Monday, August 30, 2010

Man Your Battle Stations

Over the last year, the Lord has really been working on my heart in regards to what love looks like, and He has best demonstrated that through the love that should be present in the Body of Christ. The specific commands to love one another and how to do so in the Bible have astounded me. I knew they were there, but never had I really understood their practical application. I especially love that everyone in the Body of Christ is wired with different gifts, abilities, personalities, interests, talents, and passions...but all of them work together to: proclaim the name of Jesus to those who don't know Him, bring Him glory, and encourage one another.

I have really been a wreck the last few weeks and have been apathetic about much regarding my relationship with the Lord. It amazes me how much my own walk of faith echoes that of the Israelites. Many times the Lord would come to their aid...opening up the Red Sea for the them to cross, rescuing them from Egypt, providing manna and quail and water in the desert. And yet so many times, the tables would turn back a few verses later and the Israelites would be worshipping a golden idol that they made or marrying the people of a Gentile clan that the Lord told them specifically to avoid. Bottom line...THEY FORGOT THE LORD THEIR GOD. I am exactly like that. How quickly do I forget the lessons of being still, waiting on Him, and believing He wants to do big things through me, that He has a plan? Lord, forgive my apathy. But in all of this, the Lord laid a passage on my heart that I think beautifully portrays the Body of Christ and the role of others when one is too tired to go on.

The story is found in Exodus 17:8-15. Let me break it down for you. Moses and Joshua are leading the Israelites in the desert. Moses tells Joshua to get some men together to go fight the Amalekites (one of those Gentile nations I was talking about). So Joshua does what Moses said and goes to fight the Amalekites and Moses stands on top of a hill overlooking the battle. As long as Moses had his hand raised, the Israelites won, but whenever he lowered them the Amalekites began to win. Well, Moses grew too tired to hold his hands up so his buddies, Aaron and Hur, sat him down and stood on either side of him holding his hands in the air "so that his hands remained steady." And Joshua beat the Amalekites. Then the Lord tells Moses to write this story on a scroll and to make sure Joshua sees it. The Moses made an altar to the Lord and called it the "Lord is my Banner" because hands had been lifted up to the Lord and the Lord had promised to erase the memory of the Amalekites.

So here is what I think is so cool about this story. How many of us have felt like Moses? We want to encourage, be a part, but we have reached a point where we are just too tired and drained to do so. I imagine Moses drooping into the dirt, his head hanging down, his body and muscles fighting to keep his arms elevated in the air. Thank goodness for people in our life like Aaron and Hur who know when we have reached our limit and show us that we are not alone in fighting the battles. I also want you to see the significance of different roles in the Body of Christ. Joshua's job was to fight, be out in the open, in the spotlight leading the people to victory. Moses' job was equally important. Think of him as the prayer guardian or intercessor for the Israelites. Aaron and Hur play the roles of encouragers. When Moses was to weak to go on, they were intercessors for him and the people, ensuring victory because they were willing to step in and help Moses by acting on the people's behalf. What a cool picture! Can you imagine this battle raging below and another one raging on the hill, not of swords and blood, but of weakness and spiritual warfare? Friends, we were never meant to fight our battles alone. Look at the beautiful picture of the Body helping one another, each with different callings, gifts, and responsibilities. I also want to point out that the Lord tells Moses to make sure Joshua knows the whole story. The victory wasn't won on the battlefield; it was won on the hill. Joshua needed to understand that the roles of Moses, Aaron, and Hur were just as important if not more so than his. In other words, those serving on the stage should never forget the strength and roles of those serving behind the scenes.

My prayer is that you become someone who takes an active role in the community of faith. That is my prayer as I continue to look for a place to serve and get involved here in Texas for as long as the Lord keeps me here. That way when I feel to weak to go on, there are others ready to hold my arms up and point me back to Jesus. We were never meant to be bench warmers. Each of us has a specific job and if you aren't doing it, if I'm not doing it, the whole Body suffers because it takes ALL of us.

1 Corinthians 12:12 says, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."

Last summer, Dr. Del Tackett, one of my professors at Focus on the Family Institute, named my class "The Many who became One." What if the world looking into our churches saw many people with one goal and one heart? Oh, how our world, how our nation would change for Jesus. That is my prayer for the Body of Christ.

May we show the world a united front as we point them to Jesus,

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