I’m a slight history buff —something I only realized when I began teaching the subject in our little home-school classroom.
After years of teaching science (preceded by years of studying math and science) delving into the humanities was a welcome breath of fresh air. Reading tales set in distant times and cultures held me as spell-bound as my kids. I soon found myself planning elaborate unit studies, and enjoying every moment learning side-by-side with them.
Epic movies set in historical context grab me the same way. The truly great ones are few and far between, but “The Eagle”, set north of Hadrian’s Wall in 2nd century Roman Britain, served as an acceptable filler.
Perhaps the most moving scene in the movie is one in which the Legion centurion, Marcus Flavius Aquila, is left alone to face a blood-thirsty horde of barbarians. He is wounded, broken, weary and so weak he can no longer stand. He hears the enemy closing in and knows that within moments he will be surrounded and defenseless. Drawing on his last ounce of strength, he struggles to his feet, raises the golden Eagle—standard of the Roman Legion —and slams it into the ground.
The Roman standard was recognized throughout the ancient world as an emblem of military power. When it was raised it was a proclamation – an absolute claim to that territory. It was a declaration to the enemy, “do not dare to enter this place”.
The soldier who raised the standard came under the protection of the Roman Empire, with all of its wealth, might and power.
There is an empire far superior to Rome even at its pinnacle: an eternal Kingdom whose King is Jesus. Citizens of His kingdom are marked with the insignia of the Almighty and as such, are mortal enemies of darkness; automatically engaged in the epic battle of all time. The enemy never relents from the pursuit of those who call Jesus by name.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Sooner or later each of us feels a lot like that lone centurion, under attack by an enemy whose cunning knows no end. His chief objective is to render us powerless to pursue the high calling and Kingdom purpose for which we were redeemed. To that end he aims at our weakest area of vulnerability —the confidence we have in the forgiveness of sin we received through Jesus Christ.
Hence one of his weapons of choice is the spirit of condemnation. When it is deployed, it hits without warning. Suddenly your serene and secure world is overtaken by a flash flood of accusation. The resulting tsunami of guilt and shame can kick your legs right out from under you, lay you flat and take everything out of you.
Yet we are never truly alone in the battle. The One who has gone before us and secured the final victory stands right beside us on the field. He will never leave us or forsake us. He has given us this powerful promise:
“So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
Praise the Lord God Almighty; we don’t even need to have the strength to raise a standard. All we have to do is call on the name of the Lord, and He raises His standard on our behalf.
“The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him…”
How much more does our enemy tremble at the sight of the standard of the King of kings and Lord of lords? He dare not come against us when that standard is raised!!!
With the power of the God Most High, the One with all authority in heaven and on Earth, backing us, who can come against us?
©2017-2018 Tabitha Meglich