02 February 24, 2013, 2 Timothy 2:3-4 How To Be A Good Soldier In God's Army

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02 February 24, 2013, 2 Timothy 2:3-4 How To Be A Good Soldier In God's Army

  1. 1. HOW TO BE A GOOD SOLDIER IN GOD’S ARMY 2 Timothy 2:3-4 February 24, 2013FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI
  2. 2. TWELVE STEPPROGRAM ONENTERING THE US MILITARY
  3. 3. 1. Recruited2. It’s your decision3. Enlisted (I’m all in)4. Hurry up and wait5. Separated from family6. Transported7. Transformation begins
  4. 4. 8. Ground is level9. Instant obedience10. Willingness to suffer11. Desire to please12. Graduation – What banner flies over my head?
  5. 5. PLEDGE TO THECHRISTIAN FLAG
  6. 6. I pledge allegiance to theChristian Flag and to theSavior for whose Kingdomit stands. One Savior,crucified, risen, andcoming again with life andliberty to all who believe.
  7. 7. PLEDGE TO THE BIBLE
  8. 8. I pledge allegiance to theBible, Gods Holy Word, Iwill make it a lamp untomy feet and a light untomy path and will hide itswords in my heart that Imight not sin against God.
  9. 9. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE U. S. FIGHTING MAN
  10. 10. 1. I am an Americanfighting man. I serve inthe forces which guardmy country and our wayof life. I am prepared togive my life in theirdefense.
  11. 11. 6. I will never forget that Iam an American fightingman, responsible for myactions, and dedicated tothe principles which mademy country free.
  12. 12. I will trust in my God andin the United States ofAmerica. (There are noatheists in foxholes!) CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE U. S. FIGHTING MAN
  13. 13. After Paul wrote theprison letters ofColossians and Ephesians,he wrote 2 Timothy fromprison in Rome around63 A.D. under verydifficult circumstances.
  14. 14. *2 Timothy was the lastletter written by Paul thatappears in the Bible.
  15. 15. *Pauls outlook for hisearthly life had darkenedconsiderably from hisearlier prison letters.*By this time he didntexpect to live muchlonger. See 2 Tim 4:6-8
  16. 16. 2 Timothy 4:6-86 “For I am alreadybeing poured out as adrink offering, and thetime of my departure hascome.
  17. 17. 7 I have fought the goodfight, I have finished thecourse, I have kept thefaith; 8 in the future there is laidup for me the crown ofrighteousness, which the
  18. 18. Lord, the righteous Judge,will award to me on thatday; and not only to me,but also to all who haveloved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8
  19. 19. Today’s text:2 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB
  20. 20. 2 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB3 “Suffer hardship withme, as a good soldierof Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in activeservice entangles himselfin the affairs of everyday
  21. 21. life, so that he may pleasethe One Who enlisted himas a soldier.” 
  22. 22. In his letter to the churchat Ephesus (62A.D.), Paulhad already encouragedthem to “be strong in theLord, and in the strengthof His might”(Eph6:10).Now listen to the military
  23. 23. language as Paul says to:"Put on the full armor ofGod, that you may be ableto stand firm against theschemes of the devil. Forour struggle is not againstflesh and blood,
  24. 24. but against the rulers,against the powers,against the world forces ofthis darkness, against thespiritual forces ofwickedness in theheavenly places.
  25. 25. Therefore, take up the fullarmor of God, that youmay be able to resist inthe evil day, and havingdone everything, to standfirm". Ephesians 6:11-13
  26. 26. Paul also admonished thebelievers at Corinth aboutthe offensive side of thatbattle, saying, "Thoughwe walk in the flesh, wedo not war according tothe flesh, for the weapons
  27. 27. of our warfare are not ofthe flesh, but divinelypowerful for thedestruction of fortresses.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 Our weapons are theWord of God and prayer!
  28. 28. Six talking points ofinterest in today’s lessonconcerning what it takesto be a good soldier inGod’s army:
  29. 29. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  30. 30. PRAYIn order to be a goodsoldier of Christ Jesus, weneed to beprayingsoldiers!
  31. 31. Ephesians 6:17-20 NASB17 “And take the helmetof salvation, andthe sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.18 With all prayer andpetition pray at all times
  32. 32. in the Spirit, and with thisin view, be on the alert(Gideon’s soldiers) withall perseveranceand petition (tell folks thatyour are an intercessor)for all the saints, 
  33. 33. 19 and pray on my behalf,that utterance may begiven to me in theopening of my mouth, tomake known withboldness the mystery ofthe Gospel,
  34. 34. 20 for which I am anambassador (about theKing’s business) in chains;that in proclaiming it Imay speak boldly, as Iought to speak.”Ephesians 6:17-20 NASB
  35. 35. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  36. 36. *No one is better thananyone else.*No one is loved more orloved less by Christ.
