I’ve felt like that, haven’t you? When it seems like all the world, and God himself, is against you, trying to squeeze the life out of you and bring you down. Maybe you’re there now.
If you are and you too are wondering if God is on your side, let me ask you a question: are you on God’s side?
Here’s a true story from the Bible that puts it in perspective: When Joshua was getting ready to go to battle against the city of Jericho, a man showed up with a sword in his hand. Not recognizing him Joshua asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15, NIV, emphasis mine).
The message is clear – God does not come to do our bidding. We are here to do His.
In another scene, just after sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, God comes to walk with man in the cool of the day. But Adam and Eve feel guilty and ashamed for eating the fruit God so clearly forbid, and they hide from Him. God knows what they’ve done and where they’re hiding, yet He calls to them, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9, NIV). God does not come to walk with us in whatever path we choose; He calls us to walk with Him, His way.
Is God for you? Most assuredly! Does He care about the pain you’re experiencing? Absolutely! Does He have the power to fix your broken life and make all things new? You bet!
Romans 8 makes it pretty plain: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:28, 31-32, 37-39, NIV).
The question then is not whether God is on your side, but are you on His? How can you tell?
· Do you want what He wants, or what you want?
· Are you willing to do things His way even if it’s hard, even if it takes longer, even if He doesn’t always say yes?
· Do you want a relationship with Him, or do you use Him like a dispensing machine?
The Creator does not come to follow the created, but He invites us to follow Him. He has already sacrificed everything to show us how much He loves us. Jesus came to tell us who God is and what He expects of us. He died an excruciating death on the cross to show us how much He is “for” us. Then He rose from the dead to proving His power over death and sin and hell. Now, He sits at the right hand of the throne of God talking to the Father about our concerns. When Jesus returned to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to give us what we need for every situation. When the time is right, Jesus will come and gather everyone living and dead who has asked for His forgiveness and walked His way.
Are you ready to go with Him?
One final word from the hard-hitting book of James: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God…’God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:4, 6-7, 10, NIV).