“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” (Psalms 144:1).
Congratulations and welcome to the 5th month of the year. In Biblical symbolism, 1 represents unity, 2 witness, 3 the Trinity, 4 the earth’s directions and seasons, and 5 represents grace. I decree that God’s grace will speak for you and yours in Jesus’ Name this month. It is written of Noah that he found grace with God, and, because of that grace, he was declared a “just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:8-9). This month, God’s grace will declare you just and perfect, in Jesus’ Name, and He will make all grace abound towards you (2 Corinthians 9:8). Grace is God coming into your situation and announcing you a winner before you have even begun the race, a winner and a conqueror before the battle begins. Grace is God completing before you have started and always steps ahead of the enemy. Hallelujah! Welcome to the amazing grace of the Almighty that has made you a winner this month, in Jesus’ Name.
From the focus text this month, we can see that God is a teacher, a master strategist, and a warrior. You must understand that there is a war going on whether you are clear about it or not, believe it or not, like it or not. It is a battle between light and darkness, and between right and wrong being waged in our world. It is much more serious than the conflict between nations, tribes, or government leaders. It is not a rebellion or coup, rather, it is an invisible battle in the spirit realm (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
Hard facts about battles:
Every man must fight his own battles. The day you surrender your life to Christ is the day you are conscripted as a soldier in the ongoing war between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness. The enemy has self-declared as a ‘legion’ (Mark 5:9), which is a military terminology describing “a unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Therefore, it will be very unfortunate and tragic if you opt to take the stance of a civilian while battles are constantly raging around you.
- Sometimes, the LORD will save you from a battle. Other times, He will simply empower you to fight so you can enlarge your coasts.
- God is a Master Coach, Military Strategist, and is mighty in battle. Therefore, He will never leave you in a fight that He has not made a way for you to win. God would not be a good coach if He shields you every time you have a challenge. No matter the qualifications of a coach or a trainer, no boxer ever gets a medal from the training ground. He will train you in private and then push you into the ring so you can fight, win, and enlarge your coast. He is always there by you with His grace to help you win all your battles. Heavyweight championship belts are won by fighting real battles.
- The territories you possess through the battles you’ve won will last longer than any gift someone gives to you. What you earn is yours, what is given to you inevitably holds less value in your heart. Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, ESV). Jesus did not save Peter from the fight, instead, He strengthened him through prayer because of the glory that lay beyond the victory. Jesus knew that Peter would come out stronger than he was before and would then be able to strengthen his brethren in return.
- The Bible says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them will be broken” (Psalms 34:19-20, BSB). If you are removed from every battle you are confronted with, you will become a weakling who cannot fight. However, with each challenge you overcome, you become stronger and a force to be reckoned with. I pray that you will catch this fire and receive the strength to fight, in Jesus’ Name.
Let us look at two examples of what it takes to be a fantastic student in the Military Academy of the Almighty.
1. MOSES (Exodus 4:1-5)
The first three chapters of Exodus tell the story of a nation in captivity and under bondage to the Pharaohs of Egypt. Moses got so upset about it that he killed an Egyptian, then fled to Midian. Finally, God appears in the burning bush to give Moses the promise of deliverance. Moses shrank back from this calling because he was unconvinced that the Israelites would believe him.
God does not promise deliverance without effort; rather, He promises to teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight (Psalms 144:1). He wanted Moses to do something, so God asked him what he had in his hand. All Moses had was the simple shepherd’s staff, the walking stick he had been using for forty years. He certainly did not think it held the potential to bring about the kind of deliverance of which God was talking!
Yet, Moses’ rod was miraculously used to:
- confront the magicians of Pharaoh’s court.
- turn the waters of the Nile River into Blood
- bring plagues of frogs, lice, hail, and locusts upon the land
- cause the waters of the Red Sea to stand up like a wall, and then;
- collapse on the Egyptians after Israel passed through.
- bring forth water from the rock at Horeb.
- bring victory to Israel in battle as Moses held it high in prayer.
Now, you must ask yourself if you are ready for God’s instructions for your hands to war and your fingers to fight. God will not ask you for something in someone else’s hand. Neither will He ask you for something you do not already have. If Moses had refused to give God what was in his hand or refused training:
- A nation would have stayed in slavery.
- Thousands of Israelites would have been killed.
- Moses would have never become a great man of God.
God asked Moses to throw down the staff in his hand and then pick it up again after God had changed it (that’s the scary part!). God is able to use whatever you have in your hand because He is not looking for anything impressive. Miriam had her tambourine; the little boy had his five loaves and two fish. Mary had her jar of precious ointment; Dorcas had her needle and thread. The widow had her jar of oil, David had his slingshot, and Samson had a donkey’s jawbone. The question now is have you identified what it is you have in your hand today to receive divine instruction for battle?
2. SOVEREIGNTY of GOD (Gen. 45:8)
There is a definite relationship between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. Matthew 26:24 (BSB) says, “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed. It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Genesis 45:8, 50:20 (NKJV) says, “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt… But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. “A decree might have been issued (doctor’s diagnosis, judge’s verdict, counselor’s opinion, banker’s assessment, family’s opposition, devil’s boast); but you have a right to fight! You can fight for deliverance instead of submitting to the old decree. Hallelujah!
Parameters to Winning the Battles:
I. You must be born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” This is the first thing you must do. That is the admission letter to the school of the Master Coach – the Military Academy of the Almighty. This is the foundation for other things to be added to it.
II. You must have a divine encounter. Moses, Isaiah, Elisha, Jeremiah, and Daniel all had unforgettable divine encounters, and their lives never remained the same. Christianity is not some theory you read in a book; it is practical and experiential. A prayer you need to pray: My father, I need to encounter you; let me have a divine encounter. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Your flesh must die to have an encounter with the LORD. The Apostle Paul said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27, NKJV).
III. You must be baptized with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Jude 1:20 (NKJV) says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Seek that baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
IV. Be addicted to the Word of God: Read your Bible, understand it, and apply it to your personal life. Meditate on it. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path…The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (Psalm 119:105; John 6:63, BSB).
V. You must be a prayer addict. “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere…Never stop praying” (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, NLT).
VI. You must be broken. Anything God asks you to do is what you do to the extent that you are regarded as a divine fool. Basically, revival is defined as a spiritual awakening. Brokenness of the heart is evidence of a spiritual awakening. Aiden Wilson Tozer once said, “Until self-effacing men return again to spiritual leadership, we may expect a progressive deterioration in the quality of popular Christianity year after year till we reach the point where the grieved Holy Spirit withdraws – like the Shekinah from the temple.”
Following these six principles is how to be useful in the hands of the Master Coach. Do not allow ‘experience’ to be your teacher, as experience is not always the best teacher.
- Father, in the Name of Jesus, come into my life. I bid farewell to the devil, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, let Your grace and mercy that spoke for Noah, Moses, and Esther, speak for me as well, in Jesus’ Name.
- In the mighty Name of Jesus, the power of King Uzziah covering my heaven (Isaiah 6:1) must die by fire, in Jesus’ Name. LORD, open my eyes to see You on Your throne, high and lifted up, with Your train filling the temple, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight, in Jesus’ Name.
- God of Elijah, appear in my life, in the Name of Jesus.