  37. 37. *We are all equal inimportance when we arefully obedient tobecoming and doing asGod desires.*No one is greater thanany other.
  38. 38. We are called by no meritof our own,gifted by no merit of ourown and talented by nomerit of our own to beintegral but notindispensable to His will.
  39. 39. *We are to be the body ofChrist which gives Godglory together.*Each one needs everyother one.*We must hold all otherbelievers in high esteem.
  40. 40. *The only greatness I canever achieve is being theservant of everyone.*Simple obedience isGods measure.*It makes us all equal.
  41. 41. 1 Corinthians 12:17-1817 “If the whole bodywere an eye, where wouldthe hearing be? If thewhole were hearing,where would the sense ofsmell be?
  42. 42. 18 But now Godhas placed the members,each one of them, in thebody, just as He desired.”1 Corinthians 12:17-18 
  43. 43. Romans 12:3-5 NIV 19843 “For by the grace givenme I say to every one ofyou: Do not think ofyourself more highly thanyou ought, but ratherthink of yourself with
  44. 44. sober judgment, inaccordance with themeasure of faith God hasgiven you. 4 Just as each of us hasone body with manymembers, and these
  45. 45. members do not all havethe same function, 5 so in Christ we who aremany form one body, andeach member belongs toall the others.”Romans 12:3-5 NIV 1984
  46. 46. *Salvation is the greatequalizer.*It makes the ground levelat the foot of the cross.
  47. 47. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  48. 48. *Paul calls on Timothy toserve the Lord as a goodsoldier of Christ Jesus.*A spiritual Christian doesnot simply do minimumduty for his Lord butserves Him with all that
  49. 49. he is and all that he has.The soldier is conditionedto obedience. The earlytraining of a soldier isdesigned to make himunquestioningly obey theword of command.
  50. 50. *There may come a timewhen such instinctiveobedience will save hislife and the lives of others.*There is a sense in whichit is no part of the soldiersduty "to know the reason
  51. 51. why.”“Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die.”*The Charge of the LightBrigade byAlfred Lord Tennyson
  52. 52. *Involved as a soldier is inthe midst of the battle, hecannot see the over-allpicture.*Those decisions he mustleave to the CommanderWho sees the whole field.
  53. 53. *The Battle of the Bulge…*The first Christian duty isobedience to the voice ofGod, and acceptance evenof that which he cannotunderstand.
  54. 54. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  55. 55. Another mark of a goodsoldier that Paul mentionsis the willingness to sufferhardship.*One scholar translatesthe phrase, "take onesshare of rough treatment."
  56. 56. By adding “with me”,Paul gives assurance thathe would not askanything of Timothy thathe himself was not doingor willing to do.
  57. 57. *Sunkakopatheo (sufferhardship with) is acompound verb thatmeans to suffer evil orpain along with someoneelse.
  58. 58. It is difficult for Christiansin the USA to understandwhat serious spiritualwarfare and suffering forChrist really means inother parts of the world.
  59. 59. However, the secularenvironment in oursociety is becoming moreand more hostile toChristianity.
  60. 60. We are not yet faced withloss of job, imprisonment,and execution because ofour faith.
  61. 61. With few exceptions,being a Christian today inthe US will not keep astudent out of college or aworker from getting agood job.
  62. 62. But the more faithful aChristian becomes and themore the Lord blesses hiswork, the more Satan willput roadblocks, rejection,and hardships in the way.
  63. 63. In the near future, themore evident the spiritualwarfare becomes, themore frequent andobvious the hardshipswill become.
  64. 64. *A soldier in activeservice does not have a 9to 5 job, or even a long 80-hour work week.*He is a soldier 24 hours aday, every day of the year.*His body, his health, his
  65. 65. skills, his time — all thathe is — belong to themilitary in which heserves.*Even when on leave, heis subject to recall at anytime, without notice and
  66. 66. for any reason.*Whenever ordered intodangerous duty, a goodsoldier is expected to puthis very life on the linewithout question orhesitation.
  67. 67. Consequently, he isseparated from his normalenvironment, so that hewill not entangle himselfin the affairs of everydaylife.
  68. 68. Entangle himselftranslates a passive formof empleko, whichliterally means to weave.Paul is not speaking aboutthings that necessarily arewrong in themselves.
