Rephidim—How to Win the Battle You Face Today

Our struggles are not new, and neither is the secret to victory.

You wake up to it each morning. It follows you as you go through your day. It’s waiting for you in every room and conversation. Your battle cleverly disguises itself in many forms.

Rephidim—How to Win the Battle You Face Today

(Photo by Photodune)

Your battle appears as a person, or as money, or as a tense situation at the office.

But the reality is that the battle you face each day has another source. The fight that God’s people faced at Rephidim proved that point.

The battle is spiritual—and there’s only one way to win.

Today’s Battle is Not New

Our struggles are not new, and neither is the secret to victory.

After God miraculously provided water for His people, Amalekite warriors confronted the Hebrews at a place called “refreshments,” or Rephidim, traditionally thought to be present-day Wadi Refayld near Jebel Musa (traditional Mount Sinai).

On a hill above the battle, Moses held up his staff with both hands.

  • As long as Moses lifted the staff of God, Israel prevailed against the Amalekites.
  • But as soon as his weary arms dropped, the enemy began to win.

The action clearly revealed the means of victory in battle—a principle illustrated by the name of one we see in this passage for the first time in Scripture: Joshua, “The Lord Saves.”

Rephidim—How to Win the Battle You Face Today

(Photo: Sinai mountains from Jebel Musa. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Means of Victory

Only by absolute dependence on God can His people rise above their enemies. At Rephidim, through the means of water and war, God taught Israel a truth they would need in the Promised Land: He alone gives provision and protection.

  • This principle remains just as real in our spiritual life.
  • Our enemy is not a nation, or a religion, nor disease.

Our greatest enemy is a spiritual being, Satan, who has nothing less than our complete destruction as his patient pursuit. He prowls around like a lion, looking for those who fail to keep alert (1 Pet. 5:8).

The devil does not sleep . . . therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest. —Thomas à Kempis

Our Weapons for the Battle

Because we face a spiritual enemy, the apostle Paul refreshes our minds with the lesson of Rephidim:

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. —Ephesians 6:10

Because we fight a spiritual battle, we brawl with the weapons of God, such as truth, faith, Scripture and prayer.

  • Our spiritual provision and protection come from reliance on God.
  • When we fail to pray, to stand on Scripture, or to believe the truth, we fail to prepare for a battle that we cannot win in our own strength.

Our Father has revealed that we must not live independent of Him, but rather in complete dependence on Him.

The invisible world looms just as real today as the world that dominates our sight.

Question: What helps you keep your eyes on the true battle? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • Amanda Kuykendall

    Wayne, I really enjoy these writings. Thank you for doing this faithfully. So much talk about spiritual warfare is circulating. Over 20 years, from introduction to the topic to now, I have learned that most battles are within; learning quietness and confidence in trust. Maintaining that trust is key to victory. Extended seasons of warfare are times of strengthening and shaping, if we have that key.

    • Mary-Beth Goetzke

      Amen to both the message and Amanda’s comment…I too really enjoy your writings and this one on spiritual warfare hits the mark for me. This subject gets so confused sometimes when the bottom-line is the battle is the Lord’s and most battles are within.

      • Thanks, Mary-Beth. As I told Amanda, I think so many of our struggles mirror the one our Lord had the night before He died. Surrender lies at the core of most, if not all, of our battles. Thanks.

    • Great words, Amanda. Thank you. Yes, I have discovered too that most of our struggles mirror Jesus’ decision in Gethsemane. The battle against our flesh is one the adversary takes full advantage of. Thanks for your comments, Amanda.

  • KB

    I’d have to say the Holy Spirit helps me. I’ll get all caught up in my emotions and struggle and then He starts throwing scripture at me. Scripture I forgot I knew and failed to remember on my own. The battle is not mine, we fight not flesh and blood but evil, is your armor on, ask Me. Sometimes the right song shows up and I start laughing amid my tears at His continual perfect timing and abilities. Or the right devotion shows up. His ways are endless. And while He fights and works, I have a part in it too, like Moses. To keep my arms up, believe, move when He says move, and stay when He says hold up here for now, pray, ask, know Him and His word. Thank you, Wayne.

    • Yes, the Spirit of God powerfully brings to mind the words He Himself inspired in the Bible. What a blessing that He loves us enough to encourage us through words of truth.

  • Michelle thick

    God his word and prayer. Putting Him number 1.

    • That’s the best combination, Michelle. First things first. God bless you as you see Him first.

  • Lisa

    Reading the Holy Scripture and attending Wednesday night bible study has profoundly opened my spiritual eyes. After I began to read and meditate on the word of God, I can now see the world from a totally different perspective. As God desires His earthly children to live and prosper, He also wants us NOT to conform to the things of this world. Daily, we fight against the wiles of the devil and against spiritual darkness, wickedness and principalities of many dark deeds that are systematically summons by satan. The evil deeds devised in this spiritual darkness are often carried out by unbelievers of Christ Jesus and if christians are not spiritually prepared, we too can become an intricate part of this darkness. That is why believers in GOD and the Holy Trinity MUST prepare daily for these unassuming battles. The stronghold of this ongoing spiritual warfare is real and the enemy is unrelenting as it seeks to devour the unassuming. Therefore, we must seek our Lord and Savior in our daily walk while putting on the whole armour of God.

    • I appreciate your words, Lisa. Some great thoughts and strategies here. Thanks for including them.