We took this picture (above) at Latrun’s tank museum in Israel just a few weeks after making Aliyah. We learned more about the bravery, sacrifice & pure scrappiness that this special country was built on.
We laughed as our guide, Gabi, told us about how the first soldiers of Israel would spend time making cardboard cut-outs of guns and tanks since they didn’t have real weapons, in hopes that the enemy wouldn’t be able to tell the difference on the battle field.
Gabi served as a tank commander himself in the army during his own young-adulthood and spoke with pride about the history of the nation of Israel. (CLICK HERE to watch video on Latrun Tank Museum in Israel)
The fight for our country was not an easy one, and continues to this day.
One thing for certain, the fact that Israel exists as a nation today is a pure miracle. As I think about all of the wars that Israel has persevered through I also think about the battles I’ve faced in my own life.
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Much like Israel was, I too have felt ill-equipped, out numbered and completely surrounded by battles that I didn’t know how to fight. (anybody else been there? lol)
We all go through seasons of all out war in our life. It can feel like everything is going wrong, or the enemy that we’re up against keeps persisting and shows no sign of surrender.
What can we do in these situations?
I know what I often do… try harder, use more strength, stand firmer, push longer. Despite the fact that deep down I think we know that we are incapable of achieving victory in our own strength.
Pride and a reluctance to release control, keeps us bound to our familiar ways of striving and self-sufficiency.
Sometimes our life can feel like quicksand… the more we struggle, the more ‘stuck we get.’
The Israelites were in that exact situation at the Red Sea. It says that they ‘went out of Egypt with boldness, singing and praising God’ yet all that confidence and gratitude quickly vanished when they caught sight of the dust billowing up under the Egyptian army chariot wheels who were in hot pursuit behind them.
They began to wail in self-pity (as we usually do) and allowed fear to grip their hearts. This was Moses’s instruction to the people in the midst of their terror, panic & anxiety. He said “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)
Photo taken outside our village in Israel during a ceremony for fallen soldiers.
The truth is that no matter how bleak our situation may look, it is not hopeless. God is not a passive, half-hearted God.
It actually says “The Lord is a man of war.” (ish Milchama - איש מלחמה) (Exodus 15:3)
When the enemy came after the children of Israel, Moses declared this bold promise stating “God will fight for you.” (click here to listen to song 'Fighting for me')
When we are facing enemies, battles, disappointments, hardships that are threatening to take us back into captivity, steal our freedom and destroy our destiny, we can put our trust in God because He promises to fight for us.
‘Letting God fight our battles’ sounds wonderful but what does it really mean?
Here's my definition:
Expectantly looking to Him for salvation as we surrender our striving, silence the lies of the enemy & step forward into the unknown waters of obedience.
Photo to left: taken during a ceremony for fallen soldiers
1. Surrender our striving:
Isn’t it interesting that God didn’t tell Israel ‘you guys are a bunch of wimps, just go ahead and run head on into the Egyptian army, don’t you have any faith!?”
God didn’t expect them to battle the Egyptian army because He recognised that it was too big for them. There may be times God calls us to fight but there’s other times He just asks us to be still and let Him work.
We need to let go of this ‘pressure to prove ourselves’ while trying to be everything at all times. There’s this inner fear that everyone has wrestled with at one point or another and that question is ‘what if I’m not enough?’
Photo above: Israeli Police taken at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem
The truth is, we aren’t enough. That’s why we need God. We alone, in our broken, fractured state of being cannot have it all together, all the time.
We will face injustice, loss, heart-break, crises & more that we simply do not have the strength to go through on our own.
The beauty in coming to grips with the fact that our victory, healing, success, destiny etc isn’t up to us alone allows us to enter the true freedom that God wants to provide us with.
We don’t have to become hopeless in situations when we feel surrounded because we can rest in the fact that we have a heavenly father who is looking out for us and His hand is on our lives.
Israel is a tiny little Jewish country literally surrounded by muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan etc)
Logically Israel should have been wiped off the map easily by these larger countries around it that have been seeking to destroy her for thousands of years. Yet Israel is thriving as a nation today.
When we feel surrounded and all we have to fight with is cardboard cutouts, we can trust God as the faithful watchman that He is to deliver us from all our fears and even redeem what the enemy intended for harm and allow it to be for our good.
photo to left: IDF soldier returning home to his family at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.
2) Silence the lies of the enemy:
When Moses spoke to the people He gave them a promise and an instruction. He told them to “hold their peace.” (Exodus 14:14)
This phrase was translated from the Hebrew word: ‘Techrishon’ the root of this word is ‘cheresh’ which means ‘deaf.’
Sometimes holding our peace means we need to become deaf to the voices of our enemy.
