Often when we are in some kind of conflict with another person (or a group of people, or when nations rage against nations)—and especially when this conflict is public knowledge—we want to know:
Who is on our side? Who is against us? Who is our ally? Who is our enemy?
Who supports us? Who opposes us?
Joshua, after leading the Israelites across the Jordan and before going into battle against Jericho, encountered a man. And Joshua had these same—Whose side are you on?—questions running through his head. This man, however, was no ordinary man. And his side had already been determined. That man’s side was not up for grabs.
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?” Joshua 5:13-14
This experience humbled Joshua. He learned that he was not to concern himself so much with determining whose side those around him are on. These alliances are often self-focused, self-seeking and temporally fleeting.
Rather, Joshua understood that he must align himself only with the LORD, his Eternal Leader, who takes NO human side but is faithful to fulfilling His own righteous purposes.
I need to continually keep myself in check as Joshua learned to do. I need to ask myself: Am I trying to line others up on my side in order to justify my perspective or actions? Am I fighting for only myself? For my own ego or reputation? For my rights as I see them?
OR am I actively seeking to line myself up with the LORD’s will, ways and righteousness?
The question for me—for each of us—is NOT: “Who’s on my side?”
Rather the question IS: “Whose side am I on?”
And the answer darn well better be: “The LORD’s!”
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane