Jehovah Nissi, The Lord is my Banner is written by my friend Ashley Schiess. She shares her experience of encountering God as her banner. I pray encourages and bless you.
My story begins over twenty-five years ago. In a kitchen, sitting around an old oak table, an eighteen-year-old girl sat down across from her parents. They all had plans for her future. In the fall, she planned to go to East Carolina University. Her life was going in just the direction she wanted it to. But God had other plans.
I can picture that kitchen. Blue wallpaper. The table fitted neatly into the breakfast nook. I imagine the dishwasher was probably whirring, cleaning the remains of a loving meal that took place earlier in the evening. And in the middle of what seemed like an ordinary night, this young girl sat down across from her parents and uttered the words, “I’m pregnant.”
Silence can feel heavy in moments like these. Soon, the silence is broken by the sound of her mother’s tears. All those dreams and plans out the door. Her father stands up and walks out of the room. Both the young girl and her mother are crying as they try to make sense of this news.
When her father returns a moment later, she is surprised to see his face is not clouded in anger. Instead, he calmly returns to his seat and then lays his Bible on the table. He opens to the book of Romans, and he reads aloud,
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.
On that warm June night, God spread His banner over me for the first time. Love.
That young girl was my mother. And indeed, when she found out she was pregnant with me, her life changed. She did not go to East Carolina, but instead went to NC State, so she could live at home with her parents who would help raise me.
Life was not always easy and sometimes seemed unbearable, but God was always there, walking beside my mother and I. When God spreads His banner over us, he is proclaiming his protection over us, and he sends his aid to us, in the midst of whatever battle we are facing.
A few years later, my mom married my dad. A few years after that, they had my little brother. God has been so faithful to our family. Things have not always been perfect, but God does not promise perfect lives. He promises that He will be with us.
He has promised that whenever we run to Him, He will be our shield and our fortress. He has promised to raise His banner over us and His banner always says, “Love”.
God raised His banner over me again when I was twelve years old and suddenly came face to face with the ugliness of my sin. I asked Jesus into my heart and turned my life over to Him. Several years later, God raised his banner over me once more, as I followed Jesus in baptism, proclaiming to the world that I am His, and He is mine.
Now, I am a mother myself. My two-year-old is so smart, curious, and caring. Already, my husband and I can sense that he will be a mighty force for the Kingdom, and we pray that God will raise his banner over our son; over our family.
Wherever you are right now, God is right there with you. Whatever problem you are facing, God wants to face it for you. God does not call us away from life’s battles, but He promises us victory in the battle. Psalm 20:5 says,
May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God!
Let Him raise his banner over your problems, over your troubles, over your life.
For further reading: Exodus 17:8-16, Psalm 20, Psalm 60, Romans 8
This post is a continuation of our series on Encountering God by Name. Next week: The Lord, My Righteousness.
Ashley Schiess is a daughter of the Most-High King. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and their dog. She is a third-grade teacher who enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @ashleyschiess