sword?

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God...
Victory is assured through subjection to His Word.  

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed in Him, “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 

Read the Word of God! Read it and reread it and reread it!
This book will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from this book. 
We serve under His banner, under His command, under His leadership. 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, seeing we also are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

He will give us victory and one day righteousness shall reign, and you and I serve under His banner. 


On feeling lost

I feel lost in space. I have no idea where I am or where I am going, and this feeling is driving me mad. 
I don't know if I will have a job past the month of June. If I don't get a job, I don't know if I will continue being a teacher or go back to being an engineer. My husband is in similar territory, which makes us feel utterly lost. This leaves me with two options: I can worry about it, start trying to take control of the situation by doing something (though I don't know that I can do something that would be helpful), stress and get sick of the stress, and let it bring me down and depressed. Or I can trust the Lord, know that He will provide, know that He has a purpose and might be calling us somewhere, rest in His peace, and find joy in gratefulness of all He has given us. 
It is dumfounding to me that the second option is the less taken, and my brain is telling me it is the harder choice to make. 
I was sharing these feelings with my mom a couple of days ago. She was silent for some minutes while I was impatiently waiting for her words of comforts and of wisdom to help me find clarity. She could not find them. She simply reminded me of the magic of gratefulness I often talk about and advised me to employ some of that. 
We are finally getting to a place of stability we have longed for. And I fear that it will all be taken away if my contract is not renewed. I don't want to lose this job that I have grown to love so much and love my students so much. I don't want the heartache and headache of looking for a new job. I don't want a job I don't love. I feel like if I lose this job, I will lose everything.

Hold the phone! You mean to tell me your security is in your job? Wow! You ARE seriously lost! Having a job you love is a great thing that few are lucky to find, but it is not all there is to life. Jobs come and go. 
Yesterday in the evening news I heard the story of a seven year old girl who lost her life in a motocicle accident. Her father was taking her to school when a car cut them off and they crashed against a parked truck. The girl was not wearing a helmet. I thought: good thing we have a car and my girls all drive in their carseats with their seatbelts on. Yeah? Well, a colleague had a car accident yesterday with her kids on the back seat with their seatbelts on, and her husband and daughter still ended up in the hospital.
I was watching last week's Grey's Anatomy episode (WARNING: spoilers ahead) where the main character Meredith says she was watching her prefect husband play with her perfect kids in her perfect house while she was getting ready to go to her amazing job.  I envied her in that moment. And on this week's episode her perfect husband had a car accident that took his life. 
My husband has the habit of beginning every prayer with the phrase: "Thank you, God, for this day that you gave us and that we woke up alive..."
Do you realize the great blessing in that simple phrase? How powerful that truth is?
Facebook notified us this week that it was my friend Mauro's 32nd birthday. Mauro was killed in a car accident a little less than a year ago. He left behind a wife, a seven year old boy, and an almost two year old girl. His brother posted a video of Mauro's son saying happy birthday to his father and telling him how much he wished he was here with them. Her mom commented on the video saying that only she knows how many tears her son has shed and how he is the strongest of them all. 
I admire this classy lady more than she will ever know. She is constantly on my mind and prayers, even though we have never been close friends.
And to think that our God truly provides for EVERYTHING that we need that even if death's sting would reach us, we can still be grateful because He made provision for the salvation of our souls and has given us the promise of a house He is preparing for us in heaven!
I can be grateful and rejoice that my friend Mauro is already in that home, and his family has the hope of one day seeing him again. And who knows? Maybe Mauro is not turning 32, but staying forever the 31 year-old goof-ball we all loved, never aging.
You see, the second option is harder because we are forgetful humans. I often get mad at the people of Israel when I read my Bible. They were so quick to forget that God had answered their prayers. And here I am feeling lost because of my job! I forget that I have a roof over my head that will still be there even if I lose my job. I forget I have a husband who is true and lovng to me. I forget I have two little, precious girls that will give me the strength and all the laughs I need to overcome job hunting. I forget that I have a wonderful family (in-laws included) that will not forsake me. I forget I have friends that are willing to help and that is how I got this job in the first place. I forget I have a God Who is mighty and all-powerful and Who could already have this job secured for me or a better one waiting around the corner, or better yet, a great job for my husband that would allow me to stay home. 
You can't let yourself forget. You must remember, and when you remember, you must give thanks. 
And you will realize that giving thanks will not get rid of your feelings of uncertainty that are hurtful. You will realize that you might still feel a little lost. But you wil take option number two and see that it is not the end of the world.

And remember:

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:30-39

When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me, for I had gone with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore will I remember Thee... Psalms 42:4-6