  69. 69. It is not that a soldiershould have no contact atall with his former friendsand surroundings, butthat he is not to becomecaught up and enmeshedin them.
  70. 70. Those things that attemptto weave themselves intohis life are irrelevant tohis soldiering and arealways subject to beingrelinquished.
  71. 71. Imagine a soldier in themidst of battle going tohis sergeant or hislieutenant and saying,"Sir, Im sorry to have toleave, but I have to goover into the city to see
  72. 72. about some business; andthen I have a date with alocal girl, and I just wontbe able to be here for thebattle tonight!"
  73. 73. *A great many Christiansare trying to fight like thattoday!*In our culture it is allabout our convenienceand our comfort.
  74. 74. A good soldier of ChristJesus refuses to allowearthly matters tointerfere with thefulfillment of his duty tohis Lord.
  75. 75. Don’t allow concerns andactivities that are innocentin themselves to crowdout the primary purposeof serving Jesus Christ inthe advancement of Hiskingdom.
  76. 76. The contemporary churchin the US seems to havemissed the reality ofspiritual warfare.Many have heard only thegospel of easy believismand cheap grace.
  77. 77. They have an inadequateconcept of the spiritualstruggle involved inloving the Lord JesusChrist.
  78. 78. Such people oftenmagnify the pettytemporal annoyances ofeveryday life until theyseem like trials of epicproportions!*First world problems.
  79. 79. That is as absurd as asoldier in the midst of araging firefightcomplaining about thefood in the mess hall.
  80. 80. Jesus recognized that suchdisconnection and call toduty required of Hisfaithful disciple, a soldierin His active service, isnot easy.
  81. 81. As He and His discipleswere going along theroad, someone said toHim, "I will follow Youwherever You go."
  82. 82. And Jesus said to him,"The foxes have holes, andthe birds of the air havenests, but the Son of Manhas nowhere to lay Hishead."
  83. 83. And He said to another,"Follow Me." But he said,"Permit me first to go andbury my father." But Hesaid to him, "Allow thedead to bury their owndead; but as for you,
  84. 84. go and proclaimeverywhere the kingdomof God." And another alsosaid, "I will follow You,Lord; but first permit meto say good-bye to thoseat home."
  85. 85. But Jesus said to him, "Noone, after putting his handto the plow and lookingback, is fit for thekingdom of God." Luke 9:57-62
  86. 86. In the parable of the soils,"the one on whom seedwas sown among thethorns, this is the manwho hears the word, andthe worry of the world,and the deceitfulness of
  87. 87. riches choke the word,and it becomes unfruitful"(Matthew 13:22).
  88. 88. Those are the kind ofprofessing Christians ofwhom Peter speaks:"If after they have escapedthe defilements of theworld by the knowledgeof the Lord and Savior
  89. 89. Jesus Christ, they areagain entangled in themand are overcome, the laststate has become worsefor them than the first"(2 Peter 2:20).
  90. 90. "The worry of the world,and the deceitfulness ofriches" of which Jesusspoke are among theaffairs of everyday lifethat can keep one fromfaithfully serving Him.
  91. 91. Just as the dutiful soldierplaces his life willingly onthe line in service of hiscountry, so the faithfulChristian will willingly"deny himself, and takeup his cross, and follow
  92. 92. Christ" (Matt 16:24).*He will say with Paul,"I do not consider my lifeof any account as dear tomyself, in order that Imay finish my course, andthe ministry which I
  93. 93. received from the LordJesus" (Acts 20:24).*The good soldier in God’sarmy is willing to sufferhardship for the One Whopaid the ultimate price forhis salvation.
  94. 94. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  95. 95. The next mark of a goodsoldier is a genuine desireto please the One Whoenlisted him as a soldier.
  96. 96. A Christians deepestdesire is to please theLord Jesus Christ, hisCommander in Chief, theOne Who enlisted him.
  97. 97. It is impossible to servetwo commanders in chief,just as it is impossible toserve two masters(Matthew 6:24).
  98. 98. The faithful Christiansfondest hope is to berewarded for loyal serviceand to hear his Mastersay, "Well done, good andfaithful servant; you werefaithful with a few things,
  99. 99. I will put you in charge ofmany things, enter intothe joy of your master"(Matthew 25:21).
  100. 100. Triangle:Love of GodFear of GodDesire for God
  101. 101. The strong desire toplease other peopleinstead of pleasing God isan integral characteristicof fallen man.
