Part of being on a 9 AM serve team at Hillsong KC means going to team rallies before anyone else gets to church. Team rallies are one of my favorite parts about serving at church, and I believe they are one of those times where Heaven and earth meet (and it’s magical, let me tell ya). It is a time where all the serve teams get to come together, hear an encouraging leadership thought, lift up our church and the day in prayer, and praise the name of our Savior. Each week, someone (pastor, intern, worship leader, etc.) brings a new word to our rally that leaves our hearts full and ready to serve — last Sunday was no different.
Last Sunday, before we set out to serve and ring in the new year (and new decade!), one of our pastors shared a leadership thought that completely rocked my world. It was a word that I needed at the time, and one that changed my perspective on my life.
He shared this story from Exodus: "While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses's hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down." Exodus 17: 11-12 (CSB)
Maybe you have heard this story before and it already resonates with you. Maybe you have never heard this story before. Or, maybe you are like me – you have heard this story before, but you have never really understood the full weight it bears.
Let’s break it down like my pastor did last Sunday.
When Moses lifted his hands to God, his side was winning. So, with God, we can win our battles. When Moses lowered his hands, his side was losing the battle. So, without God, we lose our battles… are you following? Well, why did Moses have difficulty keeping his hands lifted then?
Because the battle was longer than he expected.
I don’t know about you, but 2019 was full of plenty of battles. And I don’t know about you, but there were some that went on far longer than expected. There are even some that have followed me into 2020. If I am being honest (and much like Moses experienced), it can become really tiring to continually lift my hands towards God when battles are happening. It is even harder when things are not going my way, but that is when we are supposed to lean on Him the most! Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble” (CSB). This leadership thought – at the perfect, God-determined time (because God is never early and never late) – reminded me of the need to lean into the Lord during my battles.
It took me over a week to really sit with this message and to let it marinate. In that time, I have really reflected on what this passage meant to me, and why God waited until now to reveal it to me. I whole-hearted believe that 2020 is the year that I will see victories in the battles that I have been fighting for far longer than expected. I believe that this is the year that I will learn to, and continually chose to, lean into the Lord – on the mountains, in the valleys, and definitely during my battles. I believe that 2020 will be the year that I choose to continually lift my hands to God – in my weakness, in faith, in His triumph, in praise.
This is the year to declare that my God only triumphs. The year to declare that my battles are His, and that the battle is already won. This year, I will declare that He is waymaker, miracle worker, promise keeper, and light in the darkness.
And through all my battles, while lifting up my hands, I will remember that I… I am who He says I am (a battle all on its own).
How will you fight your battles this year?