Tag Archives: victory

Confidence in the Battles of Life

Today, our journey through names of our Triune God provides us a glimpse from the angelic perspective.  Found in both the Old and New Testaments, Christ’s title of Captain opens new vistas for the believer!

We first encounter the name with Joshua.  As he prepared for the battle of Jericho, Joshua encountered the pre-incarnate Christ:

And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.  Joshua 5:14-15

Earthly battles can cause us to wonder if God is for us or against us.   The Captain’s message to Joshua is important for us to hear:  our battles are actually the holy ground of eternal purposes.  Scripture continually reiterates that God is for us—there is no doubt of that.  Recognizing that Jesus is the Captain of the Angel Armies will not only bolster our courage for life’s battles, it places those battles back in their proper realm.  God’s purposes are the focus of the Captain.  Lining up under the authority of the Captain assures victory!

As we consider Christ’s role as Captain of the Angel Armies, our hearts will sing with the angels as we ‘look’ at the birth of Christ.  The incomprehensible truth of the leader of angels accepting the vulnerability and limitations of a helpless human infant awes my mind!  No wonder the angels ‘long to look into’ this matter of salvation—their holy, all-powerful leader submitting Himself to save fallen humanity is breathtaking, is it not?

With the New Testament context of the title of Captain, the picture of Christ as grows even richer:

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  Hebrews 2:10

The Captain of the Angel Armies is Captain of our Salvation!  The all-powerful leader of the angels, the Creator and Sustainer of all, submitted to sufferings that He would fulfill the purposes of God: bringing fallen humanity to glory.  The reality of the Captain’s humble submission to suffering to bring salvation to me reveals the love of God in a special way.  As Captain, Jesus commands the powers of heaven to assure the victorious completion of the perfect will of God.  May the Spirit of God illumine new facets of Christ’s beauty to each reader’s heart.

This is an excerpt from Fixing Our Eyes on God.  If you would like a free PDF list of names of God, visit this page and complete the form.

Struggles? Concerns? HOPE!

Just a short note this morning from the hope I found in Scripture this morning.  Hope in the Bible means confident expectation for good.

The struggle in your face?  

  • God’s got it.  Just like Joseph, we need to remember that evil is turned upside down in God’s hands! (Genesis 50)

Our task?  

  • Respond rightly:  Refuse to indulge in the fruits of the flesh!  Feast on and share the fruits of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5)
  • Be noble like the Bereans:  Examine the Scriptures.  (Acts 17)
  • Focus well:  Look at what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4)

 

Whose fruit?

There is a silly picture that keeps popping up in my mind.  I see a young fruit tree curling its toes (I mean, roots) and pushing with all its might.  Its face is scrunched and holding its breath, the tree mutters, “COME ON, FRUIT!  POP already.  I’m trying as hard as I can.”

On either side of this striving little tree are giant trees, loaded with fruit.  They are quiet, faces (make that leaves) turned upward seeking the Son (err, sun).

Can you relate?  I sure can.  That picture comes straight from the Holy Spirit for me.  I am a doer…a toddler crying, “Me do it!”  And my Guide, my Comforter says, “That is my work, not yours.  Seek the Son.”

The Amplified version of Galatians 5:22-23a renders more clarity:

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,  Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)…

Spiritual success never flows from striving but only from surrender.  The fruit that I produce will have earthly impact, but only the work of the Spirit produces eternally good fruit.  I don’t want to waste my time striving anymore.  I want to soak in the sun and live with joy–that will produce the growth I long to see!

It is pride that pushes. Hope is found in humility.  Seeing our need, seeking the One who meets all needs and joyful receiving Him produces victory.  Putting our roots into the soil of God’s love while reaching up to the Light of His love is the key to beautiful fruit that blesses us and others.

What desire beats strong in your heart?  What blocks that desire from being fulfilled?  Ask the Spirit within…He knows and wants you to know as well.  Press in deeply and watch Him work!

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Jesus, Our Victory Banner

Though we are called to walk by faith and not by sight, God understands how hard that is for us. Throughout scripture God provides focal points to encourage us, His children.

