Joshua 5:13-14(ICB) Joshua was near Jericho. He looked up and saw a man standing in front of him. The man had a sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and asked, “Are you a friend or an enemy?” The man answered, “I am neither one. I have come as the commander of the Lord’s army.” Then Joshua bowed facedown on the ground. He asked, “Does my master have a command for me, his servant?”
In Joshua 1-5, God commanded Joshua to take the promised land. He set about doing just that by sending spies into Jericho, crossing the Jordan River, and preparing for battle. Israel was God’s nation, and they were doing what God wanted, yet the night before the battle, an angel appeared and said he wasn’t on Joshua’s side. He was on God’s side. That meant if Joshua followed God and was on God’s side, he would all right. But if he didn’t follow God, it wouldn’t matter if God had been for Israel in the past.
We’re celebrating the birthday of our nation next week. The United States of America started as a nation under God. Most of the founding fathers served God. The concept of American exceptionalism was born. American exceptionalism basically means that as long as we follow God – are on God’s side – God will bless and use the United States for His glory. That doesn’t mean we’ve always done right. We’ve made horrible mistakes. But we have always considered God as the center of our nation’s history.
If you want to read more about this, check out the blog posts at this link.
Even though our nation has been founded on God, that doesn’t mean God is for the United States. God will bless the United States as our country does right and follows after Him. No nation can claim that God is on our side. As a nation, we should be on God’s side.
Lately I’m not sure we are on God’s side anymore. I’m not just talking about some of the immoral decisions made by politians. There have always been politicians who didn’t act wisely or justly. But we’ve always had US presidents who claimed to be Christians and wanted what was best for America.
Just as Israel had forgotten it’s spiritual heritage in the past, we’ve made the mistake of believing God is on our side as a nation. God is not on our side – never has been. Either we are on His side or we’re not. I fear, at this point in time, we’re not.
But that’s true of people as well. Just because you are a Christian and go to church doesn’t mean God is on your side. But if you are on God’s side, He will fight for you and bless you. Here’s how to be on God’s side as a nation, as a church, and as a Christian.
Joshua 1:7-9(ICB) Be strong and brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you. If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do. Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night. Then you will be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything. Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”
Be strong and brave. Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing. Politicians, celebrities, and the media tell us that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. It’s to the place where Christians are bullied by the politically correct for doing what’s right. But if you want to be on God’s side, be brave and do the right thing anyway.
Obey God. It’s sometimes easier to do what we want than to do what God wants. But if we want to be on God’s side, we will obey Him.
Learn what God’s Word says. What other people say, even what Christian preachers say, isn’t as important as what God says. His Word, the Bible, is truth. To be on God’s side, learn what it says, and make a stand for it even if it’s politically incorrect.
Remember God is with you. When you’re on God’s side, you don’t have to be afraid because God is always with you. He will never leave you.
I want to be on God’s side. How about you?