Last week we discussed being one of God’s soldiers. This week let’s consider the role of the standard-bearer in battle.
While today being a standard-bearer is more of a ceremonial role, in years gone by it was a position of honor that also held incredible risk. The standard-bearer carried the flag of their leader into battle and marched near the front lines…oh, and he was unarmed. So, there he is waving his flag at the front lines so the rest of his troops know where they should be and so that the leader who was coordinating the battle can see where his divisions are.
Who do you think the enemy fired at first? The one holding the flag, of course. Why? Because it would cause confusion and demoralize those in the ranks. If the standard-bearer fell, it was vital that another soldier be willing to lay down their arms to pick up the flag and continue the fight. Accepting the role of standard-bearer takes great courage and a strong belief in what the flag represents.
What is the banner we are to lift high? One of the names of God is Jehovah-Nissi which means “The Lord is my banner.” When life gets tough, lift up the name of Jesus and let His banner fly high. It may draw enemy fire, but it will also draw fellow soldiers to your position.
You don’t know who is watching. You don’t know who shares in your struggles. You don’t know who you encourage simply by moving forward in your own battle.
By leading the way, following Jesus faithfully, and loving God fiercely, we will be standard-bearers who bring hope and light into dark places. The battle may be fierce, there will be times when the enemy fires directly at us, and we’ll sometimes be tempted to throw down the flag and pick up worldly weapons. But we must forge on in faith knowing that Jesus is working miracles in our lives that will light the way for others to follow.
An important aspect that separates the military standard-bearer from the Christian standard-bearer is that we are not left defenseless. Our God is right there with us in the midst of battle, protecting and guiding us. Our job, then, is to push forward with God’s banner held high as we lead others as Jesus directs.
We will never be left defenseless. Jesus is our faithful King and Defender. He loves each of us with unsurpassed passion. Hope, healing, strength. These are promised to all who bear the cross of Christ. The Holy Spirit will do great works in our lives. Lift up His name and watch as we are led to a sure victory.
May the hope of Jesus spark the passion to carry His flag wherever we go.