Exodus 17:10-13, “Joshua did what Moses ordered in order to fight Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in battle.”
I want to take the time today to paint a symbolic picture of a fight that you and I fight everyday from this portion of scripture. It’s nothing new. As a matter of fact, this has been happening for thousands of years. It’s a fight that you and I are very familiar with. And if we’re not careful, it’s a battle that could get the best of us. It’s a battle that’s bigger than self. You won’t be able to have victory over this enemy with spears, swords or other man made weapons. Sadly, many have tried to battle this way and have left with the bitter taste of defeat. I want to challenge you today to be different.
The war I’m referring to is between the flesh and the spirit. The Amalekites were a warring people. They were even a brutal people. There have been stories where they had taken people hostage, mutilated their bodies and put them on display as a warning to others. We pick it up in this story for their third attack against the Nation of Israel. The battle in this portion of scripture took place at a city called, Rephidim, meaning, “self, natural or flesh.”
It’s a dangerous place when we begin to put trust in the flesh. It’s a place where we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. It’s a place where we begin to trust in talent, intellect, riches or charisma. It’s a place where the enemy will try to attack us time and time again because it’s easier for the flesh to come under attack when we’re here.
You might find yourself at Rephidim today. Believe me…we have all been here. It’s when we get to a place when we no longer spend that quality time with God in the morning before we go about our day. It’s when we begin to spend more time watching tv or online. It’s when we begin to operate in the flesh…rather than operating in the spirit. It’s when we begin to say “we’ll pray on the way to work,” but never really have that connection with God because we’re so busy with other things.
“It’s not about what happens in the valley of interaction, but it’s about what happens on the hilltop of intercession.”
We can be busy doing so many things, yet miss the one thing that matters most. There’s a call going out for you and I to begin to pray like never before. I love the part that follows in verse 14 because God begins to tell Moses to write down what had happened as a reminder to Joshua. Why? Because Joshua didn’t see that it was not by might, nor by power but by God’s spirit that the victory had come. It wasn’t his amazing leadership, his great warfare strategy or his superb ability to swing a sword. Sometimes we don’t realize the power that we have when we begin to pray. I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but you’re not going to overcome it by talking about it, staring at it, trying to figure things out or by responding on your own understanding. We’re going to need the power of God. That’s the only thing that will bring about true victory in our lives.
Just recently in my own time with the Lord…I heard him speak so clearly to me saying, “Your spirituality has brought you to this point of fruitfulness…but it won’t take you to where I want you to go…I want more.” I believe God’s asking for a deeper level of intercession. I love how the apostle Paul said it, he said “I want to know him.” He didn’t say, “I want to know about him.”
In the next blog, we’ll dig deeper on this subject. There’s so much on the subject of intercession to cover. We’re going to see how even the disciples struggled with intercession…so we’re not alone. However, I believe today is a new day and God could turn every situation that you’re going through around. Take time today to go back to your first love with the Lord…don’t let your relationship with him grow cold.