“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 face down 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).
At this time, Joshua is the leader of Israel which is God’s chosen nation. In other words, he is the leader of God’s people. Most Bible Scholars agree that the commander of the Lord’s army is Jesus Himself. So Joshua is meeting with God!
Joshua asks if God is for Israel or for his enemies. And God replies neither. Did you get that? Neither.
When it comes to politics, most people take one of two positions. You are either for “us” or “against us,” but it ought not to be so!
In the just concluded voting exercise, out of more than 22 million registered voters, some voters decided to bail out of the political process and become cynical about the government, and even worse to specific ethnic groups, while others exercised their civic duty seeking to change things through a constitutional power. These two divides, always create a dichotomy of life during an electoral season – the we versus us syndrome!
A dichotomy where some cry, others laugh, hearts soar, others fall, dreams are fulfilled, others reviewed, some happy, others upset and disappointed. But in all these extremes there is a third option for believers because of the gospel. A third option, for people who are looking for real answers that transcend politics.
When you enter God’s kingdom, you will find yourself moving away from extremes to a more moderate position. This is not the same thing as taking the middle of the road or sitting on the fence. No. The gospel changes you. You become more accepting of those who disagree with you, your opinion or your choice.
Faith is not about taking sides. The assumption that Jesus is on one side or the other and therefore, so must we be. Is not right.
Following Jesus, you begin to live for others. It’s no longer about getting the power to force change on those who disagree with you, but about finding a way to engage them on common ground with love and compassion.
“We’re right, you’re wrong” mentality should not be found amongst us. Being a diehard supporter of a political party, coalition or a candidate is never the way to address what’s wrong with our country. Only the gospel has the power to radically change a person on the inside.
As the vote counting exercise continuous, I have heard many people say, “God is on our side, we are winning this.” But there is a big difference in us thinking that God is on our side or thinking that we are on God’s side.
When God is on my side, I am leading and I’m in control. What I say is right, and the world better fall in line behind my lead. Unfortunately, so many voters live life like this during election period.
They have put God in their corner. God is on their side, and they are arrogant enough to let the world know this. And this is why so many Christians are considered judgmental. It is because they believe God is on their side conforming to their plans. But in reality, God doesn’t show up in our lives and conform to our ways.
So stop all these political hullabaloo of we are “winning” they are “losing”; it is “us” vs “them”…Don’t settle for the illusion that God is on your side. Join His!
Just as was in the time of Joshua, God takes the lead and it makes all the difference.
Have a peaceful electoral season, while on God’s side.