The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Confession Worship Songs: White Flag

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So far in our discussion of various worship songs, we’ve said that worship and sin are very serious topics to God. Now we can add surrender to the list: spiritual surrender is a very serious topic to God. Are you noticing a theme here? Your whole relationship with God is extremely serious to Him. It matters. He is invested. He doesn’t treat His association with you like some casual deal. He isn’t your fair-weather friend. He isn’t your pseudo friend on Facebook. He is your God and Creator. There’s no room for a bunch of phoniness in your walk with Him. Things need to be honest, real, and sincere.

Now no matter how much you think you love God, He loves you a whole lot more. No matter how much you want to grow closer to Him, your desire for Him is nothing compared to His desire for you. There are certain things that God REALLY wants from you. Total surrender is one of those things. Total surrender is when we SINCERELY say “Have Your total way in my life now and forever.” Total surrender isn’t a game. “Surrender” isn’t a phrase we should be throwing around casually. Do you want someone you’re madly in love with to propose marriage to you and then say, “Just kidding, I take it back”? Wouldn’t such a vicious joke make you feel sick with heartache? Well, God finds it extremely repulsive when His people say to Him “We totally surrender to You—just kidding!” There are far too many songs in circulation today which promote this exact message. When we sing them, we make all kinds of glorious promises to God that we DON’T MEAN. He HATES IT.

Now humans are sensual beings. We love sensual rushes and adrenaline spikes—whatever gets our blood pumping and our pulses racing is good stuff to us. A corporate worship session is NOT the time to be focused on getting our blood pumping. If you want a rush, go ride a roller coaster. When you’re singing to your King, you need to focus on what you’re saying and not be making a bunch of statements that you don’t mean.

Unless you’re an unsaved, hardcore rebel who just happens to be coming to salvation at the very moment the worship leader puts up the lyrics to “White Flag”, you shouldn’t be singing this song. The lyrics of this song can only apply to two groups: the unsaved who are just now desiring salvation, or hardcore Christian prodigals who are just now returning to God. If you sincerely care about pleasing God in your soul, then clearly this song is not appropriate for you to sing. Let’s not make a mockery out of the concept of rebellion. Spiritual rebellion is when your heart attitude is a defiant, “I don’t care what You say, God. I’m living for myself.” Is this how you feel right now? If not, then why would you be singing about your “rebel heart”? If you sincerely care about pleasing God with your life, then you are currently in a state of alignment with Him, not rebellion. Alignment is very pleasing to God—don’t just chuck it aside as irrelevant so you can sing along with the crowd.

The battle rages on; As storm and tempest roar
We cannot win this fight; Inside our rebel hearts
We’re laying down our weapons now

These lyrics are describing spiritual rebels who are feeling worn down by the longevity or intensity of their struggle against God. Is this you? It’s highly doubtful if you’re reading a post like this.

We raise our white flag; We surrender
All to You; All for You

We’ve already talked about how sensitive God is about the concept of surrender. Notice the lyrics are that “We surrender ALL to You.” This is an extremely serious statement to be making to God, and you can bet that the vast majority of souls who sing these lyrics aren’t within a thousand miles of total surrender. This is infuriating to God. You don’t want to treat His feelings so callously.

We raise our white flag; The war is over
Love has come; Your love has won

Here the spiritual rebels are saying that God’s great love has convinced them to surrender to Him. Well, that’s fine as far as it goes, but let’s get real about God’s requirements for salvation. You’re not going to get accepted by God if you just see Him as some big Santa Claus who wants to kiss all over you. God is the Sovereign King. He demands reverential submission from us, not just some shallow, “Ah, gee, since You love me so much, I guess I’ll go along with You.” God demands that we agree with His declaration that we are all vile wretches who have grossly defied Him, thus we are deserving of eternal torment in Hell. In the Church today it’s become enormously popular to just tell the second part of the Gospel message: the part where Jesus died for us and we all get to go to Heaven and live happily after. Yet you’re not going to get saved just hearing this last part. You have to start with the first part where God explains the crisis to you: the part where He talks about the severity of His wrath, the extent of your depravity, and the terrors of Hell. God demands that we reverentially submit to His Authority, and that means AGREEING with His pride crushing assessment of us. Yes, He loves us—for a little while. But if we don’t fall on our faces and submit to Him on HIS terms, that love will turn into hate and He’ll thoroughly enjoy tormenting us in Hell for eternity. This is the real Truth, not the sugar coated rot that Satan has us all peddling in the name of not offending people who already hate God. If you’ve never found God’s truths to be offensive, you’ve got some serious praying to do.

Here on this Holy ground; You made a way for peace
Laying your Body down; You took our rightful place
This freedom song is marching on

Here is a reference to Christ’s death on a cross. Now we’re really wading into somber topics. And that “freedom song” isn’t going to be marching anywhere unless we reverentially submit.

We raise our white flag; We surrender
All to You; All for You

Most Christians do not fully surrender to God at salvation because they do not yet have the spiritual understanding necessary to make this sort of commitment. Usually souls need time to mature past the basics before they are ready for total surrender. Here this song encourages the unsaved to use totally inappropriate language. Surrender? Yes. Surrendering ALL that we are? Not hardly.

We raise our white flag
The war is over; Love has come
Your love has won; Your love has won

We lift the cross; Lift it high lift it high [x8]

Eight times? That is way too many times to repeat something. After a couple of times, all sincerity will be drained from our words. We are humans, not robots. We should not be droning on like this.

We raise our white flag; We surrender
All to You; All for You
We raise our white flag; The war is over
Love has come; Your love has won
We raise our white flag; We surrender
All to You; All for You

How many times are we going to promise a surrender to God that we don’t mean? This song is very problematic. We stand around singing it at Church, then we go right on with our lives acting like nothing happened because nothing did. We didn’t really surrender all that we are to God. Even if we wanted to, such a serious commitment should be made in some private moment when we can fully concentrate on Him, not be distracted by the guys on stage who are belting it out under the lights.

We raise our white flag; The war is over
Love has come; Your love has won

We lift the cross; Lift it high lift it high [x4]

God is not a fan of excessive repetition. Repeating a couple times for emphasis—that’s the human way. Beating the words to death—that’s just unpleasant noise.

Anytime you see the term “surrender” in a song, you can pretty much write the song off as inappropriate for you to sing. Like salvation, surrender is something we do once, and it is a decision that eternally alters our standing with God. It’s not a subject we should be treating casually.

FURTHER READING:
The Power of Permanent Surrender
What it Means to be Aligned with God
Confession Worship Songs: The Heart of Worship
Corrupted Worship Songs: Your Grace is Enough

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