What banner are you flying? In other words, what do people see when they look at your life? Does your banner say, “God is the Lord of my life!”? Or does your banner say, “Family is the lord of my life” or “My children are the lord of my life” or “My parent/spouse/sibling is the lord of my life”? Perhaps your banner is all about you and says this: “I am the lord of my life” or “Work is the lord of my life” or maybe even “Hurt is the lord of my life”?
Whatever banner you are flying, if it is not, “God is the Lord of my life”, you are walking a rougher path then you need to be walking. All the other banners, make lousy gods and will only get you so far. But when God is the Lord of your life, no matter what you encounter in this life you can walk in confidence that He has you in His hands and that changes everything.
This blog is one in a journey of a Getting to Know God series. The names and attributes of God are adapted from a guide on the Navigators website called 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God. Today’s blog corresponds with Day 19. God is Jehovah-nissi.
Our Navigators’ Guide for today says this: “God is Jehovah-nissi. This name means ‘God our banner.’ Under His banner we go from triumph to triumph and say, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor 15:57)
Our reference verses for today are:
Exodus 17:8-15 (NLT)
While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”).
I have to admit something, when I first read today’s name of God, I thought, HUH?! How about you?
Then, I went to scripture and looked up the reference verses. Suddenly, the meaning of “God our banner” began to come into focus. In the story above, God was with the Israelites and He promised them victory over the Amalekites. The key to the promise of victory was that they that they listen and obey His command to go to battle and take God with them in battle (via the staff of God that Moses carried).
Moses held the staff of God in his hands and kept it held up, like a banner, over his head. Like the story says, when he held the staff of God up, the Isrealites were winning and when he dropped the staff down, the battle turned and Amalekites started winning. So, Moses’s support people, Aaron and Hur, sat Moses down on a rock and helped him hold the staff of God up. Through this help from Aaron and Hur and the lifting up of God our Banner, the Isrealites were victorious.
In my opinion, this story has many deep treasures hidden within it, please allow me to expound.
First and foremost, this story relays the fact that God is our banner and with Him we ARE victorious, period. The ultimate victory has already been won. Jesus died and then rose from the dead thereby conquering sin and death and placing His Righteousness in our hands. There is no doubt about that fact of victory. However, you may not feel victorious in your life right now as you may be struggling with any number of worldly issues. Let me reassure you that if you are walking with God as your banner, the victory will come. If you are not walking with God as your banner, readjust your focus, remember the ultimate victory has already been won and then humbly lay your current struggle at the foot of the cross. Ask God to show you the victory in your situation and trust that He will deliver you. He will, I know He will, I am living proof that He will.
Next, this story relays the fact that Moses needed help from his friends and family to complete the God-given task at hand. We need to see this part of the story and realize that God has given us support people in our lives, as well. He has built them into our lives to be the hands and feet of Jesus directly to us, when we need it. Our job is recognize that need, humble ourselves and accept the assistance that is offered. Can you imagine if Moses would have said no to Aaron and Hur? It would have been one heck of a back and forth battle and without the staff of God raised high, it would not have turned out the way it did. Next time you need help or encouragement please reach out to your loved ones. God put us in relationship with others for a purpose. I pray you recognize the “arm-holder-uppers” in your life.
Last but not least, is that God our banner should be raised high. We need to live our lives so the righteousness of God shows like a banner on us. We know we will never be perfect people, nor should we strain to be perfect, but we can, in all our godly choices and even in our godly corrections (of our OWN lives) hold up God as our banner. I know it is only through God that I can love others with His love. I know it is only through God that I can tell others about His love without fear or shame. So, when the opportunity arises to share the reason I can do what I do, I raise God our banner high in thankfulness for His grace. This then points others to the cross so they might also become victorious, then spread the love of God and eternal salvation to others.
Isn’t it just amazing what lessons can come from just seven lines of scripture? This just confirms the fact that God is Awesome!!
If I may, I would like to leave you with three thinking points today:
1. Are you living in the victory of God our banner?
2. Is pride keeping you from seeking assistance from your “arm-holder-uppers”?
3. Do you glorify God by raising Him up through your story of victory?
I pray heartfelt reflection on those three questions will open your eyes to something that God wants to you to see and perhaps something that God wants to work on in your heart and spirit. May His Peace and Love flow into you by the power of the Holy Spirit. May He give you boldness, wisdom and strength to make different choices, if needed, and in doing so, lift God high as your banner.
Blessings and love,