The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows:
- Turned back in the day of battle.
- They did not keep the covenant of God;
- They refused to walk in His law,
- And forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers
Despite having all they needed to fight the battle and win the victory, Ephriam turned away from battle.
This verse came crashing into my soul, convicting me of having spent the last few months running from the battle. I preferred to murmur against God, eat comfort food, or read a good book. O sure, I called for prayer, but admittedly I was letting others do the battle for which I was equipped!
As with Ephriam, turning away from the battle was evidence of the root of the problem – refusal to make God God.
Where, when, and how does that rebellion begin? Forgetfulness. Forgetting who God is and what He has done quickly leads to forgetting Him.
Constantly the Lord God proved Himself to Israel and through their testimony, to the world. Consistently He tells us, REMEMBER and TEACH your children.
God provided Israel with so many ways to remember and to teach. I believe that’s the fundamental purpose of the holidays. Certainly the worship of Israel (the Psalms) is a litany of what God did for Israel.
Nevertheless, every generation must discover and experience God for itself.
I know personally, I can sing all the worship songs written by others, I can rejoice at testimonies of other believers, I can celebrate the miracles of Israel’s history, but the ONLY way I can keep my relationship alive and vibrant is to remember the experiences I have had with God!
Admittedly when I forget, I too run from the battle. Yes despite all the weapons God has given me, I will choose comfort food, movies, the telephone or a good book rather than fighting the battle. Let’s be real, the battle is just that – a battle! It’s hard and takes perseverance and determination. But Praise Jesus, the victory has been won.
So what are our weapons:
- Jesus: Isaiah 53:12, Hebrews 7:25
- The Holy Spirit: Romans 8:26-27
- Armor of God: Ephesians 6:10-18
- Thankfulness: Philippians 4:6
- Thoughts: Philippians 4:8
While God designed the Body to battle together and for each other, we are still equipped and called to fight for ourselves. There is a difference between having others battle for us or with us. No one can walk our walk for us, or do the battle for us except for Jesus.
“Lord Jesus, You won the battle, MY battle in the Garden of Gethsemane. You battled until you sweat blood. I will never understand that kind of battle, or that kind of love. I was wrong to forget, You DID fight my battle. You did the battle for me and now continue to battle with me. Thank You my dear Savior, my Lord, and my God.”
Shabbat, May 14, 2011