God is Not on Your Side
It can be tense and painful. Church leaders make a decision and not everyone agrees with it. It becomes easy to view those in disagreement as enemies. Sometimes they leave. Contribution goes down. Feelings are hurt. But consolation is found in the confidence that God is on your side. Of course those leaving often see those who changed their church as enemies. After all, it hurts to have leaders change the church they know and love. But it is comforting to know God is on your side.
It happens in choices for our personal lives as well. Since God is a God of love and wants us to be happy, God will surely be on our side as we make decisions about how to live. Of course, those who oppose our choices also rest in the certainty that God is on their side too. Even in the political debates it is so easy to see those of a different persuasion as enemies. And God is on our side. Just like our opponents believe. We are so sure that God is on our side and those that do not agree are the enemy.
Except God does not work that way. Just ask Joshua.
He was on his way to conquer Jericho when he encountered a man brandishing a sword, so Joshua asked the obvious question: are you for us or for our enemies? Joshua was leading the people of God, and if there was ever anyone who should be able to assume God was on his side, it was Joshua.
The man answered: neither. Not for Joshua and the people with him. And not for their enemies. He was the commander of the armies of God.
And God does not choose sides.
Now, I am not naïve here. We all think the decisions we make are what God would want. But it is important to remember that our purpose is to discern God’s will for how to live, and choose that. Because it is so easy to pick a side and assume God will agree with us.
So let’s be careful. God is the side we choose. The only side that matters.
God is not obligated to take our side.
We must choose his.