  102. 102. Because of the continuedinfluence of the old self(Ephesians 4:22), evenChristians are tempted tobe men-pleasers ratherthan God-pleasers.
  103. 103. Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB  22 “In reference to yourformer manner of life,you lay aside the old self,which is being corruptedin accordance withthe lusts of deceit,
  104. 104.  23 and that you berenewed in the spirit ofyour mind, 24 and put on the new self,which in the likeness ofGod has been created inrighteousness and
  105. 105. holiness of the truth.”Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB
  106. 106. Many Christians succumbto that temptation andbecome more concernedabout pleasing theirfellow workers, theirneighbors, and theirfriends than about
  107. 107. pleasing the Lord.*That desire inevitablyleads to moral andspiritual decline, becausepleasing the world,including worldlyChristians, demands
  108. 108. compromise of Godstruth, Gods standards,and personal godliness.*Pleasing people morethan God demandsforsaking Christ as ourfirst love.
  109. 109. “that he may please theOne Who enlisted him asa soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4b*The believer has toestablish his priorities –the fellowship of Hissufferings over comfort.
  110. 110. 10 “that I may know Him(personally) and thepower of His resurrection(powerfully) and thefellowship of Hissufferings (passionately),” Philippians 3:10 NASB
  111. 111. Paul is talking aboutbeing so entangled inworldliness that one is notable to live the Christianlife that is pleasing to theFather.
  112. 112. We are to recognize thatthe Christian life is not aplayground; it is abattleground.
  113. 113. It is a battlefield wherebattles are being won, andwhere battles are beinglost also.
  114. 114. From the situation of theEphesian church someyears after Paul wrote thisletter to Timothy (whowas pastoring inEphesus), we know thatforsaking Christ as our
  115. 115. first love is possible evenwhen our doctrine issound and we toil andpersevere for Him(see Revelation 2:2-4).
  116. 116. When that happens, wemust "remember thereforefrom where we havefallen, and repent" (v. 5).
  117. 117. We must remindourselves of Paulssobering testimony:"If I were still trying toplease men, I would notbe a bond-servant ofChrist" (Galatians 1:10).
  118. 118. When Christ is our firstlove, we will "have as ourambition, whether athome or absent, to bepleasing to Him"(2 Corinthians 5:9).
  119. 119. 4 “but just as we havebeen approved by God tobe entrusted with theGospel, so we speak, notas pleasing men, but GodWho examines ourhearts.” 1 Thess 2:4
  120. 120. 1. Pray!2. Ground is level.3. Instant obedience.4. Willingness to suffer.5. Desire to please Him.6. What banner flies over your head?
  121. 121. *Instant obedience.*Moses, Aaron and Hur.*What banner flies overyour camp?See Exodus 17:9-15:
  122. 122. Exodus 17:9-15 NASB9 “Moses said to Joshua,‘Choose men for us andgo out, fight againstAmalek. Tomorrow I willstation myself on the topof the hill with the staff of
  123. 123. God in my hand.’10 Joshua did as Mosestold him, and foughtagainst Amalek; andMoses, Aaron, and Hurwent up to the top of thehill.
  124. 124. 11 So it came about whenMoses held his hand up,that Israel prevailed, andwhen he let his handdown, Amalek prevailed.
  125. 125. 12 But Moses’ hands wereheavy. Then they took astone and put it underhim, and he sat on it; andAaron and Hur supportedhis hands, one on one sideand one on the other.
  126. 126. Thus his hands weresteady until the sun set. 13 So Joshuaoverwhelmed Amalekand his people with theedge of the sword.
  127. 127. 14 Then the Lord said toMoses, “Write this in abook as a memorialand recite it to Joshua,that I will utterly blot outthe memory of Amalekfrom under heaven.” 
  128. 128. 15 Moses built an altarand named it: “The Lord is My Banner”. (Jehovah Nissi) Exodus 17:9-15 NASB
  129. 129. This battle was all about God, the battle itself wasorchestrated by God. Moses knew this and wantedto make certain the Israelites knew it andremembered it. Nothing that he or they did in thephysical realm brought about victory. God’spresence and power took them into the battle andassured the victory when the battle was done.What battles are you fighting today?Is the battle you are in one that the Lord has chosenfor you? Strange question, isn’t it? Scripture is veryclear in this particular passage that the Lord, in fact,chooses certain battles for us to fight. Does He leadthe way as Jehovah Nissi in your current battles?
