Today is Flag Day (and also my Birthday). It’s no coincidence I like flags! But what is Flag Day all about? I did a little research and here’s what I found out.
Flag Day is essentially the day that we as The United States of America decided to use the flag that we fly as our official flag to symbolize our country. On June 14, 1777 the US congress adopted the “stars and stripes” as our national emblem and each June 14 is to commemorate that decision. Here’s how we got there.
In 1912, President Taft signed into law what the flag should look like, since many flags previously had differing sized stars and points. Four years later, President Wilson officially proclaimed June 14 as “Flag Day”. But it wasn’t until 1949 when President Truman signed legislation that set June 14 as National Flag Day. On Flag Day, flags are to be flown on all public government buildings and people are encouraged to fly “Old Glory” in their yards and on their homes.
So that’s the history of National Flag Day but I have a different flag to talk about. It’s the White Flag, symbolic of surrender. In recent months, Chris Tomlin has been singing about the White Flag of surrender. Here are the lyrics from the song:
The battle rages on
As storm and tempest roar
We cannot win this fight
Inside our rebel hearts
We’re laying down our weapons now
We raise our white flag
All to You
All for You
We raise our white flag
The war is over
Love has come
Your love has won
Here on this Holy ground
You made a way for peace
Laying your body down
You took our rightful place
This freedom song is marching on
We lift the cross
Lift it high lift it high
Just taking a few moments to reflect on Flag Day, here are a couple of thoughts I had concerning what it means to “surrender” to Christ.
Surrender means war.
At the heart of each of us there is a battle for supremacy. This war is usually fought in our minds or thoughts and fleshed out in choices that we make. Paul affirms this idea in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6
3 For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.
Notice those words “raised up”? Often there are thoughts, ideas, and concepts that prop Man or others up as the Supreme authority.We fight to be right. We fight to be recognized. We fight to be “liked”. We fight to win. These things wage war and the battle rages on inwardly if nowhere else. Paul affirms this battle even further in Ephesians 6:
12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
We must be aware that there is a war and this war/ battle is ultimately us pitting ourselves against God and His authority in our lives. Each time I have to make a decision, I am forced to either choose God’s way or the battle is on! I can try to rationalize, explain, and even blame God or others for the reasons I would be justified in any choice I would make. It all boils down to my “rights” to what I want. War is about “raising up” my rights. In surrender I give up my rights.
Surrender means losing.
No one likes the idea of losing, especially in the context of a war! But Jesus was all about turning things upside-down. He told us that the way to win is to lose. When we surrender to Christ, we gain everything:
24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. Luke 9:24
When we choose to surrender and stop fighting against Christ/God and embrace the lifestyle He has chosen for us, which is one of love and godliness, then we “win”. So will others. When we actually lay all things down, then those things that were “raised up” are defeated. Learning to lift up Christ in their place is the surefire way to win this war. Elevating Christ and raising Him as my Banner (Exodus 17:15, John 12:32) is what Flag Day is also starting to mean to me.
Have a great Stars and Stripes Day…along with White Flag Day:)