Within the Christian circles of which you and I are a part, you may have seen someone waving a white flag displaying an evergreen tree beneath the phrase, "An Appeal to Heaven." As of late, this banner has made its way into countless prayer gatherings, prayer rooms, political rallies and government buildings. The Appeal to Heaven flag holds great significance as it relates to the founding of our nation, God's eternal covenants, and our present hope for America.
The first time I saw this flag was at the 2013 Spring Commencement Ceremony of Christ for the Nations Institute, where I formerly served as Executive Director. I invited one of my spiritual sons to serve as commencement speaker. He is a Captain in the United States Army and had just returned from serving as the legal advisor to a Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
He served with Army Green Berets and Navy Seals —some of the best-trained units in the world! The Captain delivered a powerfully challenging message to the graduates, but toward the end of his speech, he wanted to make a special presentation to "Papa Dutch", as he sometimes calls me. To be honest, I was a little uncomfortable with this idea because I did not want the focus to be off of the graduates and on me. However, honored by my spiritual son's kind intention and trusting his heart, I allowed the presentation to continue.
He briefly shared some history regarding the flag he was about to give me. It was quite significant as it had flown over our nation at its birthing. It was not the stars and stripes, but a flag commissioned by our first president, George Washington, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, before the Revolutionary War actually began, General Washington formed and financed America's first Navy and commissioned them to sail with this flag flying overhead. During the American Revolution, an evergreen tree on a white standard could be seen flying in Massachusetts and before long, throughout all thirteen colonies.
The words "An Appeal to Heaven" became the decreed statement over the nation as this flag flew amidst battlefields and encampments. This standard led the American Revolution's grossly outnumbered and under-resourced troops into battle repeatedly as they fought and won the war for America's freedom. The flag's history is expansive and profound.
As this Army Captain unfurled the flag, I felt the presence of the Lord come on me very strongly. Though I was seeing this flag for the first time, it confirmed and amplified revelation God began giving me over a decade ago. I sensed it's weighty significance.
Little did I know, however, this flag would also represent God's next great assignment for my life, searing upon my heart the same cry He birthed within the hearts of the Revolutionaries at the founding of our great nation.
Over the next few months I will share this story; a prophetic journey that continues to unfold. It is nothing less than a living proclamation of God's everlasting promises, His destiny for us, and His hope for America.
Join us each week as we journey to An Appeal to Heaven.
Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized teacher, conference speaker and author of The Power of Hope. He has written more than 20 books, translated into over 30 languages. His first work, Intercessory Prayer, sold nearly a million copies and is being used to empower believers worldwide for passionate prayer and societal transformation. He and his wife, Ceci, make their home in the Dallas area.