  130. 130. Perhaps the battle you are in is a battle that you havechosen, one that is outside the will of God? Are youfighting in your own strength? Are you struggling tobe victorious in the battle? If Jehovah Nissi is leadingthe way in your struggle, then you are assuredsuccess, but if you are fighting your battle in yourown strength, your defeat is imminent.Where in your life do you need God to showHimself strong as Jehovah Nissi – the Lord myBanner – and go before you so that you may knowvictory? 
  131. 131. The "banner" would be the battle-standard, a pole,perhaps with an eye-catching cloth upon it. The BronzeSerpent was raised on this sort of pole. The altar is builtto commemorate the battle, and what this episodereveals about the nature and character of Jehovah.The Lord is our "battle-standard" because we look tohim. Moses had stood above the fray, and his handsrose and fell (presumably holding the Rod of God), untilAaron and Hur sat Moses, and upheld his arms to keepthem up. The dry stick wasnt so impressive, but what itrepresented to the men fighting in the dells below wasglorious. This was Gods battle, not theirs. Moses, andhis rod were pointing the fighters (in his Mediatorial role)to the Cloud that ever accompanied them.
  132. 132. So often in those stories in the wilderness, it seems as though thechildren of Israel are oblivious to the Presence, the Angel of theLord, until Moses gets them to look, to focus, to see Who it is thatis with them, Who has helped them, Who is for them when theirenemies attack them.The explanation that follows the Name is significant. "A hand onthe throne of the Lord!" is either an exclamation of outrage (if thehand is the presumptuous hand of Amalek), or it is an exclamationof his own oath (upon the seat of his power and authority). But inany case, the oath is that of The Lord swears to never step backfrom this conflict until it is utterly complete, until he hasexterminated Amalek to the last man, woman, and child. He soidentifies himself with this warfare so as to BE what the flagstands for. "I am the flag, rally to me, and in my strength and bymy will I, and you, will overcome our foes--these in particular,Amalek and all he stands for."
  133. 133. We are weak, but he is strong.We are a wilderness people. The Promised Land is future.Our Amalek is the world, the flesh, and the devil. The battleis the Lords, but we fight it in his strength, by faith, looking toour Mediator, keeping our eyes on him. And in his might weprevail. Its a miracle.But the focus of the verses is on Moses, the mediator of theOld Covenant, and what he stands for. He is a type of Christ.Hes literally pointing to the Christ who is with the people inthe Pillar of Cloud. But hes human and has his own sinfullimits. But he is strengthened by the others, who all threeform a kind of "prophet-priest-king" stand. Israel is victoriousultimately because her mediator is victorious.
  134. 134. In other words, I find that the passage is more to thepurpose of teaching me about God, rather than teachingme about me. But in the process I understand how hisvictory means I will have victory over all my enemies,because God isnt going to rest until he has obliteratedthe very memory of his, and our, foes--those who daredto prey on his little ones trudging through this dangerousplace. So, while in principle I know that ALL my enemiesare defeated, in practice I dont know the manner thatGod may use (or the amount of time it will take) to beat acertain temptation. The story doesnt descend to thatlevel of detail. Amalek wasnt wiped out that day. Thefocus is on the nature of the battle, which helps ussoldier on each day, facing the temptations of that day.
  135. 135. Holman Christian StandardBible (©2009)“On that day the root of Jessewill stand as a banner for thepeoples. The nations willseek Him, and His restingplace will be glorious.”Isa 11:10
  136. 136. Gills Exposition of the Entire BibleAnd Moses built an altar,.... On Horeb, asAben Ezra; on the top of the hill, as BenGersom, where sacrifices of thanksgivingwere offered up for the victory obtained, orhowever a monument erected in memory ofit:
  137. 137. and he called the name of it Jehovahnissi; which signifies either "theLord is my miracle" who wrought a miracle for them in giving them thevictory over Amalek, as well as, through smiting the rock with the rod,brought out water from thence for the refreshment of the people, theirchildren and cattle; or "the Lord is my banner": alluding to the hands ofMoses being lifted up with the rod therein, as a banner displayed, underwhich Joshua and Israel fought, and got the victory. This may fitly beapplied to Christ, who is both altar, sacrifice, and priest, and who is thetrue Jehovah, and after so called; and who is lifted up as a banner,standard, or ensign in the everlasting Gospel, in order to gather soulsunto him, and enlist them under him, and to prepare them for war, andencourage them in it against their spiritual enemies; and as a token oftheir victory over them, and a direction to them where they shall stand,when to march, and whom they shall follow; and to distinguish themfrom all other bands and companies, and for the protection of them fromall their enemies, see Isaiah 11:10. These words were inscribed uponthe altar, or the altar was called the altar of Jehovahnissi, in memory ofwhat was here done; from hence it has been thought (a), that Baachus,among the Heathens, had his name of Dionysius, as if it wasJehovahnyssaeus.