Photo above: taken at Jaffa Gate (Old City of Jerusalem 2019)
Now, I don’t know a lot about sports, I will admit. However I’ve been forced to watch quite a few soccer, basketball & football themed movies growing up with brothers. What I learned from these movies is that it wasn’t just the athletes physical ability but it was his mental state that granted him victory.
This is why the players tried to psych out the opposing team throwing out harsh insults & demeaning words right up until the game started.
The reason why we have no strength or confidence left to fight is because we’ve been letting the enemy have a foothold in our mind and we’ve been listening to voices of defeat, shame, guilt, fear & defeat.
The second practical step is to silence the enemies’ lies with the Word of God and meditate on His promises.
Photo above: taken at hamercaz messianic music cafe performance in Tel Aviv, Israel.
I can’t count how many times I have listened to a song on the radio and then later that evening found myself humming the same song without even realising it. What we are listening to is sinking into our spirit whether we realise it or not.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
God is not only a warrior but He’s a worshipper and Scripture says that He’s singing over us. He isn’t singing a song of condemnation, intimidation, anger, disappointment, shame…. He is singing a song of love over us. It says He takes ‘great delight’ in us and He is mighty to save us.
Imagine how much more peace, joy & confidence we would have in the fact of trials if we would just cling to that melody of God’s endearment towards us.
The Israelites doubted God’s love for them which is why they sank into fear and panic. They repeatedly wailed (or in Hebrew 'shouted') at God "why did you bring us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?!"
Photo above: taken at the Dead Sea, Israel.
They doubted the goodness of God. Suddenly they didn’t have anything to stand upon, all they had to rely on was themselves, which of course wasn’t enough.
When we find ourselves wrestling with fear, anxiety & panic when facing battles in our lives, we need to check our hearts and pay attention to what we’ve been listening to.
We need to let God’s love song towards us resound in our hearts so that when armies rise up against us, when we go through hardship, we can rest in perfect peace knowing that He’s not going to let anything overtake us when He has more in store for us. He’s not going to let the enemy hold us back from reaching our destination.
"Sing, O daughter of Zion!... Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem... The Lord is in your midst... He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3: 14-17)
That same Hebrew phrase 'Hachrishoo' (החרישו) is used when it says God will "quiet you with His love & rejoice over you with singing."
We have to make a decision to stop listening to our fears and instead tune into the divine symphony of perfect love that has the power to steady our souls & bring calm to our inner chaos and turmoil.
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3) Step forward into the unknown waters of obedience.
“Why do you cry out to me? Tell the children of Israel to step forward.” (Exodus 14:15)
There is a time to pray & cry out to God; but also a time to must move forward in faith & courage.
Paul exhorted us to stop looking back and keep moving forward:
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” (Philippians 3:13)
Photo above: taken at Hertzeliya beach in Israel
When the Israelites looked up and saw the Egyptian army I’m sure they had a flashback. Years of abuse, violence & oppression etched fear & distrust deep into the inner parts of their hearts. They finally had a taste of freedom; but then were faced with their worst enemy once again.
What is our response when we think we have finally beaten that addition, overcome that struggle and gotten free from a dysfunctional mindset only to have it come chasing after us?
Just like the Israelites we often long to return to what’s familiar in our past instead of pressing into our future and possessing the promises God has in store for us.
I just want to encourage you with this word:
‘God has not brought you this far to abandon you now.’
It may be tempting to return to where you’ve been in the past because of the current battles you may be facing but even when you feel stuck God is not done working.
The Israelites were stuck in between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. Often we can feel stuck like there’s no way forward and going back isn’t really an option either.
In that place God asks us to have blind obedience and step forward, even if it seems small or insignificant.
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.
Many times it hasn’t been the greatest act of courage or faith that has opened doors of opportunity for me.
Often it has been small acts of obedience that I didn’t want to do at the time that has led to some incredible blessings and turning points of divine purpose in my life.
Singing a Jason Mraz song at my nephew’s bar Mitzvah garden party reception to family and friends led to my first paid music gig at a cafe - performing some of my original music!
Starting a simple online blog has grown into a business & ministry that has touched people with messages of hope all around the world.
There have been countless other small steps in my life that I didn’t really want to take because they seemed silly & insignificant at the time; but God can multiply even a couple loaves & fishes to feed the multitudes.
“Do not despise the day of small beginnings.” (Zechariah 4:10)
When we’re willing to lay down our pride and simply say ‘yes’ when God asks us to take a small step, He is faithful to part the sea and make a way for us to walk into our destiny.
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- Liat Nesher
What are some battles I’m facing right now that I need to let God fight for me?
What ways do I tend to strive in my own strength rather than surrender to God’s saving grace?
What lies from the enemy do I need to silence and what truths from God’s Word do I need to begin playing on repeat?
Am I moving forward into God’s purposes for my life or running back to things in my past?
What small steps may God be calling me to take right now that could possibly lead to a supernatural breakthrough in my life?
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