Are You For Us or Our Enemies?
Devotion 3: Are You For Us or Our Enemies?
It was the eve of the first battle that would lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua, their leader, was preparing to take them to war. He walked outside his tent and there stood a man he’d never seen before, a soldier dressed for battle, with a sword in his fist.
Joshua’s first question was a practical one. “Are you for us or for our enemies?” He knew instinctively that this imposing figure was no mere man. Something told him it was a divine encounter, and the most important consideration was whether it helped or hurt his chances.
“Neither,” said the soldier. The message to Joshua: “You’re asking the wrong question.” Instead, the soldier said, “As Commander of the Lord’s armies, I have now come.”
This was a divine being. The Divine Being. The Angel of the Lord, the Son of God in human form before his incarnation. “Remove your sandals,” he said, “for the place where you are standing is holy.” Like Moses at the burning bush, Joshua was meeting God himself.
Realizing this, Joshua changed his question. “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” In other words, “What would my Lord have me do?” or even better, “I want to be on your side.”
Have you ever heard someone ask, “How would Jesus vote?” It’s like asking Jesus, “Are you Republican or Democrat? Independent? Whose side are you on, Jesus? Ours, or our enemy’s?” Jesus’ answer: “Wrong question.” It isn’t which side Jesus is on, it’s whose side you’re on.
When the Commander of the Lord’s Army appeared to Joshua, he came to give Joshua confidence that God’s promises for Israel would come true. When Jesus came, he came to carry out the bigger promise that he would put an end to sin and shame, break the power of the devil, and defeat death once and for all. He carried sin and shame to the cross, and canceled them. He broke the chains of death and disarmed it permanently. He walked into the devil’s own domain and made a mockery of him. Jesus won.
So whose side do you want to be on? Jesus’ side… or the other guys?
It may not be as clear at the ballot box which mark on the ballot is the “Jesus side.” But if you’re hearing his Word, praying for his wisdom, and asking to be on his side, he’ll help you make a good decision. More importantly, if you’re doing the things he has called you to do – loving people, meeting needs, speaking the Gospel – then you’re on the right side. That’s where he’s placed you, that’s where you want to stay.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you took my side in the cosmic battle against sin, death, and the devil. Now help me to stand on your side through everything. Give me the strength to say no to sin, yes to your will, to serve others, and to vote according to your priorities. Give me wisdom, and open my eyes to the opportunities to do your will. Amen.