  138. 138. Clarkes Commentary on the BibleJehovah-nissi - Jehovah is my ensign or banner. Thehands and rod of Moses were held up as soldiers arewont to hold up their standards in the time of battle; andas these standards bear the arms of the country, thesoldiers are said to fight under that banner, i.e., underthe direction and in the defense of that government.Thus the Israelites fought under the direction of God,and in the defense of his truth; and therefore the nameof Jehovah became the armorial bearing of the wholecongregation. By his direction they fought, and in hisname and strength they conquered; each one feelinghimself, not his own, but the Lords soldier.
  139. 139. Barnes Notes on the BibleJehovah-nissi - See the margin, "Jehovah mybanner." As a proper name the Hebrew word isrightly preserved. The meaning is evidently thatthe name of Yahweh is the true banner underwhich victory is certain; so to speak, the motto orinscription on the banners of the host. Inscriptionson the royal standard were well known. Each ofthe Pharaohs on his accession adopted one inaddition to his official name.
  140. 140. Matthew Henrys Concise Commentary17:8-16 Israel engaged with Amalek in their own necessary defence. God makes hispeople able, and calls them to various services for the good of his church. Joshua fights,Moses prays, both minister to Israel. The rod was held up, as the banner to encouragethe soldiers. Also to God, by way of appeal to him. Moses was tired. The strongest armwill fail with being long held out; it is God only whose hand is stretched out still. We donot find that Joshuas hands were heavy in fighting, but Moses hands were heavy inpraying; the more spiritual any service is, the more apt we are to fail and flag in it. Toconvince Israel that the hand of Moses, whom they had been chiding, did more for theirsafety than their own hands, his rod than their sword, the success rises and falls asMoses lifts up or lets down his hands. The churchs cause is more or less successful, asher friends are more or less strong in faith, and fervent in prayer. Moses, the man ofGod, is glad of help. We should not be shy, either of asking help from others, or of givinghelp to others. The hands of Moses being thus stayed, were steady till the going down ofthe sun. It was great encouragement to the people to see Joshua before them in the fieldof battle, and Moses above them on the hill. Christ is both to us; our Joshua, the Captainof our salvation, who fights our battles, and our Moses, who ever lives, makingintercession above, that our faith fail not. Weapons formed against Gods Israel cannotprosper long, and shall be broken at last. Moses must write what had been done, whatAmalek had done against Israel; write their bitter hatred; write their cruel attempts; letthem never be forgotten, nor what God had done for Israel in saving them from Amalek.Write what should be done; that in process of time Amalek should be totally ruined androoted out. Amaleks destruction was typical of the destruction of all the enemies ofChrist and his kingdom.
  141. 141. Isaiah 54:1717 “No weapon that isformed against you willprosper”.
  142. 142. How does Moses respond in Ex 17:15?Moses built altarHe named the altar Jehovah NissiJehovah Nissi in the Greek (LXX) = "kuriosmou kataphuge" which in English ="The Lord My Refuge"For interesting parallel see this same wordkataphuge in (Ps 46:1)
  143. 143. Psalm 46:1 (NASB95)1 God is our refuge andstrength, A very present help introuble.
  144. 144. When "Amalek" comes...Keep your eye onJesus Your Jehovah-NissiThe LORD your BannerYour SignalYour Standard to rally under!To be distracted > look aroundTo be distressed > look withinTo be defeated > look backTo be discouraged > look downTo be delivered > look upTo be delighted > look to Christ
  145. 145. Who is Jehovah Nissi?Isa 11:10 Then it will come about in that day(what "Day"?) that the nations (who are"nations" in Scripture?) will resort to theroot of Jesse (Who is this?) Who will standas a signal (Hebrew word = nec = banner)(Isa 11:12) He (Who?) will lift up a standard(nec) for the nations and will assemble thebanished ones of Israel and will gather thedispersed of Judah from the four corners ofthe earth.
  146. 146. Even today a banner is a standard thatbears the colors by which a military unit isidentified and behind which troops rally.The "standard-bearer" carries the colors andmarching bands are often led by peoplecarrying a banner that identifies the band,and after which the musicians fall in line. Sowhen Moses names the altar Jehovah Nissi,The Lord is my Banner, he proclaims as amemorial - "I rally behind Jehovah. It is Heto Whom I look. It is He Whom I willfollow."
