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.” ~ Exodus 17:14
This one couldn’t be forgotten. It was too amazing. The way God brought his people victory this time around HAD to be written down as something to be remembered. And Joshua had to know what happened!
It’s likely Joshua had no clue what was going on at the top of the mountain. He had been ordered by Moses to get his boys and go down to fight the Amalekites. Moses would be standing at the top with the staff of God in his hands. Yeah…that staff. The one he raised and the Red Sea parted. This time he would raise the staff and the Israelites would start winning this battle but as soon as he lowered his arms, the momentum would shift to the Amalekites. Good thing Moses had brought HIS boys up to the mountain top. Aaron and Hur held his arms up till sunset and Joshua led the Israelites to victory down below. That’s when Moses makes sure that this victory would be written down. It was too PHENOMENAL to be FORGOTTEN.
I’m glad I wrote it down. Last year, during our church’s three-day fast, I wrote down specific prayers. During this year’s fast, the Spirit led me back to that journal entry to remind me of the ways He answered my requests. I was so inspired! And convicted. We forget so easily. Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” is too often playing in the soundtrack of our relationship with God. But if we write it down. If we write down the answered prayers and the lessons learned, we can draw upon our past victories to lead us into new battles. Cause they are coming.
Maybe that’s why Moses went up top with the staff of the Lord. Maybe he remembered how God had opened a highway through the sea as the Egyptian military was in fast pursuit. Maybe he had built a conviction that if God did it before, He could do it again.
Have you built that conviction?
If not, it may be time to start writing things down and going back over them in times of need. Best selling author Max Lucado calls it “the trophy room in your heart.”
“Create a trophy room in your heart. Each time you experience a victory, place a memory on the shelf. Before you face a challenge, take a quick tour of God’s accomplishments. Look at all the paychecks he has provided, all the blessings he has given, all the prayers he had answered. Imitate the shepherd boy David. Before he fought Goliath, the giant, he remembered how God had helped him kill a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-36). He faced his future by revisiting the past.”
I didn’t want the brothers to miss this. Some of them were fasting for the first time. Others were fasting for THREE days for the first time. I knew that when we humble ourselves in this way, God has a way of speaking to us…revealing things to us about His character…and ours. So I asked them about it and here are some of their responses:
“The fast has revealed how much time I have to really spend time talking (praying) and listening (reading/studying) to God when I really make a plan to. Proverbs 16:3. Making it more about God revealed a plan I would have never otherwise come up with.” ~SP
“For me it has revealed that my relationship with God will sustain me through all aspects of my life. I have prayed that God will sustain me through the spiritual discipline of slowing down and eliminating hurry/busyness from my life. God has taught me that no matter how organized or planned out I may be, me coming to him in solitude and silence is the place where the greatest transformation will occur.” ~EJ
“I’m learning about true sacrifice and discipline. What it means to block everything else out and listen to God fully.” ~JD
“It has shown me that prayer works when you give it a chance. And it helps to be specific in your prayers. It’s easy to pray a quick prayer about yourself and the immediate things around you; but you can see the results more clearly when you’re consistently praying for others. I’m also learning to move beyond a sense of duty and focus on drawing near to God. It is one thing to abstain from food and quite another to channel my thoughts consistently on God.” ~DC
“I don’t hunger for God the way I should, my appetite for him isn’t at its highest capacity because I’m being filled with other things.” ~CD
“Can’t really put what’s been happening into a few words but I’m seeing significant progress in my marriage, my focus/discipline, and my family group. Definitely need more consistency with praying.” ~QM
“I’m learning to thank God for allowing me to be in a place where I have to depend on Him (to be clear, NOT my favorite PLACE) and to remember that fasting is a time to serve others. As a result I am seeing how selfish I can be.” ~WO
“Learning I spend too much time worrying about things that pale in comparison to spiritual growth. So much time in the day that can be used giving God thanks, praise, worship. Jesus provides so much. Spending more time in prayer is helping me realize there’s much more to pray about than my usual. And more time to actually try to listen for a response from God.” ~NH
And as for me:
“Peace and patience my brothers. I guess I don’t have the energy to sweat the small stuff. Also the process of THREE days exposed my lack of patience. I had to set my mind that it will be a fasting marathon and therefore pace myself for the long haul so I can finish well.” ~AM
It’s been almost two months since I wrote down that simple insight in a group text message to the brothers who joined me in our fast. Just like that I am reminded of the peace that God bestowed upon me in those last two days. I am convicted to make sure that lesson is not forgotten and that it goes from being an experience and becomes a deep conviction that I can hold on to even when I’m not fasting.
So build that trophy room in your heart. Our encounters with God are SOMETHING TO BE REMEMBERED. Think of them as trophies that will be passed on to the next generation.
This is the final blog entry in my three-part series on what fasting has showed me about God, myself and others. If you haven’t done so, check out part 1: The Sacrifice and part 2: Patience in the Process.
Lead Pastor, The Path Church