It was a beautiful sunny day as I drove along the tree lined road. Things were quiet and peaceful all around and in my soul. All of the sudden that peace was shattered as black hands, hands devoid of all light reached up from under the seat and grabbed me.
I could feel them wrapping tightly around me; pulling and tugging on my body and clothes. I could see a narrow shaft of light through the trees leading up to heaven. I fought to get away as I desperately cried out, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” over and over again.
And then I woke up.
I have never been so shaken by a dream before in my life. The only way that I can describe it is that it felt like I was seeing into the spiritual realm and what I saw terrified me.
I had this dream two weeks after returning from the She Speaks conference. Two weeks after God called me to boldly proclaim His matchless name. Two weeks after I committed to be faithful to that call.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
There is no doubt in my mind that I saw a glimpse of the spiritual battle going on around us. Satan would love nothing more than to keep us silent. When we make the decision to be obedient to God and to live radically for him, we can and should expect difficulties to come into our lives.
But, we have a secret weapon against the foe. His name is Yaweh Nissi, The Lord is My Banner.
Ancient armies carried standards or banners that served as marks of identification and as of symbols that embodied the ideals of the people. These banners were usually made out of wood or metal and would be fasten to a staff or a long pole.
When Moses faced the Amalekite army after leading the Israelites out of Egypt an amazing thing happened. Standing on a hill over looking the battlefield, he held his staff high above his head.
This is the same staff that he threw down before Pharoah, the same one that he held out over the Red Sea. This staff was more than just a piece of wood, it represented God’s authority.
While the staff was held high, the Israelites were winning the battle. As Moses grew tired and his arms fell, the tide would turn in the favor of the Amalekites. When he is no longer able to hold the staff up on his own, he asks two of his leading men, Aaron and Hur to stand beside him and help him hold up his hands.
After defeating the Amalekites, Moses built an altar to Yaweh Nissi, The Lord is My Banner.
We too have a banner to hold high in our spiritual battle against our enemy, the cross of Christ. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38
As frightening as my dream was, there is nothing that the forces of darkness can do to separate us from the love of God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Sure, they can try to scare us. They can attack from all angles in an effort to silence us.
But they cannot win . . .
because they have already been defeated.
When faced with spiritual battles, we need to remember to claim the victory that is already ours through Yaweh Nissi, The Lord is Our Banner.