When you were younger, were you ever forced to take sides on the playground? Perhaps two older kids, maybe bullies, wanted a “side-kick” and that put you in a pickle. If I choose to hang out with Billy, Micky might get angry, and vice versa. Those are hard decisions. For me, I just wanted to run and hang out with people that were less demanding. I was not a fighter and went out of my way to avoid fights. It is the same with confrontation, I avoid it as much as possible.
The more I read the Word, the more I realize that I am being called to fight and to choose a side, daily. There is a battle going on, on many fronts, and I don’t think the battle lines could be drawn any clearer than how Jesus said it:
Matthew 12: 30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
This is just like saying if you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Have you ever stopped to consider how this verse applies to your daily activities or friends you hang out with?
Here’s another passage that defines the opposing forces:
Ephesians 2: 1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
This passage startled me when I last read it, of course, that is one reason I love the Word. It helped me to look at the world from a different perspective. If I am not obeying God, I am obeying the devil. I obeyed the devil before I came to Christ and even uncle Bob, who is so friendly, but does not know Jesus, is also obeying the devil. (uncle Bob is fictitious, by the way)
These verses make it clear that there is no middle ground.
I don’t know about you but this really changes my expectations of people. What’s most important for me to remember, however, is who the actual enemy is. Although people I know may be obeying the devil, this does not make them the enemy:
Ephesians 6: 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
But you may ask, “How could people be working for the devil and not know it?”
John 12: 39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,
40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”
41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory.
This is where we come in and where our challenge lies. Knowing that we are called to make disciples and lead people to Christ and ultimately give all the glory to God, what do we do? What does any good soldier do? They make sure they hear what their commander says and carries out the orders. Jesus understood this perfectly:
John 12: 49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
Do you know what God wants you to say? When people belittle the political party you associate with, do you ask God how you should respond? Do you know His commands?
You do know that God wants us to be like His Son, don’t you?
Romans 8: 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
That is good news, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty secure.
Is it time for you to take a stand? Is it time to arm yourself for the great battle before us?
Ephesians 6: 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
There’s no question in my mind that God has a job for each of us in His army. As the last verse states, our weapon is the word of God.
Do you find yourself taking cover because you have no sword in your hand? Or are you prepared to stand up to the enemy because you know how the war will turn out?
Here is one last verse to encourage you:
Revelation 17: 14 Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”
Will you take up your weapon and fight?
“God I praise your name. Thank you for calling me to be on your side and opening my heart to you.Please forgive me for not taking this war seriously for so long. Will you please help me develop a daily habit of reading your Word so that I will be properly equipped? Lord, please help me to be a light to others so that I may win souls for you. Help me develop a better prayer life so that I can be more effective for your battles. In Jesus name, Amen”