Yahweh is My Banner. This title for the Lord, given by Moses during a battle with the Amalekites, defines how God is the One who fights for us. He not only provides for our protection, but He does what we cannot do for ourselves.
During the battle, He gave a supernatural victory.
But in our day-to-day lives, His work is no less extraordinary and His love is no less extravagant.
I’m always intrigued with Ephesians 6, the passage about how we are to daily apply God’s armor to our lives. As we’re talking about battles and how the Lord fights for us, this passages is a perfect match.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
I’m going to stop for a second here because this fascinates me. Talk about God being our Banner!
Think about it in a medieval way. The knight in shining armor, plumed helmet, coat of arms on a polished shield. His sword lifted, ready for the strike. His white steed rearing in anticipation. Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
See this knight isn’t on his steed. He’s all decked out, but his assignment? Stand.
That’s it. We’re not sent into the fray. No kill or be killed for us. We are assigned to stand. Remain. Abide. Stay firmly ensconced.
How cool is that? Our God does all the fighting for us and asks us only to stand firm. Then, He tells us how to do that:
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Truth is the center, the axis, upon which the rest of the armor is built. In medieval times, the belt provided the framework for the other pieces. For us that belt is truth. No lies or deceit can penetrate when we are centered on God’s truth. And then Christ’s own righteousness protects our hearts.
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
My favorite version says “having shod your feet with the preparation for the gospel of peace.” Preparation is key there. If we don’t know the Word of God, we miss the foundation for us. The shoes. What else do we have to stand on if not from God’s Word?
16 Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
See the belt is the truth itself. The shield is our faith in that truth. The faith “comes from hearing and the hearing from the Word of God.” See the connections? God’s word is essential for this part of the armor as well.
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
The helmet is the protection of our minds. We know that we know that we know that God has saved us through Christ. That is the truth (and the belt) in which we place our faith (and shield). We learn it through the gospel, the reading of which prepares us and gives us our foundation (and shoes) that Christ’s own righteousness protects our hearts. And the WORD is our own offensive weapon. No wonder we have to be prepared.
But again, our instruction is to stand firm. Not to go running off at the legs OR the mouth. Because the Lord, Our Banner, will do the fighting on our behalf.