At the beginning of the year, I decided to change-up my Bible reading plan. Usually, because I like order and checklists, I start at Genesis and go through. I got daring one time and went in chronological order. This year I decided to start with the New Testament, because usually by the time I get there in my reading plan, I am worn out. My get up and go has gotten up and tried to leave, as my mama would say. I wanted to have fresh eyes for The Good News.

One of the things I really love about my current Bible are the footnotes. I don’t always agree with them, but they always make me think. While reading about the Transfiguration, I found this one footnote very interesting.

The disciples were at the crucial point of commitment to Jesus. Everything hinged on who He was to them. (The Women’s Study Bible, Thomas Nelson)

Much like the disciples, we don’t know what is coming this year. For many of us, January threw us for a loop. For the rest, there will most likely be some loops down the road. As is the case so often with our lives, men and women alike, many of the battles we face are in the privacy of our own hearts and minds. We may have let in a person or two, and in wisdom probably should, but the nitty-gritty of the battle is inside ourselves. Even when these battles turn public, either because someone through us into the spotlight or because the signs of warfare are visible, we still must rage the war from the inside. We can go through the motions outwardly, we can look as if to be making all the right maneuvers, but if we are not solidifying our very core with the truth of God’s word, we will not endure.

Everything will hinge on who He is to us.

Walking faithfully in victory will hinge on who He is to us.

Getting up from a seemingly obliterating defeat will hinge on who He is to us.

All the in between will hinge on who He is to us.

And who He is to us is determined in the very closets of our lives. In our alone time of prayer and study. In our private moments of joyful celebration. In our secret moments of primal pain.  The church body and fellowship can build us up when we are wounded and keep our feet on the ground when we feel exalted. Our friends and family are so very necessary in these battles. The hand to hand combat, however, is ours. It is at those moments, much like the disciples, when we find ourselves at a crucial point in out commitment to Christ. Will we trust Him to be who He says He when the battle gets bloody? Will we keep Him exalted in His rightful place when we advance in victory?

Everything hinges on who He is to us.

Sweet sisters, I challenge you as much as myself, solidify who Jesus is. Not prove it. Not work it out. Solidify who He has already told you He was.

Advocate. Deliverer. Our Hope. Peace. Redemption. Healer.

Our very God with us.

Beseech the Holy Spirit to give you fresh eyes to see Christ for He IS.

Everything hinges on it.

2 Timothy 2:19 (NKJV)

 ” Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,”…”

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Jehovah Nissi, The Lord My Banner

When I was thinking about the word “banner” two images came to mind. The first was that of my beloved Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. The front row has a group of seniors who have 12th Man banners hanging from their horns. I remember standing in Kyle Field watching the band go through their routine at half time. I can also remember what it sounded like. I can hear those banners pop as they are put through the motions. Crisp, clean pops. They sounded like  “battle ready” snaps.

I also pictured my friend Nikita. She would dance before the Lord at our church and women’s events, and many times she would use banners. They would flow ever so gracefully in her hands. I have seen those same banners draped around women who were just broken before the Lord.

Whether the banner the Lord places over me is one of battle preparedness or one of comfort in my pain, it says the same thing….I am His.

I am His.

As a sign to the enemy from the onset of our warfare, I belong to God. As a bandage for the wounds I have incurred, I am God’s. Regardless of the color, the material, or even the size, the banner over you and me, we who are in Christ Jesus, says clearly that we belong to Him and He loves us.

Father God, I am so grateful that You are my Jehovah Nissi. You are my banner. You are the Who and the What I can stand confidently under, regardless of my circumstances. Lord, I am ever thankful that Your banner proclaims Your love for me and for others. Help me today, Jesus, to walk under that banner, finding strength in its covering and comfort under its shelter.


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