A nation is known by its borders. Every nation on this planet has specifically delineated lines, and when you exit one nation and enter another, not only are you summarily informed that you are indeed passing onto the land of another nation, but chances are you will have to go through a checkpoint of some kind wherein your passport is checked, and if a visa is required for the country you are entering, that is likewise verified and scrutinized. I’ve been traveling for most of my life, in fact since the age of twelve not a month has gone by where I haven’t been on the road, living out of a suitcase, eating frozen burritos and hoping the chicken wings I had at the last truck stop won’t kill me. Admittedly most of my travel is within the borders of the United States, but I do travel internationally a few times a year, and whether I’m driving, or flying there is no way you can make it into another country without knowing it. There’s no such thing as an accidental border crossing, and anyone that says they entered a certain nation unwittingly is not only a liar but a fool.
Chances are also good that a citizen of any given nation can recognize the outline of their nation’s borders, if not outright draw it on a piece of paper, and they know what nation they are a citizen of.
With the exception of exceptional cases such as the Trojan horse, most battles for a nation are carried out on its borders. Invading armies attempt to cross into the neighboring nation’s sovereign territory, the neighboring nation defends itself with everything it has at its disposal, and the invading armies either retreat, or conquer the defenders thereby gaining ground, redrawing the map, and eventually if they are not successfully pushed back, overtaking the nation altogether.
1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”
Not only are we now the people of God made family in Christ Jesus, but Peter tells us we are also a holy nation. Yes, we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, those who were called out of darkness into His marvelous light, and as a nation we have borders which the enemy even now is attempting to erase, or assail. We are a nation within a nation, just as Israel was a nation within a nation during the days of Esther. After Haman was promoted by the king, after he was advanced and his seat was set above all the princes who were with him, Haman brought it to the king’s attention that there was a separate nation within his kingdom made of scattered and dispersed people, and in his opinion it would not be fitting for the king to let them remain.
Esther 3:8, “Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘there is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.’”
So why did Haman want to destroy the people of Israel? Why was he willing to pay thirty tons of silver, which is roughly what ten thousand talents of silver weigh to those who would carry out the bloody work of eradicating the people of Mordecai? Haman wanted to destroy Mordecai and his people, because Mordecai would not bow or pay homage to him.
The enemy in whose nation we are scattered and dispersed hates us with the same burning intensity as that with which Haman hated the Jews of old. He is willing to go to any lengths, pay any price, to see us destroyed. Unlike Mordecai who was ignorant of Haman’s plans at least in the beginning of this saga, we know what our enemy is planning, we know the lengths to which he will go, and we know the venomous hatred he has towards us. We are at war, of this be certain, and it is a war in which our enemy takes no prisoners. His onslaught is unceasing, he attacks the borders of our faith time and time again, and in recent years has had conspirators who have been working from inside the borders of the holy nation to destroy it from within.
Another thing that differentiates one nation from the other is the language that they speak. My mother lived in America for over a decade, but anyone could tell she was from a different country when she opened her mouth and tried to speak English. Her accent was heavy, her words were stilted, there was a difference in her cadence and her sentence structure and no matter how hard she tried, everyone knew she was from a different place.
Our conduct must reveal our nature. Our speech, our reaction to adversity, our even temperament, our humility, our joy, our peace, all these things must betray the fact that we are spiritual men. We don’t have to walk around with a billboard hanging around our necks identifying ourselves as Christians; men ought to know that we are Christians simply by our nature.
The third thing that differentiates one nation from the other is the flag or the banner by which the nation is identified. We have a banner, we have a flag, and this banner has been given to those who fear the Lord, and it is called Jesus.
Psalm 60:4, “You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah”
Isaiah 11:10, “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
Our flag must always be displayed; Christ must always be exalted, because of the truth. If we who are citizens of the holy nation will not display our banner, if we who are citizens of the holy nation will not exalt Christ, then who will? There is no one else, it’s you and it’s me, and it’s all those who love His appearing, that must lift high the banner of Christ.
Never forget that we are a nation, a nation with our own borders, a nation with our own language, and a nation with our own banner. Mark your borders well, defend them if you must, for when you defend the borders of the holy nation, the One who bled and died on Calvary’s tree will stand by your side and defend His kingdom. Be not ashamed that you speak a different language, be not ashamed when others identify you by your peculiarity, but rather rejoice, for we are not to be as the world is, and we are not to conduct ourselves as the world does. Above all, never stop waiving the banner of Christ, for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place, when all our labors are done, and all our battles are fought, and all the bleeding and the tears and the heartache have ended, shall be a glorious resting place indeed.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.