Did you know, the background colors of real pirate flags were either red or black. Although black is most associated with pirate flags, the very first pirate flags were in fact red!
The early pirates sailed under Red Flags. The color red in pirate flags symbolised bloodshed. Red pirate flags also symbolised a warning. The red pirate flags were a symbol that little or no quarter (mercy) would be given. The pirates were looking for an early surrender and an easy conquest through fear and intimidation.
Then the French named the red flag, the Jolie Rouge (a cynical term translated as Pretty Red). Okay, so then the red pirate flags were quickly replaced by black pirate flags. It was a natural progression for the pirates. The color black symbolised death. Black flags were traditionally flown on Plague ships as a warning to other ships. The pirates flew under flags called the ‘banner of King Death’. Then, black and red pirate flags were further embellished with more graphic symbols of death…
But what is important to note is the fact that a Red Flag was the first warning, or a clear sign, that danger was ahead. A Red Flag demands an immediate response to, “What shall I do?” The Red Flag cannot be ignored. We could just surrender. Or, we could stand and fight!
The trick is to spot the Red Flag early because our options to respond are greater.
I wrote recently on, The Latest Gadget… do you get it? and about an adversary who subtly manipulates the good things to keep us from the best… and the best is God’s Presence.
And if Satan cannot distract you with worldliness, he will simply seek to wear you out… even to the point of using the good works you maybe doing for the Lord as a means of draining your energy. In Daniel 7:25 it warns us that, “…he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High…”
God never intended for us to do His Will without His Presence.
The power to accomplish God’s purpose comes from prayer and intimacy with Christ. It is here, closed in with God, where we will find an ever-replenishing flow of spiritual strength and wisdom.
In the beginning we set aside time to sit before the Lord, to pray and read His Word. We even write in a journal, write songs of love, sing to Him and worship Him. We rise early in the morning just to set that time aside to be with Him. He is the last thing on our mind as we slip into a fitful sleep at the end of our day.
But as our life begins to bear the fruit of Christ’s influence, we find many good works to be involved in. The demands of those good works begin to cut into our time alone with Christ. With success comes a greater demand upon our time. We go to bed a little later. We are tired and begin to rise a little later.
Of course, these subtle changes do not happen overnight, but the months and years of increasing success steadily erodes your devotional life. You find yourself in a growing, demanding ministry but with a shrinking anointing to sustain it.
Oh, what burdens we carry! What weariness accumulates! All when we neglect the privilege of spending time daily with Jesus.
Do you relate to this right now? Well, this is your Red Flag. What will you do?