Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” –Luke 9:23-24
Traditionally, the white flag has been a symbol of peace or ceasefire. In a battle, usually the weaker party raises the white flag as a means of requesting negotiation or surrender. In the rules of war, the person approaching with the white flag is not to be fired upon nor is he to fire on anyone else. It is a symbol of surrender.
To surrender is to give up or yield to the power of another. To wave your flag means you have left all your armor and protection behind. In essence, you lose and the other person wins. It is that simple.
Jesus tells the crowd that to be His follower they will need to pick up their crosses daily. It is a symbol of surrender. In those days, many Galileans died at the hands of the Romans by carrying their cross up to where they were to be crucified. They lost; the Romans won. Jesus told the crowd that to follow Him, they must surrender. Jesus asks us to do the same today. We need to daily lift our cross. In doing so, we cannot hold tightly to our lives, jobs, money, identity, control, or our hearts. Why? In the words of Jesus, in surrendering to Him, we lose them.
In the world’s view this is backwards. The world says, “Fight to the end, come out on top!” Jesus says give up, surrender to me, leave your armor behind. Trust me with your life, your worries, your money, your family, your heart, your job, and your identity. For believers, He wants us to understand that we are His. He wants us to know that we have purpose, His purpose. The Christian life does not promise comfort, but it does promise fulfillment.
When you put up your white flag for Jesus, you must walk to Him with open arms. No hidden weapons or plans and agendas. When you wave your white flag, you relinquish your control. You lose, and Jesus wins. And when Jesus wins in your life, this is where you actually find true victory.
1. In what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God?
2. How have you already seen the victory of surrender in your life?
Psalm 145; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 1:1-6