It was sneaky, visceral and unprecedented. I had been feeling the rumblings in my spirit for days, I knew something was coming could feel it but was surprised by the human face attached to it and the area targeted. The enemy doesn’t often forage into areas of strength; he usually targets areas of weakness and wounding. Although the face is human the message and the destructive intention is not…the scripture is clear we wrestle not against flesh and blood…it is the principality and prince of darkness who is the attacker. In the push and pull of human relationship mistakes are sometimes made as we struggle to communicate, understand, forgive and grow but the guttural kick to the gut is the evil one, he piggy backs his schemes into the everyday of human interaction and connection.
I felt the stirring to pay attention and to pull the sword closer, but as often happens the natural is so filled with the here and now we don’t head the warning call of the spirit to arm ourselves for battle. But the Holy Spirit continues to arm us anyway…that morning a text came from a friend that had stood with me in other difficult days. The text held the words from an old hymn speaking of the face of God; I did not understand it to be the weapon it was.
Then came the first volley before the full serge of the battle, an attack right into the very heart of gifting, experience and ability. By the time the full barrage had hit the intention was clear to reestablish a failed lie and take the foundation of truth from me. To limit the power of my influence and make me question my purpose.
Overwhelmed and angry I started the long road of what now-ing? Reeling inside I began to notice something very important began to happen… had been happening…so I started to pay attention.
That scripture…you know the one about floods and standards…it started to roll around in my spirit.”When the Enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise a standard against him!” (Isaiah 59:19)
I think most of the time we think of the standard being raised is about the attack being removed or the situation being dissolved or that we are simply lifted and rescued from the difficult and debilitating. Easy to understand because some biblical versions use the word flee, to me that means get me out of here!
But maybe I began to think the standard is really a shield between us and the fiery darts while the battle rages on, maybe it is a shield that is crafted specifically for us and for that particular battle.
Maybe the standards are the words from an old hymn…
Or the student who walked down the hall with me the day of the attack and said affirming, life giving things to me totally unaware of what she was really doing…raising a standard of truth in my ear.
Or the FB message from a person I had not heard from in years with words of gratitude for a time I had been His hand extended to her.
Or the 2 junior boys I had been praying for and building a relationship with so I could reach their hearts, completing their research paper with words of thanks that brought tears to my eyes.
Or wise words from women who know me and love me best who speak courage in the darkest moments of the battle.
The attack was crafted in words meant to demean and devalue and the standard came in words that encourage, uplift, enlighten and provide balanced truth. Maybe recognizing the standards raised against the evil one is about remembering that the Father who knows us and loves us best speaks to us in deeply personal and intimate ways.
As I began to understand that kind of provision, as I made connections I saw just how high and impenetrable the standard can really be. Unexpected words from unexpected places and then significant words from the safest of places.
And sometimes the standard is just Peace…The passes all understanding kind. When everything about the circumstance of the attack shouts danger, disaster, destruction, or maybe it is just the quiet whispers in the night that list all the things to fear.
That kind of peace that Daniel might have felt as the lions roared around him but did not touch even the hair on his head. We often just rush to the next morning when the king came to check if Daniel’s God had preserved him BUT fail to remember the long night surrounded by lions that could not come near because of a standard raised against them. IN the darkness, in the middle of the flood of demonic agenda, God raises a standard for His purpose.
And that purpose is that we will shine for his glory and that His name will be lifted up just like the standard He raised!