Back in wars centuries ago you knew who surrendered by them waiving a white flag. The white flag is an internationally recognized protective sign of truce or ceasefire, and request for negotiation. It is also used to symbolize surrender, since it is often the weaker military party which requests negotiation. A white flag signifies to all that an approaching negotiator is unarmed, with an intent to surrender or a desire to communicate. Persons carrying or waving a white flag are not to be fired upon, nor are they allowed to open fire. The use of the flag to surrender is included in the Hague Convention.
The first mention of the usage of white flags to surrender is made during the Eastern Han dynasty (A.D 25–220). In the Roman Empire, the historian Cornelius Tacitus mentions a white flag of surrender in A.D. 109. Before that time, Roman armies would surrender by holding their shields above their heads. The white flag was widely used in the Middle Ages in Western Europe to indicate an intent to surrender. The color white was used generally to indicate a person was exempt from combat; heralds bore white wands, prisoners or hostages captured in battle would attach a piece of white paper to their hat or helmet, and garrisons that had surrendered and been promised safe passage would carry white batons.
I pray that you read this in its entirety. I was sitting around thinking and this thought came to my mind. Sometimes we prevent our own success and growth by refusing to raise the white flag in our life. We get in our own way refusing to release the chains on our life. I remember a situation were me not raising my white flag could have stop my growth. One day we where over a relatives house and I told my son to make sure he gathers everything he brought with him before we leave. Well we left and about 10 minutes after we left my son said he left his book. We where may be 4 miles away from the house. I told my son, we where not turning around because I told him to make sure to grab everything and he didn’t. So I would get it some other time because he needs to learn to keep up with his things because this happens often. I in my mind was trying to teach him responsibility. But I remember when we finally made it home and settled in; God said to my heart, you don’t always have to try to teach a lesson, it’s okay to surrender sometimes. I thought to myself, what would have been the big deal with me just turning around and going to get it. I refused to raise the white flag. I apologized to my son later that night. Things like this happen many times in our life where we refuse to surrender or be vulnerable to people but most importantly to God and we miss out on his blessings. Sometimes we try to rationalize things that make it work for us, when deep down we know the truth. God wants us to just raise our white flag of surrenderance to him and just let him direct our steps so that we don’t stop our own growth by getting in our own way. If we just surrender like the people we are going to talk about in the bible, then we to can come out on top in the end.
Surrenders that raise the white flag: Rahab: Joshua Chapter 2:1,3,8-13-2 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) 7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.12 “Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” Rahab was blessed because of here willingness to get out of her own way and surrender to the Lord.
Gideon:Judges 6:11-16/22-23- 11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon became great when he decided to not trust in himself but trust in the Lord. If he would have followed his own thought he would have been defeated before he even began.
Hezekiah: Isaiah 37:16,20-21/38:4-6- 16 “LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. 20 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are the only God.[b]”
21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the LORD has spoken against him: 38: 4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. Hezekiah once trusted that his allies could protect him but it was until he realized that only God could give him a shield of protection that he needed that he came out on top in both battle and with his life.
Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel 4:33-37- 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Nebuchadnezzar thought he had all the answers until God showed him that he was nothing and took him to his lowest. Once he recognized that and surrendered he was restored to power. There are many others in the Bible that raised their white flag of surrenderance to the Lord.
All the disciples gave up their life to follow Christ and to do his will. In most cases he asked once and they dropped everything and went with him. And their surrendering was not only beneficial to them but to others as well. I will leave you this one of the most fascinating story of surrendering to me in the bible that left me in tears. It’s the story about the prison guard in The Book Of Acts who surrendered his life to Christ after almost committing suicide.
Acts 16:22-34- 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. The jailer surrendered to Christ and it saved his life and his whole family.
I don’t know what it is that you may be refusing to surrender but I pray Lord that who ever read this blog raise their white flag of surrenderance to you and that they get out their own way and receive what ever you have in store for them in Jesus name Amen!!!!