What is a red flag? The dictionary defines it as a warning of danger or signal to stop. God has placed on my heart that we should discuss the importance of acknowledging red flags. Do you recognize red flags in your life?
I define red flags as God letting us know that we should stop, turn around, and reassess what it is that we are doing or seeking in our life. It is His way of getting our attention to alert us of imminent danger. The problem is often times we ignore God’s warning signs in lieu of our own desires and the silly thought that we can go it alone without His guidance and make it work.
I am sure that each one of us can identify more than one occasion when we were right in the middle of something and got hit with a STOP sign! Did you pump the brakes? If so then you probably saved yourself a lot of discomfort and aggravation. Oh but if you chose to ignore the STOP sign and decided to proceed, I would like for you to take a moment to think about the outcome.
It is very easy to put our wants and desires in front of what we know is right for us. No one is exempt, for we have all done it. It happens in every area of our lives but most often in relationships. Our natural desire to be loved, coupled with the unspoken shame that we often feel for the having failed friendships, courtship’s, and even marriages makes our desire to succeed “this time” take precedence over common sense.
The “I’m gonna make it work no matter what” syndrome causes our eyes not to see, our ears not to hear, and our hearts not to be so smart. As a result we get caught up and are often stagnant for long periods of time, stuck in a mess that has taken us in the opposite direction of our destiny and of God’s purpose for our lives. If we pause right here for a moment of truth and self reflection, I am sure that we will find that it would have been much easier to turn around and go the other way when God placed all of those red flags in our faces.
God has been in the business of giving us red flags since the beginning of time. There are countless examples of God’s red flags in the bible but one that stands out and is befitting for this particular subject would be Samson and Delilah. Samson had favor with God, he was strong and mighty in battle. Samson’s strength was in his hair and he was not to share that with anyone including and especially Delilah because she was recruited, hired, and trained by the enemy to destroy him. Her job was to get Samson to give up the secret that his strength was in his uncut hair so that he could be over taken by the Philistines . (Judges 16)
It is written that she tried to get him to reveal the secret of his strength three times, before he actually told her the truth. But wait! Should not the three times that she obviously set him up serve as a red flag that she was not right and that she did not have his best interest at heart. Each time that he lied about his strength she told his enemy and tried to deliver him into their hands. What is this people? A Definite RED FLAG!
Yet instead of Samson recognizing it as such he was so enamored with her that he gave up the secret of his “success” and was ultimately delivered into the hands of the enemy.
Are you Samson? Are you willing to forego common sense and ignore the red flags in order to satisfy our worldly desires? If so, please recognize that red flags are placed in your life for a reason.
You are not crazy or paranoid, what you are is blessed. You are blessed to be a child of God. You are blessed because God cares enough to continue to show you the way even when your desires cause you to ignore Him. Most of all we are all blessed that even after making mistakes and ignoring God’s direction, we can turn around and go back.
Samson, after ignoring the red flags and being delivered to the enemy was able to go back. God heard his cry and he was given redemption. You too can receive redemption, no matter where you are in your journey my brothers and sisters. To thine own self be true; even if you have passed countless red flags it is not too late. God is waiting for you. Simply turn around and go back.
To God Be The Glory!
Sister Robin P. Parham