January 31, Sunday

mei lanEditor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for today are provided by Mei Lan Thallman.  Mei Lan Thallman is originally from Taiwan and a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.A.) in Kentucky.  She is the wife of Pastor Kirt, who serves at Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia).  They have two children, Nate (13) and Naomi (11).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Exodus 17:8-16

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

31War Room is one of my favorite movies of 2015.  What I love the most is its portrayal to the audience of this essential, foundational truth that: prayer is the battleground on which we wage and win wars.  If you have not seen it, please make a point to watch it with your family, friends and small group. It will open your eyes to see prayer in a new way.

In this passage, I see this truth lived out in Moses’ leadership.  When the Amalekites attacked the Israelites in the desert, Moses had the foresight to devise a warfare strategy to combat the enemies on two dimensional battlegrounds: He ordered Joshua to lead a group of men to fight off the physical enemies.  Meanwhile, he appointed core leaders Aaron and Hur to join him to battle the spiritual forces on the top of the hill, with the staff of God lifted high. The Scripture points out an interesting dynamic in this strategic strategy: First, they must take both battlegrounds seriously and fight in unity against the enemy.   Second, even though the battles were fought in different dimensions, they were intricately interrelated. The writer of Exodus points out in verse 11, “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.”  Third, they persevered as a team and overcame the enemy.

Jesus warns us in John 16:33 that we will face life’s many battles.  In order to have victory, we must remember not only to focus our attention and energy on the physical battleground of circumstances, relationships and people, but also to be alert and mindful of the unseen spiritual battleground:  Ephesians 6:12 says: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

As we start this New Year, let us strive to form a new habit of calling upon God in prayer as our first response to all things.  Let’s have the wisdom of Moses to overcome life’s challenges by praying on our knees and praying with others as a team until victory is at hand!

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, stir in me a deeper understanding and desire to begin each day by taking the time to be plugged into the Power Source – which is You.  Thank you, Lord, for modeling for us an intimate prayer life with the Father, for the gift of prayer as a means to know and be known by You, and for the powerful weapon of prayer to overcome the Enemy, and advance God’s kingdom on earth. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 28

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