Banners have long been used since ancient Biblical times for a variety of reasons. To declare the identity of a people, to signify a hard-fought won a victory or for the surrender of an enemy during a military campaign, to name a few. As modern-day Believers and Soldiers in the Army of The Lord, we are to recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi,” “THE LORD IS MY BANNER,” denoting our trust and allegiance in The One True Living God. He is The ONLY TRUE SOURCE for our deliverance when confronting life’s battles. He Is The God “Who will never leave us nor forsake us”, no matter what may come our way! Ref. Deuteronomy 31:6
King David The Psalmist declares this powerful truth for us in Psalm 20:1-5 (NKJV);
“May The Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of The God of Jacob defend you;” “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion;” “May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.” “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” “We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our Banners”! May The Lord fulfill all your petitions.”
If there was anyone who knew first hand the Power of “Jehovah Nissi,” “The Lord Is My Banner,” it was King David. In all of the tests and trials that he went through, he continually called upon The Name of The Lord and was delivered! King David lived a “Banner Life” by putting his trust in God, even in the face of costly failures and seemingly impossible situations.
We read about one of those seemingly impossible situations in 1st Samuel 30:1-7 (AMP);
“Now when David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and had burned it with fire.” “And had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive. They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way.” “So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive.” “Then David and the men with him lifted their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.” “David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.” “David was greatly distressed for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
In these verses of scripture my friend, we learn a life-changing lesson, one that David walks out for us so beautifully, and that is this;
“A Banner Life begins with making a banner decision that ultimately leads to a fruitful, “Banner Life” filled with, ”Banner Years”!
As demonstrated in the life of King David, a life well lived for The Kingdom of Heaven is not a “perfect life’ free of faults and failures, it is a “faithful life” that continually gets up in obedience, in the midst of trials, temptations and mis-steps through the Overcoming Strength of The Lord Most High, The One True God to, “Pursue overtake and recover all.” Notice that is exactly what David did at Ziklag, though his men spoke of stoning him, he chose to encourage himself in The Lord second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour. This, my friend, is an example of a “Banner Decision” being made under tremendous pressure!
The remarkable payoff? We read about it in 1st Samuel 30:17-20 (AMP);
“And David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except 400 youths who rode camels and fled.” “David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives.” “Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all.” “Also David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and the people drove those animals before him and said, This is David’s spoil.”
What a day of Divine Dramatic Reversal for David, he went from being a grieving, distressed leader fearing for his life by the hands of his men who “spoke of stoning him;” (which is rather ironic when you think of the fact that earlier in his youth he slew the Giant Goliath with one smooth stone); to an overcoming hero who led the way in “recovering all” that the enemy had taken from them. The people even chose to set aside the flocks and herds of the enemy and declare it as, “David’s spoil.” In other words, those who were once against David were now for David, ensuring that he was highly honored and well taken care of.
How did David accomplish this mighty feat….and why wasn’t “the spoiler” (the enemy) able to disrupt David’s Divine Breakthrough?
The answer to this important question can be found in 1st Samuel 30:7-8 (AMP) which reveals The Source of David’s Epic Victory;
“David said to Abiathar the Priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray you, bring me the ephod, And Abiathar brought him the ephod.” “And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail to recover all.”
After all of the years of miraculous feats done by David in The Name of The Lord, he did not rely on his strength or his understanding, he continued to draw near to God and wait upon Him with a “Banner Heart.” A heart that is positioned in a place of humility and obedience to receive from The Lord.
David did not allow the memories of past victories and the former strategies that The Lord had given him to cloud his expectation and hearing of a “Fresh Word” from The Lord. Whats more David did not put the responsibility for his authority on a word from Abiathar the Priest to guide him in this dire situation. David’s intimacy and friendship with the Lord gave him the confidence to don “His Ephod,” and wait until he received the “Banner Word” of The Lord for his situation. This, my friend, is how David won all of his, “Banner Victory’s” time and time again throughout each season of his life!
The donning of “The Ephod” which was a holy sacred garment used by King’s and Priest’s in ancient Biblical times to set themselves apart to hear the instructions and guidance of The Lord, was significant for David. Why?….because the heart that beat under that ephod was a “Banner Heart,” that was set on hearing and obeying the Lord His God, no matter what the consequences were!
How did God view a heart like David’s?
We find the answer to that question in Acts 13: 21-22 (AMP);
“Then they asked for a King; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin for forty years.” “And when He had deposed him, He raised David to be their king; of him He bore witness and said, I have found David son of Jesse a man after My Own Heart, who will do all My Will and carry out My program fully.”
Whose program are we carrying out in our lives? Ours?….Or The Lord’s?
For us, today, “The Banner of The Lord” written upon the tablet of King David’s heart in The Holy Scriptures, is a continual reminder of an overcoming, “Banner Life.” You see my friend a “Banner Life” will always be lived from a “Banner Heart.” A heart that is inclined to hear The Heartbeat of Heaven through The Voice of The Holy Spirit as He shares the secret truths and mysteries that God is longing to share with each one of us that call Him Abba Father! Therefore my friend, “WE MUST NEVER ALLOW OUR, “HEART” TO BEAT AFTER ANOTHER god!
God, Himself states this truth so clearly for us in Exodus 20:3;
“You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.”
Let’s take a few minutes here and ask ourselves the following life-changing questions, I encourage you to write your answers down in a private place where you and The Lord can work it out.
What is written upon the tablet of my heart?
1. Am I living a “Banner Life” life from a “Banner Heart”?…..Or does my heartbeat after another god?
2. Do I recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi” “The Lord Is My Banner”….. If not, why?
3. What course corrections do I need to make, if any, to keep my heart beating in line with God’s Will for my life?
My friend, when God sent His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to Calvary as our “Everlasting Banner of Life,” that was and IS His Eternal Heartbeat of Love for a lost and dying world. A Heartbeat that you and I as believers in Christ Jesus cannot ignore! We must remember that every act of obedience in sharing The Goodness of God with those around us is an act of love that keeps this Heavenly Heartbeat alive and well and beating strong for The Glory of God!
This, my friend, is how we live a “Banner Life”, that will leave a “Banner Legacy”……
“Strong and Free….Boldly For Him”!
Psalm 60:4 (NKJV);
“You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the Truth.”
© 2020 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”
Picture by: Ben White