David is one of the most famous people in the Bible. He is well-known for being the only person who was willing to fight Goliath, a giant who threatened David’s people. David had faith in God to help him win, so even though he was small, David fought Goliath—and won. Acts 13:22 calls David a man after God’s own heart. God said, “He will do everything I want him to do.” Try putting your own name in the blank. Now, wouldn’t it be amazing for God to say that about you or me? But too many of us have red flags in our lives that make us think God would never say that about us.
Red flags are a sign of danger; they warn you about the harmful conditions ahead. And the red flags in our lives show up in many different ways: addictions, broken or shallow relationships, depression, nervousness or anxiety, defeat, anger, defensiveness, suspiciousness, being judgmental, the list goes on and on.
Sometimes we can look at people like David and begin to compare ourselves to them—we could never be on their level, right? But even David had a red flag in his life, and that is the only time we see him not being used by God in a powerful way. David’s red flag was robbing his potential, taking his focus off of what God had called him to do.
In 2 Samuel 11-12, we learn about a time when King David had an affair with a woman named Bathsheba, whose husband was off at war. She later sent David a message telling him she was pregnant. David’s red flag had just gone up, and it took his eyes off the vision of who God created him to be in his generation.
David tried everything he could think of—he tried ignoring his flag, blaming other people for his own mistakes, and hiding it by sending Uriah home to be with his wife. When none of that worked, he had Uriah killed in battle.
Our red flags may not look the same as King David’s, but we all have one—all of us have sinned and missed the mark of God’s glorious standard. And those red flags will destroy us if we don’t deal with them head-on, because they take our focus off of God and what He has in store for our lives. And just like David, we try to manage our flags. Maybe we do our best to hide them so that no one sees the mistakes we’ve made. Or maybe we blame other people for what we have done ourselves by saying things like, “That person shouldn’t have been doing that either. It’s not my fault God created me this way.”
We all need to realize that there is nothing we can do without God that will get rid of our red flags. We can ignore, blame, or hide them all we want, but they’re still there. Going to church every week, taking Communion, giving our tithe money, and getting baptized won’t remove our red flags. The only thing we can do is admit to God that we’ve screwed up, and ask Him to remove the red flag and restore us. Replace your red flag of danger with a white flag of surrender.