  147. 147. A wonderful picture of Gods protection &deliverance under imagery of a banner >Ps 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to those whofear Thee, that it may be displayed because of thetruth. Selah. 5 That Thy beloved may bedelivered, Save with Thy right hand, and answerus!Ps 20:5 We will sing for joy over your victory,And in the name of our God we will set up ourbanners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
  148. 148. Even as Moses needed the assistance of Aaron and Hur, sotoday those called to spiritual leadership need theundergirding of the people to whom they minister. How canyou help your pastor, your Bible study leader, etc? Theirwork is demanding, often discouraging, and fraught withmany attacks by the "Amalekites". Christian leaders needyour encouragement (word) and support (deed). When wasthe last time you "took hold" of your pastors hand andverbally expressed your gratitude for his ministry (Psalm20:5)? A word properly timed will be, in effect, "holding uphis hands," and will help to assure spiritual victory in yourchurch under the banner of Jehovah Nissi!O "hold up the hands" of the worker for Christ,Encourage his soul by your prayer;A handclasp, a smile, or a word of good cheer,Will help him lifes burdens to bear.  G. W.
  149. 149. What do we learn of warfare?Staff of God ~ His "banner over" us(Song 2:4) symbolizes His presence, Hispower & His provision. Even as Heprovided food & water He gives usvictory in spiritual warfare. Whenconfronted with "Amalekites" dontdepend on your zeal or ingenuity todefeat them but on your rallying point,Jehovah Nissi (Romans 8:26, 27;Hebrews 7:25)
  150. 150. What some lessons for life?Moses by the staff in his handlooked for victory to God alone,& did not trust the “arm offlesh” The Battle is the Lords, but Heoften fights thru His humaninstruments like Joshua & thechosen men.
  151. 151. Song of Solomon 2:44 “He has brought me tohis banquet hall,And his banner over meis love.”
  152. 152. The Septuagint translatorsbelieved nis·si′ to be derivedfrom nus (flee for refuge) andrendered it "the Lord My Refuge",[3]while in the Vulgate it wasthought to be derived from na·sas′ (hoist; lift up) and was rendered"Jehovah Is My Exaltation".
  153. 153. Jehovah Nissi: The Lord Is My BannerThe Olympic Games always open with an awe inspiring procession ofathletes from all the participating countries of the world marchingaround the field under their countrys banner or flag. The flag is theiridentification with the sponsoring country and a rallying point for theathletes and fans. Great cheers go up from the citizens of each countryas their team goes by with the flag waving back and forth.We rally round the flag each Fourth of July in the United States tocelebrate our freedom. We wave flags, bake flag cakes, display flags andsing a song about our flag - the Star Spangled Banner, at the opening ofevery baseball game.The most important thing flags or banners do, however, is mark victory.It is well understood that the conquering army in any battle has theright to remove the defeated countrys flag and replace it with theirown, usually in the highest spot possible for all to see. The country withthe conquering flag has won and now they are in control.
  154. 154. THE LORD IS MY BANNERIt was over a great battle in the Old Testament that God revealed himself asJehovah Nissi, THE LORD IS MY BANNER. It happened at the time whenIsrael was wandering in the wilderness after miraculously crossing the Red Sea.Amalek was the enemy who came against Israel in Rephidim. In Exodus 17:8-16Moses called on his young apprentice, Joshua, to lead the Israelites into battlewhile he stationed himself on top of a hill to pray. He had with him his brotherAaron and his assistant, Hur. As Moses lifted his hands and prayed, theIsraelites prevailed in the battle but when he let his hands down, Amalekprevailed. So Aaron and Hur set Moses on a rock and held his hands up for himuntil the battle was totally won.At the end of the day there was victory and God told Moses to write downwhat had happened and read it in Joshuas hearing. God was thinking ahead tothe time when Moses would be gone and Joshua would be called upon to takeover leadership of Gods chosen people. Joshua would be the one to cross theJordan River into Canaan (the Promised Land) and defeat Jericho. He wouldhave plenty of battles ahead of him and God wanted him to remember back tothis one and the victory God had given them.
  155. 155. Instead of raising a flag, Moses built an altar because in those times, analtar was often used as a place of remembering or marking an importantevent. This is where Moses called God Jehovah Nissi because heunderstood the revelation that God himself is our banner, our victory.He is the one who wins our battles. He still does that by the way. WhenMoses wrote that story down for Joshua, he was also writing it down forour benefit so that we will remember it as we go into battle. How do weknow that?There is an interesting thing that God says when he tells Moses to writedown the story. God says that he "…will utterly blot out theremembrance of Amalek from under heaven." (verse 14b) That meansthat this enemy would not rise again - he was defeated UTTERLY. Inverse 16, however, Moses says; "…the Lord has sworn: the Lord willhave war with Amalek from generation to generation." How is it thatGod is saying the enemy was completely defeated and yet that therewould be future wars with Amalek in future generations?
