I've been mulling that last month or so over what the next blog topic should dive into, and on three separate occasions the Lord has brought a specific passage to my mind.
Exodus 17 records a battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites. Moses had led the people of Israel out of Egypt and God had continuously shown His love and provision for His chosen people, despite their unbelief and distrust of Him. Right after a time where Israel was tested by the Lord (and vice versa), the Amalekites started a battle with Israel. Moses instructed Joshua to choose men and fight the Amalekites, while he petitioned God on their behalf on the top of the hill. Every time Moses held up the staff of the Lord, the Israelites would prevail; but, when his arms grew weary and he lowered the staff, the Amalekites would prevail. Aaron and Hur (Moses' trusted friends and advisors) set Moses on a rock and held up his hands for him until sundown so that his arms would not grow weary. As a result, the Israelites defeated the Amalekites that day. And, once again, God demonstrated his faithfulness to His people.
There are several things that jump out at me about his passage. First, as the battle was raging below, Moses went up high on a hill to petition God for the Israelites. He removed himself from the battle and sought a better vantage point where He could spend time with the Lord in prayer. Sometimes, we need to do this as our battles rage on. We need to step away from whatever is going on in our lives and seek the Lord. We usually keep fighting and hoping God will save us as we fight in our own strength and ability. What God desires for us it to seek Him through the battle and He will bring us victory through His strength and ability. God longs to fight for us, but we need to step back and let Him!
Second observation from this passage, is that Moses' arms grew weary while He petitioned the Lord. Sometimes, we too, grow weary in seeking the Lord through our difficult circumstances. We need the help of other believers to keep on pressing into the Lord, to encourage and uplift us as we seek Him. Aaron and Hur were there for Moses when his strength failed him - they held up his arms for him so that he could continue to spiritually fight for the Israelites. And, notice that Moses accepted the help when offered. He chose to allow Aaron and Hur to hold up him up when he needed help. Like Moses, we need to choose to be vulnerable and reach out when we need help. This is why God has placed other believers in our lives - for such a time as this. However, it doesn't matter how many wonderful Christians God has placed in your path if you don't choose to be vulnerable with those people. I'm not saying that you have to spill every detail of your life story with everyone at your church - that's not wisdom. But, I am saying that if you are struggling and going through a difficult time, you need to put aside your pride and reach out to those God placed in your path. There's a reason those people are there! I promise you'll be amazed at the love, support and encouragement your Christian friends provide when you're going through a troubling time. Don't let what you think people may think of you deter you from reaching out to God's people for help. Moses didn't worry that he might look physically weak in front of the Israelites; he accepted the help and in the end God prevailed.
Lastly, I want you to notice that because Moses was faithful to seek the Lord's help in this situation, the Lord fought the battle for the Israelites and won the victory. Our job is not to fight the battle, but to trust in the Lord and to seek His face during the battle. "And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, 'The Lord is My Banner,'" (Exodus 17: 15, ESV). This is where God reveals another name in Scripture - Jehovah Nissi - God is My Banner. God is our banner of encouragement and victory. We just need to trust in him to get us through our battles and He will cover us with His banner of love and secure the victory.