Snapshots: Day 124
The Snapshot: “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied.” (Josh 5:13,14) So often we think the battle is ours and it all revolves around us, and we need the reminder that is here. The night before entering the land and going into battle, Joshua is confronted by this stranger and it was natural to bring a challenge but it was the answer that brought the right perspective. The answer is followed by, “as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” i.e. I’ve come to do the fighting on God’s behalf. I don’t take sides; I only do God’s will. That brings a different perspective to our lives. When we enter conflicts, God isn’t for us, He’s for what is right, and if we have a wrong attitude in it, He’s after that too. We do His bidding, not Him doing ours.
Further Consideration: Perspective is a strange thing. As children we were completely self-absorbed. I watch it in my grandchildren. As we hit our teenage years we change from self-absorbed to self-conscious. We start becoming aware of the person we are. Before that we just got on with own little world, thinking little about it, just being and doing it. But then our body and our mind and our thinking starts changing and we find ourselves becoming conscious of these changes in a way we had never known before.
What happens in the physical world tends to happen, I suspect, in the spiritual world. At the point of time we are convicted by the Holy Spirit and come to repentance and are saved, we become suddenly very self-aware. The world is suddenly a new place and we are new people. We had heard about God, submitted ourselves to Him and now started to learn about Him. As times goes on – and it is unique for every person – we realize He is here, actually here. For some it may take months, for many others of us years if not decades. Some never realize it, but the truth is that He is here and sometimes manifests or reveals His presence in a way that we feel and yet cannot describe.
And all the while we are learning what it means to call Him Lord. If we were guided well into our salvation we learned that Jesus wanted to be both Savior and Lord. ‘Savior’ meant us realizing he had done everything to bring about our salvation, our new birth, our conversions, as the Bible describes it in differing ways. ‘Lord’ meant us learning what his will is for us and then living according to it, obeying his word and his Spirit.
From a life that had been utterly self-centred, to one that becomes submissively self-conscious and God-conscious, the changes are enormous, sometimes dramatic, sometimes slow, sometimes quick, but at the heart of it we bring this challenge to Jesus – are you for us? No, I’m for my Father – and He’s for you!