First and foremost I am a follower of Jesus; I love Him with all of my heart. You could say that I am a “believer.” To believe in Him is to buy into all He said and did . . . which I do!
Since I believe in Him, I am also keenly aware of the tactics of the enemy of Jesus, namely Satan. Yep, he is real and quite active today. The enemy loves division and is really, really good at promoting it.
It is his tactic to get opposing groups to form strong, unyielding views; to sharpen and divide them to the point of bloodshed if he can. Even a cursory view of history reveals how very good he is at this!
Once the devil gets humanity to the breaking point, he simply stands back and lets us destroy each other; this tactic has worked so very well, it is no wonder he keeps using it!
We need to understand that the cultural battles we are facing today such as; disrespect of flag and country, right vs. left, republican vs. democrat, etc, etc, are all manufactured by the devil to get us to fight. So where does Jesus stand on all of this?
I recall a story out of the Old Testament Book of the Bible, Joshua. God had sent the Israelites to go and take the Promised Land of Canaan.
Great battles were about to be fought and Joshua, a mighty warrior was prepared to get the job done. Here isan excerpt from the Book in the Biblethat bears his name . . .
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and 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.
This is what we call a Christophany; it is a manifestation of Christ in bodily form, prior to His birth. I find this to be a fascinating encounter. I mean Joshua is ready for a fight, his mind is engaged and he knows that there is going to be bloodshed, as they take this land called Canaan. He sees a Man standing with a sword drawn, and he wonders if this might be the first encounter.
As he approaches the Man, I’m sure Joshua has his hand on his own sword, ready to do battle. Joshua’s question is revealing; “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
The question assumes only two options; if you are for us, then join us and let’s do battle! If you are for them, then I will have to slay you! Joshua has it in his mind that since he is about doing the Lord’s work, there can only be two options; you are either with me or against me; my way or the highway!
God’s response to the question is also revealing; He said; “Neither; but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
He said “neither.” Now the Hebrew word that is often translated to mean neither is a very small word, with big implications.
GREEK WORD: Lo; which literally means “NOT.”
Christ was the first to coin that little phrase . . . NOT!
Christ was trying to tell Joshua that whatever he was thinking about Him was NOT.
So when we ask Jesus what He thinks about the situations we are facing we might be surprised at His answer:
- Are you for democrats or the republicans . . . NOT
- Are you for or against flag burning . . . NOT
- Are you for North Korea or America . . . NOT
. . . And on and on we could go! The Bible say’s this about the thoughts of God:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For the Christian, I think it is time we stop all the petty squabbles and finger pointing; stop with the name calling and boycotting. It is time to take off our sandals and get behind the Captain of the Lord’s Army and follow His lead. It is time to stop taking sides in a battle that has already been won and start working with and for our Captain!
Remember fellow Christian . . . these Words from Jesus
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
You are no more a part of this world than Jesus is; so stop acting like it is and start living your life in Christ – Up-side Down! Your home is in heaven, you are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.