Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Choosing Sides

In the world of sports, there's no way getting around it - you have to choose sides. If you want to compete, one person or team has to go against another. If you are an athlete, you're on one team or another. If you are a fan, the same is often true. You may want the opposition to play well and avoid injuries, but you want one team to win. 

In Iowa, we had the joy of just wrapping up our baseball and softball seasons. Crazy to think the normalcy of sports was something we took for granted, along with many other aspects of daily life. Covid has definitely caused me to reflect and be thankful. It's also made me think more about choosing sides. 

You see, this summer we haven't just been picking sides in regards to the team we're cheering for, we've been choosing sides in many different ways - To Mask or Not to Mask, To Watch the News or Not, In Favor of Protests or Not, For Trump or Against. I could go on, but I'm sure you understand. The choices we face are endless. Or at least it seems that way. 

I want to share with you a different approach. Awhile back I was visiting with a friend about a situation and she simply said, "Well, at least you know God is on your side." I understand what she was trying to say, but her words brought to mind a message I heard sometime ago. 

I don't recall the speaker, but his point was simple - it's never about God choosing my side, it's about me choosing His. More important than his words are these from the Word -

"Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me.” Exodus 32:26a

In this verse, Moses had just found the people out of control - they were worshipping a golden calf. Chances are you are not bowing down to a calf yourself, but think with me for a minute - what are you worshipping? This doesn't just involve bending a knee, but what or who do you give more value than God? Are you choosing the side of health, comfort or normalcy over God? 

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

This verse is often quoted, but how well is it lived? These words can be easy to say, but at times they can be challenging to do. Do you choose to serve the Lord when it's hard, when it's costly, when it's questioned? 

Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him." 1 Kings 18:21

Finally, these words should get our attention - we have to make a choice? Following God is an either or situation. We need to choose a side. We can't be like my youngest son and changes sides as the game unfolds. We have an advantage in this situation - we know God will win! So friend, make the choice today! 

Making this choice doesn't make our problems disappear, but when we're on God's team He will give us a game plan and He provides us with a playbook! When we are on His side, we must be in His Word and walking with His Spirit. He will give us wisdom and strength. He'll provide guidance and direction. He will bring victory in the end. 

These days it can feel like we are in a losing battle, but we must remember the battle belongs to the Lord. He will equip us to stand and we must trust Him to fight. Friend, He will lead us!