What’s up Girlfriends?!
I want to tell you a story and talk about Jesus!
We are indeed a Navy family. If you cut us we will bleed blue–Navy blue right down to our two dogs, and I am not even kidding. We are that family.
My dad used to tell me stories about his days in the Navy right at the end of the second “Great War” (WW2). He was so proud of his service. He was one of the first 7/8 enlisted men of color who were not required to be stewards; he was a machinist mate. I have heard all of the stories of the beauty of the ocean, the uniqueness of the Pacific islands and how he would shovel a ton of coal to make the aircraft carrier go.
My husband was a part of the kinder, gentler Navy where there was no coal–just a nuclear propulsion engine running the carriers and subs. Basically they push a button to make it go, so my dad called him a sea scout not a sailor, lol! Daddy knew how to tell a story for sure.
“Nail the colors to the mast!” is not a familiar term unless you are Navy, then it is all too familiar. In the fleet of warships and during a battle that was not going well, a captain had two choices: fight to the death or surrender. If the crew heard, “Strike the colors” they knew it was surrender. To strike the colors meant that they would lower their flag of allegiance and run the white flag of surrender up the pole.
But, if they heard, “Nail the colors to the mast!” they knew the fight was on and they would surely perish, not as a surrendered foe but as men who stood their ground and fought. You see, it’s hard to strike the colors if they are nailed down; you can’t come back from that. Imagine what the enemy thought when they saw the crew nailing the colors to the mast. What a statement: “We might be losing, but you are going to have to earn this victory, buddy!”
Isn’t that the life we lead today with Christ–one of constant surrender? Yet at the same time we must “nail our colors to the mast.” In Christ we have both surrender and warfare. They go hand in hand.
We must live a surrendered life to Christ and wage every battle on our knees. In 1 Thessalonians we are instructed to
pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 ESV).
Prayer is essential to our lives in Christ Jesus, it is not optional. We must pray and we must pray a lot. This world we live in is wrought with difficulties and we will face them every day.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33 ESV).
We are indeed placed in the presence of a holy God when we pray. Recently within the last year, I have started using my phone as a “prayer alarm.” I have it set for 2 pm and 6 pm as a daily reminder to pray. I have 3 specific prayers that I have written for some loved ones in my life and when I pray the prayer for them I text them the prayer just to let them know I am thinking of them and praying. The list ebbs and flows and the names shift on and off, but I am always praying . . . always.
This week let us examine our prayer life. Be mindful that we feel like we are in a fight because we are in a fight!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39 ESV).
Remember, the enemy has schemes but our Savior has strategies!
Seek out those strategies.
It could be setting a prayer alarm or praying with a friend every Tuesday. Maybe the Holy Spirit will give you sweet prayers to write in your journal and some of you may even worship through song or art. Whatever and however the LORD leads you, just do it. Don’t delay, make haste, and “nail the colors to the mast!”
For today we will fight to the death of our flesh and by the grace of God we will swing our swords! Today we will become warriors and not slaves! Today we will fight and take no prisoners! Today there will be no surrender, only victory! Today we will “nail our colors to the mast!”
Until next time, get out your hammer and your nails and start swinging!