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Friday, January 27, 2017

My Refuge and My Banner

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go” (Isaiah 91:9-11, NLT).

God is my refuge and sanctuary—a place of safety where I receive strength and restoration. He is my shelter from all that comes against me and attempts to destroy my faith. I call on His great name, Jehovah Nissi, my Almighty God who protects and empowers me in the heat of battle.

“Jehovah” in conjunction with “Nissi” is mentioned only once in the Old Testament, and that is in Exodus 17. “Nissi” is derived from the word “nes”, which means “banner” in Hebrew. In Exodus 17:15, Moses, following his defeat of the Amalekites, erects an altar to “Jehovah Nissi”. The word “nes” can be demonstrated with the example of a flag mounted on a pole as a focal point in battle. In Old Testament history (and throughout history) opponents in war flew their own flag on their front lines. This focal point reminded soldiers of their purpose. When they focused their mind to win, they received encouragement that their efforts would not be in vain. This is what God “Jehovah Nissi” is to us. When I surrender my life and worship Him in spirit and in truth, He is my focal point, my “banner”, on which I can focus my mind and all my thoughts, strength, hope, and belief. Isaiah wrote of God as this “banner”. “You guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Isaiah 26:3, AMP).

In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) the word “nissi” is translated as “refuge”. When I focus all that I am―all that I believe―all that I live―all of my being on His unfailing standard, character, promise, and purpose, then He is my refuge in whatever comes before me. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust” (Psalm 91:1-2, AMP). He is my “banner”—the focus in my life which imparts strength and purpose. He is my refuge and my fortress in the heat of battle. He is the power to stand against all evil. When I put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17), no weapon succeeds against me.

“So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]” (Isaiah 26:4, AMP). When He is my focus I commit myself to Him and allow Him to direct my life. I confidently trust in His constant and unchanging character. I find His place of healing and restoration, and I receive strength. Psalm 91:11 promises that no plague will come near my home. When He is my center—my home, I am surrendered for His purpose. I am surrounded by His angels. No evil can come against me when I am focused in spirt, soul, and body on my Savior, Jehovah Nissi.

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