The Lord Our Banner
What I want to talk about in this post is an extension of our discussion on prophetic acts from last week. As God opens our eyes to the significance of this area, He will also release us into a joyous style of warfare and victory.
Banners are visible prophetic signs of the Spirit today. The banners of the Lord are being raised. Many churches are creating banners that are beautiful expressions of who God is, His names and attributes. God inspires His people to do symbolically what He will do in actuality. As the natural takes place, the spiritual is released.
It points to this truth in 1 Corinthians 15:46:
“However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.”
To understand the importance of lifting up a banner, consider Exodus 17:8-16 and what God did with Moses and the people of Israel during their battle with the Amalekites. If you haven’t read this story before, I encourage you to take a moment and read it before we continue.
As Joshua fought the battle, Moses stood on top of the mountain with his staff and lifted his arms as God instructed. As the battle went on, his arms grew weary. Aaron and Hur helped by holding up his arms so he was held steady until sunset, and Joshua won the battle. Then Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is my Banner. This is the first mention of God as our Banner, Jehovah-Nissi. This revelation demonstrated the Lord was present and His presence was lifted up in the midst of His people. God's character has not changed, He is still our victory and banner. He is still present and dwells with us.
When Jesus was crucified, He was lifted up on a cross as Jehovah-Nissi, our Banner.
Jesus said in John 12:32, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.
Therefore, when we lift up a spiritual banner, we lift up Christ in our midst. Doing this has more significance than meets the eye; there is more happening than just lifting up a piece of cloth.
Let’s look at the physical aspect of the banner.
The Scholastic Dictionary says a banner is a long piece of material with writing, pictures, or designs on it hung from a pole or displayed at sporting events or parades.
Some other words that the Bible uses for banner are sign, flag, standard, ensign and pole.
We are more than the physical space we take up in this world, we were also created with a spiritual component and with that, a capacity to have greater influence as we follow Christ. As we take time to ask God what He's doing and make room in our schedules to join with Him, a spiritual dimension opens that we didn’t see before. Then, when we act in faith on anything we sense He is doing, such as lifting up a banner in prayer, something happens in the heavenly realm; Christ is being lifted up among us. It is a declaration we make through a faith-action that we seek to exalt Christ. These banners are prophetic signs that speak boldly and clearly; They make statements. They are visible in the spirit realm as well, sending terror and panic to the demonic hosts.
The enemy is reminded that his judgment day draws near.
Isaiah 31:9 Their stronghold will fall because of terror; at the sight of the battle standard (banner) their commanders will panic, declares the Lord.
Banners are a fitting signal to the enemy that the army of the Lord is being mustered for battle.
Isaiah 5:26 He will lift a banner to the nations from afar, and will whistle to them from the ends of the earth; and behold, they will come with speed swiftly.
The Spirit of the Lord is determined to oppose the evil tide.
Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight.
His banner demonstrates the awe of His power.
Song of Songs 6:4, "…awesome as an army with banners."
This phrase took on new meaning to me when I trained a class of 20 people in flag twirling, each using 2 flags. The sound of 40 flags whipping in unison was a powerful demonstration of this verse. Imagine the thunderous sound of an entire army with banners!
The sight of raising a banner, whether a small streamer, a chopstick banner, a twirling flag or a field flag draws attention no matter what the venue. I have used all of these in my city as a public display in parks, parades, nursing homes, schools, the state fair, and on the steps of the State Capital. I have felt the presence of the battle that exists, I've seen the heavy atmosphere lift and I've witnessed breakthroughs.
Banners are a visual reminder of many things.
His banner over us is love… Song of Songs 2:4, He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.
His banner is our deliverance… Psalm 60:4-5, But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
When we see the flag of our nation pass by in a parade, we stand at attention. It is because of what the flag represents. It is part of our national identity. At the Olympic ceremonies, the medalists receive their medals while their national flags rise above their heads. Flags provide national identity and unity. It is the same with the banner of the Lord. It unites the body of Christ in a tangible way. Visual pictures increase our faith as we meditate on who God is.
Our banners are lifted up to heaven as an offering of prayer.
Ps 20:5-9, In the name of our God we will set up our banners… Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer from His holy heaven, with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust (parade & boast) in chariots and some in horses; but we will trust (parade & boast) in the name of the Lord, our God.
When God first taught me about this, I was worshipping and praising Him with my streamer when a friend and her family came to mind. I knew they had gone through some rough times and were not in regular fellowship with other believers. I simply prayed God would touch their lives and plant them in a church family where they could grow and get the support they needed. Later that night, when I went home I answered the phone and it was my friend wanting to know when our church service started on Sunday. They settled into church and became very involved.
When you read about any experience I share, it is easy to see the answers to the prayers I prayed. But when I lived these moments, it took me a day or two before I realized God had answered my prayer. There was a delayed reaction; I realized God was moving in the situation and then I said, “Oh yeah, I prayed for that!” God answers prayers, but often we just don’t see it right away. Sometimes I write down the things that I am praying specifically for, so that later I can mark it down in my journal when He has answered. This helps me see how the Lord has answered my prayers and it increases my faith the He does answer.
To pray and intercede in worship is not a difficult thing. There is no struggle with what or who to pray for. I do not have to pray long, wordy prayers. As I begin worshipping, I enter into a place of peace. I am focused on God and Him alone. I have laid all of my emotions, attitudes, and agenda down at His feet. I ask Him to give me His thoughts, His emotions, and His agenda as I spend this time singing and praising Him. Now, I am truly free to just BE with Him. I am not trying to DO anything. Sometimes when I am thanking and praising God, He impresses people, situations or places on my heart, which need prayer. I believe that if God brings someone to my mind when I am worshipping, it’s what is on His heart. This brings confidence to know He wants to move on their behalf. And if I will act on it by speaking forth these people’s names and speaking blessings over them or whatever the Lord directs, then I see God move on their behalf. Remember, God loves His creation and He desires to live in fellowship with us. We do not have to plead with God to touch our friends, that is what He wants to do. By lifting up God, Our Banner, and declaring His Lordship over our family and friends, we release His hand to move on their behalf.
Blessing, Tami Gaupp