"Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;" Psalm 80:14

by Sandra Joan Lee Binkley (8/5/2003)

Exodus 17:8-14

For the first time in history, embedded reporters telecasting live during the Iraqi War against despot Saddam Hussein made viewers become active real-time participants with our military.  The real-time telecast drew us into the battle and captured our thoughts and hearts and made us feel as if we were front-line comrades of our soldiers as they fought for our country and for freedom around the world.  Our soldiers were glad to have us on the front lines with them, glad to have the battle viewed while it was in progress in order that America could better appreciate what each soldier's training was making visibly happen during the battle through their hard work, intensive feelings, heroic actions and strategic plans.  America was proud of her soldiers and in constant attendance to her soldiers, instead of just being in attendance at the 30-second news recap at the end of the day.

This seems to be very like the embeddedness related in the battle of Exodus 17, where Joshua led Israel into battle with Amalek.  But this battle, although fought by the soldiers and warriors, clearly was not won on the battlefield.  The battle was won on the mountaintop where three people stood, not involved in the actual battle itself, but involved real-time nonetheless through a total concentration of their attention, power and will as it was focused on the on-going battle.

Moses and Aaron and Hur were not in attendance at the actual battle, but God assigned them their part in the battle and their part made the difference between victory and defeat for the army of Israel.  Moses' assignment was to raise his arms heavenward with the rod of God in his hand, for as his arms outstretched heavenward, Israel would prevail in the battles, but if Moses' arms faltered, Amelek would prevail.  Aaron and Hur were assigned to be in constant vigilance with Moses and to help support him as his arms grew tired.  The part assigned to Moses, Aaron and Hur was that of being totally focused and in constant attendance upon the battle until the battle's end and the declaration of victory.

It occurred to me that this is what is behind God's assignment to us of fasting and praying, that of being an embedded and real-time, active participant in helping to carry out the answers to our prayers and being in attendance while it is taking place.  As I understand the Scriptures, we pray to God and God either speaks the Word and it happens immediately, or more often I think, He charges the angels to assignments on our behalf.  It seems Scripture implies (I Kings) that many times He chooses to assign angels to tasks that we pray for and enjoys watching His host's strategic planning and carrying out of the battle and ultimate victory.  I can imagine the angels being proud of their victories and relating to each other and to God how their strategic planning unfolded and resulted in the victory for His people and to God's glory.  I can imagine how glad the ministering spirit angel soldiers would be if man then acknowledged and thanked God for the ministering spirits' hard work behind the scenes and how joyful the angels would be to hear that man in fact acknowledged and thanked God for the work of His host of ministering spirits and the assigned work they do for man as ministering spirits.  I feel sure the angel soldiers like to know that God and man are proud of God's heavenly host just as America is proud of America's host of soldiers.

I think "fasting and praying" make us real-time partners with the angels and with God Himself as "God's Team" carries out the processes necessary to bring about our prayer requests in whatever way God Himself deems best.  Fasting's hunger pangs seem to be a picture of Moses extended period of raising of his arms with the rod heavenwardly as fasting focuses a person's attention throughout the day on the purpose of his fasting and becomes a reminder to continually be in prayer.  Fasting proclaims to Heaven and to earth that you are a part of a battle battalion.  So while God and the angels are working hard on our behalf and on behalf of our request, we are not out there flippantly awaiting the results with a casual "thank you" on the ready, all the while merely occupying our minds and hearts with "whatever" until we hear the results and not giving another thought to what is involved in God's planning and execution of the accomplishment of our prayer.  Instead, we are stirring ourselves up through fasting and prayer to be continually thinking and giving support to the hard work that is in real-time happening on our behalf. We are grateful that someone more powerful than us is working things to our good.  We are in a state of thankfulness, a state of prayerfulness, and a state of awarefulness. ...We are participating in spirit with those who are actually doing the spiritual battle for us against principalities and powers, etc.

James 2:26 says, "faith without works is dead."  Applying this to our prayers, as we pray in faith that God will answer our prayers and put the "ministering spirits" to work on our behalf, there is another part to that equation.  "FAITH without WORKS is dead."  I believe that the faith part in praying is the believing God will work on our behalf but that the "works" part for man is the assignment to "pray without ceasing" and to "fast."  There is no doubt that praying and fasting are hard work.  And yet that is the part of having answered prayers that God has assigned to man.  God and His Heavenly hosts do the battling for us in the spiritual realm and bring to pass our requests ("whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven."  "Whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name shall be done."  "Whatsoever ye shall pray in my will shall be done.") 

When you are fasting for the day, you have a continual physical reminder drawing the mind into the spiritial realm.  You are working on behalf of your own prayers and aiding God and the angels by being mindful of them and of the hard work that they are accomplishing around you and for you.  That is what connects us to them and makes us a part of the spiritual world and the spiritual battles that are going on around us and on our behalf.

Our soldier boys are concerned that America's thoughts be turned appreciately towards them and that we discuss with one another the great job they are doing and what they are facing constantly day by day.  They want is to speak the words in our minds and outloud that they are doing a great job in the battles set before them and they NEED to know that we are proud of them and are with them in spirit.  I believe we similarly aid and please God and His angels by being thankful for God's awesome power and for His sending of ministering spirits to help us in the areas where we cannot help ourselves, but for which we can fast and send up a prayer and be embedded in the spiritual battle.

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