I’ve actually been to Buckingham Palace and I don’t mean the kind of visit where you stand outside the fences gazing from a distance at the changing of the guard. I’ve actually walked inside those fences. I got up close and personal with some of those guards and looked into the whites of their eyes. I even tried to make one smile. Didn’t work.
And so I really have been inside Buckingham Palace and walked its hallways. It’s a charming little cottage.
When did I visit? Back in August of 1999 I was in London and had the chance to drop by for a bit. You see, for two weeks every August Buckingham Palace is opened for visits from regular folks like me. And so, little ole commoner Ronnie marched (sort of) right through Buckingham’s front door, looked out upon the expansive back yard, strolled through several of the rooms, and then had brunch with the Queen.
OK, so maybe I didn’t have brunch with the Queen.
In fact, the Queen wasn’t even at Buckingham Palace the day I visited and I know that for a fact. How do I know the Queen was absent? Simply because her flag was not flying over the Palace. You see, wherever the Queen is, her banner of blue and gold is flying to let everyone know that royalty is residing right here.
Tonight in our UPLIFT service I’m teaching on one of the most impactful episodes from the life of Moses (Exodus 17) as God delivers them from a group of ancient terrorists. No joke. God used some drama that day to imprint upon our spirits the importance of 100% reliance upon Him because when we do that we are prepared for His answer, not ours.
When the drama was over, Moses built an altar and called it “The Lord is my Banner.” Moses wanted everyone to know that God was in residence with His people and that God’s presence is a game-changing presence. Lean on His strength, His power, His wisdom, His resources.
That’s still true. God’s flag still flies over His church in victory colors. The King is present and royalty resides within. He will never leave us nor forsake us and His purposes will reign.
I hope to see many of you in UPLIFT tonight as we are reminded that when we fight the good fight of faith, the battle still belongs to the Lord who lives among His people.