When I was in the Marine Corps, we used to engage in field exercises that were focused on several different areas of skill development. We would work on our land navigation skills, which involved the use of a compass, a list of locations, and a canteen or two full of water. We would work on our patrolling skills, which involved silent communication techniques, situational awareness, and proper advancement procedures. As best as I can remember, it didn't much matter what kind of skill we were working to perfect, one thing was always a part of the plan: a defined, clearly understood, and locatable rally point.
The rally point was important because it was the go to spot should anything go awry and it was the place to go to when the all clear was sounded. The rally point was a place of safety and a place that everyone knew of.
In Psalm 60:4, David is writing a psalm that is reflecting on a battle he had been engaged in, and in verse 4, David says this about God: "But you have raised a banner for those who fear you - a rallying point in the face of attack." (Ps. 60:4, NLT)
Fearing God is our awe and severance for who He is. It is our understanding of His power and His authority in our lives and in our world. When we have that kind of a healthy understanding, we call that a fear of God. David says that God has raised a banner for those who fear Him. This banner serves as our rally point when we are being attacked.
The banner could be explained simply as the call to draw near to God. The Bible tells us that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us, as well (James 4:8), but when I read this I think of His Son, Jesus Christ. God has raised a banner for us: He raised His Son, Jesus Christ. When we are under attack, when we are reaching our lowest point, God points to the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to remind us that He loves us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
The message is simple: regardless of the circumstance you find yourself in - David was in the midst of physical battle - God is reminding you, as He did with David, that there is a rally point - a place of safety and of refuge - that exists for each of us. For those who are in Christ Jesus, that rally point is Jesus! If things should go awry for you, if you should find that you are lost, you can always return to the rally point. If you become weak or tired, you can always return to the rally point. If the enemy begins to encroach on your territory, you can always return to the rally point.
Psalms 61:2 says that when our heart is overwhelmed by the circumstances of our lives, by the struggles of our lives, by the attacks of the enemy, we can find shelter in the "towering rock of safety," for God is our refuge and a fortress where your enemy cannot reach you (NLT).
And when it is all said and done, when the all clear is sounded, those who are in Christ Jesus will be called up to that rally point. Praise God! While my heart longs for the great reunion and communion, I stand on the promise that the rally point still stands today. Keep your eyes open and your ears tuned so that you, too, can see the rally point.