The Write Purpose
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The Write Purpose

“shallow focus photography of lion” by Wade Lambert on Unsplash

God is Not On Your Side

An open letter to myself

Dear me,

You recently told me you wish you felt like God was on your side.

Well, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but He is not on your side. Never has been, never will be.

Remember the story of Joshua?

The night before the Israelites entered the Promised Land to do battle with some of the biggest, strongest enemies they had ever encountered, their leader Joshua had a visitor: The angel of the Lord.

Joshua didn’t recognize the angel, and asked “are you for or against us?”

The angel replied: “Neither.”

Even Israel, the supposed Chosen Nation, did not have God “on their side.”

That’s because God doesn’t take sides when it comes to humans. He created us all, so He loves us all. Equally.

How could He be prejudiced and love one person or group of people more than another? To favor and fight for one group over and against another?

God is not like the Greek and Roman mythological deities, using mortals for personal vendettas.

Of course, in every war, one side wins and one side loses. Some people die and others live. Some people succeed and others fail.

But it’s not because God plays favorites and takes sides, (even if it sometimes feels that way).

God is Only On One Side: God’s Side

If you think about it, we don’t really have a “side.”

Humans are fickle. We change our minds all the time.

Democrats become Republicans, conservatives become liberals, Buddhists convert to Islam, and potato haters fall in love with latkes.

We switch sides on different issues so rapidly that we would drive God crazy if He tried to keep up. But He doesn’t.

God is the only one who is steady and unchanging. He defines what is good and bad, right and wrong, and sticks with it.

It is we who must learn to align with Him.

Obedience Shouldn’t be Dreary

We have the chance to choose to be on God’s side.

Not in an resigned, resentful way, but in a willing, joyful way.

God requires obedience, yes, but He isn’t twisting your arm to get it.

Look at how patient He’s been with you so far.

You know you’ve done things deserving of far worse consequences than you’ve been getting.

You know you’ve “gotten away with” far more than you should have.

You know how many times you have been grouchy, ungrateful, and unhappy without reason.

So you don’t have to “give in to God’s will” reluctantly, as if it’s some huge concession on your part…as if He owes you more than He’s already given.

God wants cheerful, freely-offered obedience, or not at all.

Think of the Pharisees and their ostentatious hypocrisy.

Think of the prodigal son’s older brother, who obediently stayed home but resented his Father for showing mercy to his wayward younger brother.

God is waiting for you too…are you going in to feast or staying out here, cold and hungry?

Trust Means Believing That God Means (and Does) Well

In one sense, the title of this letter is deceptive. God is not on your side…and God is on your side.

It depends on how you define “on your side.”

God is NOT on your side in the sense that God does not always do what you want. You do not win every battle. You are not healed of every disease.

But God IS on your side in the sense that God wants what is best for you, ultimately.

It’s just that HIS idea of what’s best for you is often not the same as YOUR idea of what’s best for you.

That’s the hardest part to come to terms with:

Letting go of your will without becoming bitter about it. Refraining from making demands of God — “Do THIS or else I will reject you!”

Oftentimes losses and pain teach you and hone your character more than a smooth-sailing life could. Only God knows which trials you can stand, and which ones will result in ultimate good.

Your job is to choose whether or not to trust that He knows what he’s doing.

Note to Self

I know what you’re thinking.

I know all of this is easy to say but hard to live out.

I know that when life sucks, as it frequently has, it’s hard to resist saying, “IF God really loved me He would not let this happen to me.”

I know that in even darker moments, you are tempted to say, “IF God exists, He would not let this happen to us.”

Just remember that you are not God, and there are many things you don’t know. So stay humble and stay kind.

The real question is not “is God on your side?” it’s “Are YOU on HIS?”

You know that in the end, words are not enough — not to convince you to trust in God, nor to give you the ability to live the way God wants you to. That strength can only come from God himself.

But before He gives you that strength, you have to choose.

It’s totally up to you whether you agree or disagree, whether you trust or not.

It does no good to try to blame, shame, or scare you into doing anything. So no pressure.

The choice is yours.

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Sarah Cy

Sarah Cy

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(aka The Scylighter). Writer, musician, reader, daughter. Join our Merry Band, become a Brilliant Writer, and dazzle your readers! BeABrilliantWriter.com