  • The picture of Jesus as our Shepherd reminds us of God’s leading and care.
  • The destination of a promised land filled with abundance calls our eyes to His provision and plan for us.
  • The title King of Kings and Lord of Lords calls the eyes of our hearts to trust in His power and control.

Today, let’s look at another image God has given. It is one which rejoices the heart, brightens the eyes and even draws others to Him. Can you guess it? It is the banner. We sing of it, we use Christian flags; but do we recall the banner in the midst of life when we need it most?

Flags and banners are a common tool of every society in every age; they are a visual reminder of common ideals. The Israelites marched under the banner of their tribe; as Christians we march in a victory parade under the Banner of Christ!  The banner of scripture is a reminder of God’s love, His truth and ultimately, His victory. All other flags and banners hang limp in its glorious presence!

The Banner of God is a gift to those who revere Him. It is raised up by God Himself to call us to a life of courage and joy. The banner is a visual reminder to the children of God that He is loving and powerful; and the banner has another objective. God’s blessings are always to be used to bless others. The banner is a gift God gives us that we can raise to call the world He loves so much to come into His purposes.

The Song of Solomon offers us a beautiful picture of the banner’s uses. Early in the Song, the beloved shares her delight in the banquet she has been brought to under the banner of love. Christ has brought us, His redeemed, to a feast of undeserved blessing by His love. As we look to Him, we are filled with over-flowing joy. Jesus Himself is our loving banner and source of blessing!

Later in the Song, we hear from the lover who proclaims that His beloved is as awe-inspiring as a conquering army with its banners flying. Our joy in Jesus, our banner, produces a life of victory that draws the eyes of others to the awesomeness of God. Jesus is the banner our world needs. When we see Him as our banner, our lives will be a beacon for others to gaze upon Him too.

May our eyes be fixed on Jesus, our banner, and may others see His glory in you and me today!

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” John 12:32

Glimpsing God: Banner that leads to victory

Sometimes stating the obvious really does help.Flag Bearer, Timothy Tolle

We see what we look at.

If we spend our time looking at the things we stress over or hate–that is all we see!  That does not lead to victorious living.  Look to Jesus!

After the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to Jehovah Nissi.  The Lord, our Banner.  It is a beautiful name to remind us to look to God.  We are soldiers of Christ; there are battles in life.  We must look to God.

Another cool part of these double names is remembering what Jehovah means.  Here is a great insight from the Blueletterbible site:

The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havahmeaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.

God wants us to know Him and look to Him!

Blessing the Battlefield

“But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel.”  Psalm 22:3

It is often said that in this life, one is either in a battle, just coming out of one or soon to be in one.  Battles are part of life.  We have a powerful weapon for victory that is often forgotten.  Praise.  No matter what we face, God has not abandon us to face it alone!  In the presence of God, victory is assured.  Praise puts us in his presence!  Why not read this aloud and let the Spirit minister to your spirit.

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. Take your stand and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will prepare for you today. For as you see the Egyptians today, you shall not continue to see them again forever. (14) Jehovah will fight for you, and you be silent.

Father, let these words be blessing builders in our lives.  We rejoice that you grant us confidence that brings peace:  You are present in our battles…you are working out our victories.  Bless us, Lord, with hearts that can not fear because they are captivated by You.  Might our eyes clearly see you removing enemies and delivering us; might our ears hear your voice telling us to move here, move there, do this, do that.  From tiny things to huge things, Father, let our steps of obedience keep us in the perfect position to see your work.

Father, grant us confidence that every battlefield we encounter is under your direction.  Fill us with peace that any battlefield Gloryholds the potential for great glory for you.  Every situation is managed by you; you will provide all that is needed for total victory.  We praise you for blessing us with faith that pleases you.  We rejoice that walking in faith gives strength to others.

Bless us with eyes that see you intervening, freeing us from difficult circumstance…eyes that see you removing enemies supernaturally.  We praise you for that and rejoice in the opportunity to bring your presence to this tangled world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

For more on reaping the harvest hidden in the fields of trouble, check out Battles Become Blessings.