Isa.59:19 …When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Jer.46:8 Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers: and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. (Egypt is a type of the world)
It has also been spoken that we ourselves are our greatest enemy. I will not try to prove or disprove this statement, but the fact is that the Christian is faced with three enemies:
• the world
• the flesh
• the devil
These three can be called the ‘unholy trinity’, and many times they work hand in hand to confuse, frustrate, and hinder all that the child of God is and is called to do.
Two things are immediately obvious from our verse: the enemy shall come, and the Spirit of God shall lift up a standard against him. These things are guaranteed.
A standard is an emblem or flag of an army, raised on a pole to indicate the rallying point in battle. There is no doubt we are in a battle; that much is clear and the battle lines have been drawn– but whose banner are you under?
We read in Dan.1:7-8 that the society that young Daniel and his friends found themselves in were seeking take them out of their identity by changing their names. But that was only one of several steps. They had already been isolated from their people, and in verse 8, we observe the enemy attempting to indoctrinate them into the culture. It was done openly, but with bad intentions. It was all done for three very important reasons:
- to wipe away all that they were and had known
- to absorb them as willing participants into the society, and
- to bring them into agreement with and obeisance to a different banner
This is the process of assimilation. But once again the question is, whose banner are you under?
We must be careful not to place ourselves under any of several banners:
This happens when decide on becoming and being our own god; the master of our own destiny. No, God does not want to be our co-pilot–He wants to be the captain the captain.
Ex: Eve (Gen.3)
This is the drive to get more, so that you can have more, so that you can be more. This is the pride of life.
Ex: the foolish builder (Lu.12)
In seeking to save your life, Jesus said you will lose it (Lu.17:32). Here the implication is that Lot’s wife, longing for what she had left behind, looked back in disobedience, causing her to lose her life. The same fate awaits those who choose to hold on to their own life rather than entrust their lives to the Lord.
Ex: Lot’s wife (Gen.15)
This is the drive for sexual immorality, drugs, having a party spirit, and also ungodly music. The mantra ‘If it feels good do it’, is a lie from the pit of hell. It is pure hedonism; something of which the child of God ought to have nothing to do with.
Ex: Prodigal son–enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season (Lu.15)
This happens while becoming addicted to works based religion; i.e. doing more and to achieve righteousness.
Ex: Paul before salvation was a Pharisee and because of his passion to the law, he persecuted the Church; concerning righteousness, he claimed to be faultless (Phi.3:6). In living this way you become like a hamster on a treadmill–trying to do more to please yourself and God…but how much more is enough? How do you know when you have done enough to please God? You don’t—so you keep on, not knowing you’re being dominated by law and the flesh.
The Only Standard
Jesus said in John 12:32, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. He also spoke in John 3:14, And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. In both cases Jesus was speaking of His death on the Cross, and what would be the far reaching effects that death.
Jesus Christ is the standard. The Cross is the standard. His blood is the standard. He is the only standard that must be raised now more than ever. The enemy is on a mission to take the church’s eyes off of the Cross because he knows the deliverance that is found there.
Psa.93:3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
Don’t get swept away in the enemy’s flood of deception. We must align ourselves with and place ourselves under the banner raised up by the Spirit of God. It is the banner of Christ. His banner is our rallying point and our battle cry. It is by and through this banner that there will be victory and deliverance over all the tricks, traps and temptations of the enemy.
That’s the Word! Take it with you. God bless you.