It’s a contentious time we live in. Feelings are running hot. So certain are we that WE ALONE know how to make everything better.
For those who recognize Jesus as Lord the commandment is to be one, a call for unity among his followers. And yet there is so much that we divide over. Mostly things that fall under our own understanding, which we are NOT to rely on.
In the United States, especially, we let politics divide us. We may choose to work with one group or another, hoping to contribute. But if we choose sides, if we declare we are on THIS side and THIS side alone is right, well, we are forgetting the lesson Joshua learned outside of Jericho.
…Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on—ours or our enemies’?”
(Are you a Republican or a Democrat? Libertarian or Green Party?)
He said, “Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. I’ve just arrived.”
Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, “What orders does my Master have for his servant?”
God’s army commander ordered Joshua, “Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are standing is holy.”
Joshua did it.
Joshua was the leader of the people of Israel. He was being led by God to take the promised land after 40 years of wandering in the desert. He clearly felt confident that he was right. He was sure he was on the right side. Israelites = Good Guys, Everybody Else = Bad Guys.
But who is this fellow with a sword? On whose side is he? My side? Or the Enemies’ side?
The Guy with the Sword was the commander of the Lord’s Army.
And he was on neither side.
Because the only side he would take up is God’s. The only side to be beside is God’s.
And don’t imagine that God is on your side.
Because it only takes a moment.
Just a moment of self, of our own understanding, our own will, to remove us as far from God’s side as is possible.
He didn’t move.
But when we choose a side that is any side other than the Lord’s side- and he is not on the side of any political party or human cause, though occasionally a political party or human cause may be on the Lord’s side- When we choose any side other than the Lord himself we become the de facto enemy of God.
So be careful how you choose.
It is not us against them, with God on our side. God doesn’t choose sides.
But he does invite you to choose him.