No doubt, Christians are in the midst of battle every day. A battle of epic proportions. A battle that we can’t possibly win. Left to ourselves we will lose this battle; and lose it quickly and decisively! The battle we are in the middle of is spiritual in nature. Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) 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. By God’s grace we do not fight this battle alone. How could we? God Himself fights on our behalf. As we look to Him and follow Him where He leads us; He will fight our battles!
One of my favorite names of God is Jehovah-Nissi. Which means The Lord is my banner. We see this name for God used in Exodus 17:15. As Moses held his arms up God’s people prevailed in battle. When he lowered his arms the enemy prevailed. In other words, when Moses focused upon and depended upon God instead of his own ability or the ability of their army, the Israelite’s won. And won in a huge way! After the battle was won, Moses built an altar to worship God for His power and supremacy in the battle. They overcame the enemy because their attention was fixed on the only one who could fight this battle; God Almighty!
Banners are used in battle to allow soldiers to identify with their respective units. It serves to give the unit an awareness of not only themselves but also the location and identities of the units around them. It gives soldiers something to follow into the battle. The Israelite people, traveling in the wilderness, had a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night to follow. These represented the very presence of God in their midst. With their eyes fixed upon God’s presence they knew they were traveling in the right direction.
What does this mean for Christians who are following Jesus? It means that every day we focus on our banner, The Lord Jesus Christ, as we march into battle! It means that we surrender to His Lordship over our lives. It means we pray before and during the battle for Jesus to be glorified. Whether He delivers us, or has us to continue fighting, we follow His commands and seek the outcome He wants, not necessarily the outcome we desire. Throughout the battle, God assures us that He is our Banner. He wants us to focus upon Him; not our circumstances.
When you find yourself in the throws of war; God is in control. The enemy will use any number of things to cause us to lose focus on our Banner. Satan will use your family; especially the broken and strained relationships to draw your attention away from God. He will use your broken past to tell you you’re worthless or useless. He will remind you of all the poor decisions you have made that led you to this exact spot. But to quote a friend of mine “the Devil is a liar!” You may not believe God can fix the situation. You may not believe that God wants to be “your” Banner. You may not even believe in God at all. But here is the good news. In Christ we have a Lord that has already defeated death, hell, and the grave! We serve a risen, living, and mighty Savior and Lord. God’s word tells us that everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13)! Not only that but Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
I don’t know what your specific struggle is today but Jesus does. It could be your family, your faith, your sin, your past, or your current lifestyle that is out of tune with God’s word. I don’t know how long you have been battling this particular problem. Maybe you have been struggling with the demons of childhood, poor decisions as a young adult, or current sinful behavior that holds you in bondage. I can only imagine how weary you must be from fighting a battle you cannot win. The Devil wants you to give up and admit that you are defeated. Remember what I said about the Devil being a liar. John 8:44 says that the Devil is a liar and the father of lies. Don’t you listen to Him!
There is an answer to whatever you are facing right now. His name is Jesus and He wants you to put your trust in Him for your eternal and your physical life. Turn to Him in repentance and accept His free gift of salvation. Then surrender to His Lordship as He leads you; and discover the abundant life He promises. When the enemy strikes again; keep your focus on the Lord who is our Banner and watch how the enemy flees from you. Are you ready to let Jesus fight for you? Lay it in His hands and let Him fight for you.
Jesus I pray for those that are at the end of their rope; the ones that are on the brink of giving up and giving in to the enemy. I ask that as believers we set our focus upon you as our Banner, and you teach us that you are faithful to fight on our behalf. Thank you Jesus that you fight for us!
Let us fix our gaze upon our Banner;