PLANT YouR FLAG

Let me be real clear as I begin: I am an absolute orange-kool-aid-drinking, diehard Oklahoma State fan, so I’m not crazy about the subject of this opening anyway. But, if you’re a college football fan — or even a sports fan or a viewer of news — you’ve seen Baker Mayfield’s antics after his Oklahoma Sooners beat Ohio State in Columbus Saturday night. If not, allow me. Mayfield, Oklahoma’s, shall we say, “expressive” quarterback, grabbed the OU flag and ran around the field celebrating. Then, to the shock and disgust of many Ohio State fans, attempted to plant the crimson and cream flag in the middle of the “O” in the center of the field. (Never mind it’s an artificial turf field and the flag simply collapsed to the ground.) It was, to some, an outrage. To others, it was simply another ho-hum example of the incessant bravado so prevalent in sports.

One thing I’ll give Mayfield — albeit very reluctantly — he planted his flag.

In business, “planting your flag” means letting people know who you are and what your specialty is. In the description of Matt Shoup’s book, Plant Your Flag: The Warrior’s Battle Guide to Life, Love and Leadership, Shoup describes it like this: “What will you leave behind? Your story and legacy are a direct result of the flag you carry. Your flag is what you stand for.”

Makes me wonder — where’s my flag planted? Where’s yours?

In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle writes, “…always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (NKJV). What does that tell me? It’s an encouragement — a “light-that-fire” type encouragement — to be ready, to be able to share and defend my faith. Peter is telling us to plant our flag! We need to be people who know what we believe and why we believe it. We can’t be people who “feel like God wants” or who “think God surely” will do this or that. We need to plant our flag and know! It’s a concept very similar to what the Psalmist says in Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…his delight is in the law of the Lord…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…” (Ps 1:1–3). You see that? One who is dug in to God’s Word is planted!

So, plant your flag. Know who you are and in Whom you believe. Plant you flag — not necessarily in an opponent’s artificial turf — but plant your flag of faith in the Lord and His revealed will for us.

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