This Is Not a Fad - It’s a Movement
At the end of 2013, I realized I was ending a 13-year spiritual journey. It started during a prayer and ended with a flag. An old and forgotten flag; forgotten by everyone, it seems, except God. He had evidently kept this banner in hiding for a couple of centuries, waiting in the wings of history until He was ready to re-introduce it.
This flag now hangs in thousands of homes, prayer rooms, sanctuaries, government buildings, and even businesses. A church in Indiana made their own version - 15‘ x 30‘ - then made me one! Another congregation decorated the Christmas tree in their foyer with dozens of small flags. Thousands of people have small ones tucked in their Bibles, tacked to bulletin boards, or conspicuously sitting on their desks. Others display them as lapel pins, wear them emblazoned on shirts, show them off on bumper stickers, and at least one person has the flag tattooed on his arm! Governors display the flag, as do judges and members of Congress, and one was spotted in the U.S. Capitol. Another was recently flown over the Capitol of Arkansas. The other day I was surprised to even see one streaming behind an 18-wheeler; it has gone viral!
The flag is associated with America’s founding, to be sure. It seems that God doesn’t intend it to be used by America alone, however. On this book’s cover, it can be seen flying in the Himalayas - the highest point on the planet - where it is raised above dozens of Buddhist prayer flags. It has flown on the plains of Nineveh (the place of the first region-transforming revival) the North and South Poles, in South Africa, Panama, and more recently in Cambodia where it was used in prayers against human trafficking. Who knows where it will turn up next?! This international use seems especially appropriate, given America’s God-given destiny of being a spiritual light to the nations.
In times past, flags carried more weight than they do in our present day. Their symbolism was understood, from the color to the design, enabling a flag to tell a story or make a strong statement. Many flags are sacred - people swear allegiance to them and die to protect their honor. Banners, as they are also called, we’re often intended to make declarations. One early colonial American flag had a picture of a coiled snake with the accompanying phrase, “Don’t Tread On Me.” It was a warning to Great Britain: “Be careful; step on us, and we strike!”
This journey of mine involves a different flag in America’s past, one that is especially relevant to our God-given purpose and destiny. Modern-day progressives, historical revisionists, liberal politicians, and humanistic professors scoff at the notion that America was established by God for a divine purpose. They also mock the assertion that our Founders believed in and honored this divine-human partnership. However, Yahweh, the God of the Bible, was indeed involved in America’s founding and He did so for His purposes.
When General George Washington commissioned the Appeal to Heaven flag to fly over our naval ships in the Revolutionary War, little did he know that 240 years later, God would ordain that it fly again. This time around, however, it wouldn’t fly over a fledgling nation being born, but over the most powerful nation in the world being reborn. This rebirth isn’t literal, of course, but is a spiritual and moral renewal that will resurrect America’s God-given calling, purpose, and greatness.
It must, indeed, be acknowledged that America’s populace is now filled with great apathy toward its history. It is also true that we are so ignorant of the ideals that shaped our identity as a nation that we have lost our national moorings. God’s intent is that history be more than information; the past can be an important anchor. Without this stabilizing force, however, America is now adrift in a sea of secular experientialism, blown about by the wanderings of our own fantasies and the delirium they create. Truly, America’s independence from God has left us spiritually and morally bankrupt. She is experiencing a continuous drift from greatness to mediocrity and, unfortunately, becoming increasingly irrelevant around the world.
With such a dire diagnosis why, then, am I not hopeless? In the days of the flag’s genesis, the American colonists had no chance of winning a war with the world’s greatest empire, Great Britain. Yet, when those ill-prepared and poorly equipped revolutionaries appealed for assistance to the Giver of inalienable rights, the tide turned. When they agreed to come under God’s governance and honor His ways, He who “governs in the affairs of men,” as Ben Franklin stated at the Constitutional Convention, did just that. Affirming the Lord‘s governing intervention, Franklin also said, “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.” (1) Even some of our founders who were not strong Christians, such as Franklin, acknowledged God‘s providential hand in our victory.
That same “superintending providence” is available today. In spite of our many flaws and numerous failures, God‘s hand has been, and remains, on America; of this I am sure. From the first man, Adam, to the Apostle Paul, history has proven that God uses imperfect people. The same is certainly true of nations. Though America is scarred and flawed, we still possess a divine purpose. Rest assured, the Sovereign who bestowed that purpose to America knows how to resurrect it.
As you read this book, my prayer is that you will be awakened to hope. Hope is to the heart what seeds are to the earth. Without hope, life is sterile, unfruitful - dreams aren’t conceived and destinies aren’t realized. Hope is the starting line, the launch pad; it’s the seedbed from which faith springs up, and a creative force that keeps the soul dreaming. Without a doubt, the reemergence of this flag is intended by God to awaken hope.
Let it be said of our generation that when a nation teetered on the edge of destruction, having lost the ancient path of truth, we answered the divine call to war for its restoration. Let it be said of us, as it was of our forefathers, that in the face of overwhelming odds we took our stand in the celestial courtroom, appealing to the Judge of all the earth for His saving grace, mercy, and sustaining power.
Join the movement - appeal to heaven!
Pray with me:
Father, as surely as You raised up this nation, You will restore this nation. Our faith is not in our goodness or self-righteousness; it is in Your heart to redeem and restore. And it is in the blood of Jesus. Not only do You want to restore America, You want to use her to see many nations experience Your love and redeeming power.
When our nation was formed our Founders appealed to You for justice and victory; they even put it on a flag and flew it over ships and battlefields. You have brought this flag to the forefront again, to use it as a reminder and a rallying cry. It reminds us that our hope is in You, and You alone. We appeal to You for the salvation of America. And we declare, in response to Your prophetic words and dreams regarding our nation, “America shall be saved!”
We appeal to You for an unprecedented revival. We appeal to You for millions of salvations. We appeal for incredible deliverances to occur. We appeal for the healing of marriages. We appeal for our young generation to be introduced to You in extraordinary ways. We appeal to You for a changed government. We appeal to You to transform our education system. And we appeal to You for a worldwide revival that will save hundreds of millions of people spiritually, and even physically. And we ask and declare all of this in the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen.
We decree that the God who birthed America will now rebirth America.
Today’s post was taken from my book An Appeal to Heaven.
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Franklin, Benjamin, “Constitutional Convention Address on Prayer.” June 28, 1787. Philadelphia, PA.