My Lenten Journey- Day 29-31

Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.

Day 29-31
Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner

I mentioned in my Break Day post yesterday, that today’s name presented a bit of a challenge for me. I personally can think of many ways Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, is just that. And, I will share some of them. First, let’s roll with presentation in the book.

The author presents this name as one we can call upon to overcome sins of the flesh. She is definitely correct. She states, “A perpetual warfare is raging in our bodies: ‘For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please’ (Galatians 5:17). We can’t do the things we please; rather, we must constantly be on the alert, ever cognizant of the promise that if we walk by the Spirit we ‘will not carry out the desire of the flesh’ (Galatians 5:16).”

The first example given is that of Esau in Genesis. He was the first born son and rightful heir to Isaac. (Remember Isaac-The son Abraham was willing to sacrifice to God?) Esau’s birthright was forever linked to the Covenant given by God to Abraham (to prosper him among nations and bring forth a king {Christ} from his lineage.) Esau had little respect for his birthright and what it would mean for his future. In a rash decision he sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob, for a bowl of pottage (stew). Say what? In other words, he allowed his hunger, a mortal craving of the flesh, to take control of his senses, of his mind and his body. He traded what had eternal value for what could only give him temporal satisfaction.

I find all of the above very easy to understand and connect to the need for Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, in our lives. From there, I find the study book to a bit difficult to follow. I will try to simplify it, even if just for me, lol. By selling his birthright, Esau’s lineage was no longer connected to the Covenant. (Think Black Sheep of the family!) They still multiplied into a nation, as did Jacob’s lineage. Esau’s son, Eliphaz, begot another son, Amalek. The nation of Amalek became the nation of Israel’s (God’s Chosen People) bain of existence, attacking them at every turn as they fled Egypt. Amalek had no fear of, or reverence for, the LORD.

In the Book of Exodus, the LORD declared war against Amalek and his nation. He sent Moses and the Israelites into battle against him. Previously, He had Moses form a fiery serpent and attach it to a staff (pole) to serve as a reminder to the Israelites to always look up to it, if bitten, and they would live (a foreshadowing of Christ’s death on the Cross). As Moses held up the Serpent Staff in battle, so fared the Israelites. If he let it down they floundered. This is the first time that we see Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, mentioned. Under His Banner the Israelites prevailed!

My take on this…
If we give into the flesh we lose our heavenly birthright. Whether it is the literal sins of the flesh such as: lust, pornography, adultery, or the worldly sins of the flesh, such as greed, money, or material gain, we trade our heavenly future in for a self-gratifying temporary present.

A banner in biblical days was not necessarily a flag. It could be a standard (pole) with an object atop, such as a serpent headed staff like that of Moses, or a shield placed in front for protection. The standard bearer is the one we follow into battle. So, when the world is our temptress, when we find it difficult to keep it at bay, we need a standard bearer, a banner to fight under! We need to call upon Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner!

I mentioned earlier that I could think of some additional ways I would call on this particular name. There are times when we know something is wrong, that we, or someone we love, or even just someone we have a connection to, is doing wrong.

—Maybe they are taking advantage of a situation, not in a Christian way, and we are going to be put in a situation where we have to stand up for what is right by pointing out what is wrong.

—Maybe we are being asked to participate in an activity that is wrong or sinful.

—Maybe we know someone who is cheating, on a spouse, or in a sport, or cheating the company they work for.

I could go on and on, but I think you can see where I am headed. When something is wrong it should be made right. However, there is not always a clear path to do so. First of all, we must stop and determine if  the cause is righteous in the eyes of the LORD, if any action at all is truly needed. We must pay attention here and be sure, for some situations have a way of righting themselves through cause and effect. So, if you have a situation and have determined it needs to be made right, then ask the LORD to place you under His Banner as you seek to correct the situation. If your cause is not righteous, neither will be your outcome. Only in the Righteous Name of Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, will righteousness prevail in any situation you decide to intervene in. If unsure, it would  be better to call upon El Roi, The God Who Sees, and leave all in His Hands, than to act without confidence.

Here is one of my favorite ways to call upon this name. When you have conquered a sin, or followed His Will in a circumstance or situation, you will find all the needed support and help to continue doing so by walking in confidence while holding His Banner High above and out in front of you. In terms of Moses battling Amalek… as you hold up His Banner, so shall you fare in battle! When you are righteous and living in His Will for you, your best chance of continued success is to boast in the name of Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner!

We are ‘in’ this world but not to be ‘of’ this world. That is the real crux of life. How can we live a fulfilling life here on earth with our flesh fighting our Spirit at every turn? Only with our Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, out in front of us battling our temptations with us.

Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey:
Are you in constant battle with the flesh, or the things of this world? You are really only passing through this world to get back home to God. Figure out your trigger points. Find something to keep you from trading your eternal birthright for temporary gratification. Maybe picture your hand as Satan’s hand before you click on that ‘site’, be it a porn site, a shopaholic site, or some other ‘bad for you’ site. Or, maybe put a sticky note on your computer monitor with Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner on it.

Further action if so inclined:
Choose one bad habit, sinful or otherwise, and ask Jehovah-nissi, The LORD Is My Banner, to help you defeat it, even if just for a day. When you defeat it, hold His Banner high and continue to conquer!

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