Read with me, “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.” Exodus 17:12-13

In Exodus 17 we read the account of the Israelites facing the Amalekites. Moses went up a hill, raised a staff in his hands. During the moments his hands were in the air, the Israelites prevailed against Amalek. Only, Moses’ arms would grow tired resulting in his hands lowering to his sides, again. The result was that Amalek would have the advantage as long as his hands were lowered. Aaron and Hur lowered Moses on a stone to sit, and stood one on each side of Moses, raised his hands in the air. As long as Moses’ hands were raised the Israelites had the advantage. God gave Joshua the victory over Amalek that day as a result of Moses’ raised hands.

What stood out to me in this passage of Scripture is the consequence that came from Moses, Aaron and Hur’s actions. Joshua won, because Moses was lifting his hands. As he raised his hands in the air, he was ascertaining victory for him, his people and their families. As Aaron and Hur lifted Moses’ hands, their own hands were raised, also. This entire passage reminds me that when we raise one, we raise many. It was necessary for Aaron and Hur to lift their own hands, in order to raise Moses’ hands.

Worship works similarly. When we are fighting, when the enemy comes against us, our answer is in worshipping Him. As we lift our hands in worship, we see the enemy fall. When our hearts are raised to Him in worship, we see others overcome the enemy. In raising our hands, we raise His people. Raising our hands inadvertently raises a standard against the enemy. It would not have been possible for Aaron and Hur to lift Moses’ hands without also raising their own hands underneath his.  As you consider this, think today of people you know in need of a breakthrough, in desperate need of victory, raise your hands in worship on their behalf today just as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. Stand in the gap and praise until they see a breakthrough.

Worship Him today, as a physical expression of your faith in His sovereignty, as a tangible way of displaying our faith in His ability to see you through the enemy’s onslaught. Know that He is mighty and able. Know the God that you worship gives you the strength to stand, heart and head raised. Position yourself to worship with reverence before Him.

Look to Jesus

Read with me, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

In Matthew we see the words, do not worry, do not become anxious, fret not. The word Anxious as it is used here, translates to “distracted” from the Greek. Our thoughts play such a vital role in our general state of being.  Doubt, worry, anxiety, distractions, they all serve to derail our thoughts, and our faith. Today I want to remind you to not allow yourself to be distracted. Situations can so easily lead our focus away from Christ, stealing our peace. I want to remind you today, that there is no medal for the best worrier. God never meant for us to do mental gymnastics to outsmart the onslaughts of the enemy on our souls. It is in no way His intention for you to suffer turmoil. It is the enemy that steals our peace. And our weapon is sharpened as we fix our focus, not on the problem, but on the Man. We are reminded to keep our eyes fixed and focused on Christ, who is the author and finisher of our FAITH. The answer is right there in front of our eyes (SEE what I did there?). If the lie is in losing focus, then the solution is cemented in keeping it. Faith is initiated when we behold Him, it is also strengthened and sustained in the quiet moments we intently lock eyes with Him and refuse to look away.

Did you know He loves to look you in the eyes? Today, He is inviting you into a tender moment of surrender. Look away from that which would keep you busy, from those things that demand your attention, the clutter of life, and just see Him.  As a husband lifts the veil in a marriage ceremony to share a moment of tender intimacy with his bride, so He has come and torn the veil that separates us from Him. (2 Cor 3:18) As a bride whose veil has been lifted, behold Him unveiled. In purity, give Him all you attention right now. Engage Him, love on Him. This is how we become like Him, by beholding Him. This is how your hopelessness dies. This is where the despondency flees. In His embrace  is where you see Him, and become like Him. Your answer is in beholding.

When we allow ourselves to be constantly distracted, worry becomes a way of life. We look to the left, we look to the right, and wonder where our help will come from. Turn your eyes to the hill, lift your attention higher. Set your focus on the hill, on that hill where He died. Behold Him there, attaining the hope of a free life…for you. Do not look to the left, look away from the chaos. Do not look to the right, take your focus off the lack. Set your eyes on Him, allow faith to be initiated in your heart. Do not allow distractions to initiate worry. Do not be anxious, take no thought of worry.

What are you looking at? What holds your attention? If you feel anxious, you might be reflecting what you look at. If you feel hopeless you might be representing the idea of what you perceive. Just behold Him. He is there in front of you right now. See Him as He is, kind and caring. See Him as He has always been, strong and able. He loves you. His hand is mighty to save. He is willing, ever present, and ready to help. Just behold Him. Turn your eyes on Him.

The Blood Speaks

Read with me, ” To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:24

The past few weeks I have heard these words persistently in my Spirit…”the blood  speaks a better word.” I am reminded of the fact that we are daily inundated with myriads of voices and thoughts, persistent in their valuations and judgments.

Am I working hard enough?

What if I fail? Am I good enough?

What is my purpose?

Will they get better?

The constant onslaught of doubt can be draining. It is discouraging to not have answers. I want you to think about questions you are asking that leave you despondent.  Today, I want you to hear His voice over those questions. I want you to understand that when He speaks, He creates, and therefore there is abundant hope for your situation. Even in death, the blood of Jesus was speaking over our destinies. He will not leave you destitute. His blood is ever calling out purpose and better things over you. Allow His words to resonate with your thoughts, and refute the lies and despondency by hearing Him. Though introspection serves to guide us to self awareness which could ultimately lend itself to betterment, it is essentially the goodness, the betterness, of His words that bring about the internal awareness needed for change. 

Hebrews previously (11) describes Abel  as a man of faith who had obtained righteousness through an excellent sacrifice. Later in the same passage in Hebrews, it is mentioned that Abraham was considered as a man of faith because he believed the promises that God had made. When God speaks, He speaks well. There is something profound in the way faith comes by hearing. When we listen to what is being promised and declared, we cultivate faith. If you are struggling with despondency, and feel your faith is waning, I want to encourage you to get into the word of God and hear what He is saying. His is always the better way (words). Our faith is dependent on hearing and believing Him.  If you hear Him speak, do not harden your heart, believe Him, and be filled with faith.

Where we were once dependent in dependence on our works, Christ came and offered a life of surrender. When our thoughts scream at us that we are not enough, His blood speaks a better word. When we feel the need to suffer in order to deserve His love, His blood speaks a better word. When we are overcome with shame because of unbelief, we need only hear the better words spoken by His sacrifice. He did not leave the sacrifice incomplete. He went through with it, suffering and enduring. And now, that blood speaks of freedom, redemption, sufficiency and salvation. His blood speaks, it has a voice, calling you higher, urging you to know He has paid it all. You are called according to His sacrifice, His blood speaks of your worth, calling you son. 

Today, hear Him and believe. Find a passage of scripture, focus on it, hear it, know it, and believe it. Let Faith arise as you believe the one who speaks is faithful to fulfill. Believe the report of the Lord, over the report of people, doctors, media and peers.