In times before radios, airplanes, tanks and submarines, people fought battles with swords, spears and on horseback. For years and year, the soldiers knew to advance the battle based on the flag bearer. The flag bearer was near the head of the army, and the soldiers knew that if he was advancing, they should too, if he was retreating, they should retreat too.
Because of this, the enemy would always target the guy with the flag. Because if the flag fell, the soldiers didn’t know which way to run, they would fall into confusion not knowing whether they were advancing or retreating. If you were the guy with the flag, you might as well have had a big huge red target on your jacket as everyone was gunning for you. If you were a soldier near the flag bearer, you knew at any moment he could fall and you’d have to pick up the flag to continue the attack.
The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3) Paul knew that there was a spiritual battle going on. Paul knew that many people looked to him for direction and guidance in their spiritual lives. Paul was preparing those around him to carry the flag should he fall. Paul knew that Timothy would need to be a flag bearer. He knew that the enemy had placed a huge target on him. He knew his time was short. He knew Timothy would soon need to pick up that flag and continue the spiritual attack. So he asked timothy to suffer with him as a soldier for Jesus.
In the Church today, I don’t think we realize this, but our Pastor is the flag bearer. The enemy is targeting your Pastor. He might as well wear a huge target on his suit jacket each Sunday morning. You come to Church to get refreshed, to meet with God, to hang out with your friends. Your Pastor comes to Church and prepares for war. It’s a spiritual war. He is leading the troops. He is advancing the attack on the enemy. Working in close proximity with my Senior Pastor has helped me see how the enemy attacks. It has helped me see just how much he suffers as a soldier for Jesus Christ.
Please understand your Pastor is under the attack from the evil one. The enemy of the Church will use anything and everything to distract, frustrate, upset and discourage your Pastor. Please be a support to him. He needs help carrying that flag into battle. He needs you to pray for him on a daily basis. So please, pray for your pastor.
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2)