  156. 156. Amalek in this story represents our enemy, Satan, who is active against Godspeople in all generations. Even though the literal "Amalek" at that time wascompletely defeated by Israels army, other Amaleks would rise up againstIsrael and on down to you and me in our own generation. When you gatherunder Jehovah Nissi as your banner, trust him that the outcome of your battlewill be the same as it was for Moses and Joshua at Rephidim. God is sayingthere will always be war; dont be surprised by it. He is also saying he isalways the winner.What is your battle right now?Drugs? Pornography? Bitterness? Loneliness? Cancer? Dissention? Depression?Hopelessness? Bankruptcy? Injustice? The list goes on and on and if I haventnamed your battleground you can just fill in the blank. You know what you areat war with and you know that in the heat of battle it is hard to see the victoryat the end. Remember Jehovah Nissi. Call upon Jehovah Nissi. Raise yourhands in prayer the way Moses did. Dont give up. Ask others to hold yourhands up if you get tired. God is faithful to fulfill his word. When your battle isover you will have the right to replace your enemys flag with your own. Set iton high for all to see that Jehovah Nissi is your God who has secured yourvictory.
  157. 157. Paul does not exhort Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a“good soldier of Jesus Christ”; for all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not begood soldiers. There are men who are only just soldiers and nothing more; theyonly need sufficient temptation and they readily become cowardly, idle,useless and worthless; but he is the good soldier who is the bravest of thebrave, courageous at all times, who is zealous, does his duty with heart andearnestness. He is the good soldier of Jesus Christ who, through grace, plans tomake himself as able to serve his Lord as shall be possible, who tries to grow ingrace and to be perfected in every good word and work, so that he may be inhis Master’s battles fit for the roughest and most stern service, and ready tobear the very brunt of the fray. David had many soldiers, and good soldierstoo, but you remember it was said of many, “These did not attain to the firstthree.” Now Paul, if I read him correctly, would have Timothy try to be amongthe first three, to be a good soldier. And surely I would this morning say to mydear comrades in the little army of Christ meeting here, let each one of us try toattain to the first three; let us ask to be numbered among the King’s mighties,to do noble work for him and honourable service, so that we may bring to ourMaster’s cause new glory. May it be ours to covet earnestly the best gifts, andsince we have had much forgiven, let us love much, and prove that love by ouractions.
  158. 158. Our part in the Kingdom of God is dependent upon our obedience to Gods calling.
  159. 159. A good soldier is all about pleasing his commanding officerHe is fully committed and involved in his duty; not worried aboutanything or anybody else.In the secular field, people may “please” their superiors in variousways; but God cannot be pleased by tricks or treats, nor is He arespector of persons. God is serious about commitment. He is lookingfor genuine people.Today, we see two types of churches: performance oriented andpreference oriented. One is like “Cain” and the other, like “Abel”.Performance-oriented churches focus on the outward things.There you will see all the elements and programs that make it lookprofessional: music with or without meaning, programs without powerand dancing without joy. You may see people laughing, but not smiling.Everything is from the head, not heart. It is more about using techniquesand technology, than tears.
  160. 160. On the other hand, in a Church where God is preferred, you willexperience the power and the presence of God; programs aresecondary.There, you may see people crying and getting deliverance!Driven by tears than techniques and a passion for God, you seeauthentic people worshipping an awesome God, in the anointingof the spirit. The word of God is delivered as it is, without anytwists, turns or modifications!A good soldier does not make assumptions; instead, he/she keepscommunicating with the commanding officer (C. O.) and makessure that each move is made according to the directions from theC. O.When things are done with human wisdom instead of divineguidance, all you get is some “performance”, not results.
  161. 161. Do you go to a Church that is simply focussed on performance, orone that touches the lives of people with the power of God?What about your own life? Is it about pleasing God or just a“performance”?God bless you and speak to you. Let “pleasing God” become yourpriority!Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for speaking to me. Help me to be aperson pleasing you with all that I do-worship, work and in allwalks and ways of life. Let my life be spirit-lead and one thatmakes sense to you. Amen.“When you focus on pleasing God, you can’t focus on yourperformance; it is one or the other”.

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