Raising Up a Standard

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

In our toughest, most challenging battles, I am convinced that the enemy’s number one lie is that we are all alone without anyone else fighting for us. He tries to tell us God isn’t listening, that if we share our struggles with others we will look weak and that others (including God) won’t be concerned with our needs. It’s much like how a pack of wolves works to alienate an elk from the protection of its herd. They could never overtake the whole herd, but a singled-out elk becomes easy prey.

I see God highlighting two important pieces. First and foremost, we need to come to a place where we understand and never forget the God that promises He will never leave our side. He is always with us and always fighting for us. Look at this scripture in Isaiah 59:19:

19 …When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Those words “lift up a standard” in the original Hebrew (Strong’s) means: to hasten, to be borne swiftly, a confined stream which the wind of Jehovah impels. Any and all of our enemies can be dispersed in an instant by the breath of God. When we find ourselves in low places it’s not because God isn’t big enough. It’s because God is using the situation to take us to new levels of glory. It’s not about us understanding what is happening, it’s about us trusting that God in His unconditional, faithful love knows exactly what He is doing. If we thought the way He thought, we wouldn’t need Him. If He thought the way we thought, He wouldn’t be God. Resist the lies that God has left you. He never has and He never will.

The second piece is the importance of being in community. There is nothing more powerful than having other believers that you can reach out to for prayer, a listening ear and encouragement. God has been bringing some incredible friendships into my life that have truly been strengthening my walk with Him. It feels a lot like the scripture in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT):

24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

It’s not about these people taking the place of God. It’s about iron sharpening iron as we lift each other’s heads and turn our gaze to our Maker. Life is not a competition. It’s about encouraging each other to fulfill every page of the book God has already written for us.

Final Thoughts…

I just keep hearing the phrase “raising up a standard”. God promises He will do this against our enemies. There is no flood He can’t drain, no storm He can’t calm and no darkness that can hide from His light. And with our brothers and sisters in Christ we were created to encourage and raise each other up. We need to break out of our shells and stop thinking we are supposed to do this life on our own. It’s not good for us and it’s not good for others. Ask God to show you who He wants by your side in this season. They most likely need encouragement from you just as much as you need it from them.