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 approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”
Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant?” (Joshua 5:13-14).
Over the past few years, I have thought about these verses from Joshua often and blogged about them more than once. Why? Because we have had a glut of socio-political issues and division. Many essentially approach other people with the mindset, “Are you for us or our enemies?”
This attitude is apparent in the church as well. Recently, I have heard Christians say, “Jesus would not be vaccinated” as well as “Jesus would get vaccinated.” It’s the same with masks. Jesus wouldn’t wear a mask or bow to “Rome.” No, Jesus would love others and wear a mask. Similarly, Jesus would support BLM protests. No, he would support police. I fear we have become too comfortable co-opting Jesus for our political opinions.
Instead of claiming Jesus for whatever side we take in socio-political issues, we need to hear Jesus saying, “I’m not taking sides. In fact, you need to get in line with me.” Joshua shows us how to respond to the Commander of the Lord’s Army: bow in worship and say, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant?”
If this isn’t our posture, we are just re-making Jesus in our own image rather than being conformed to His. Re-making Jesus in our image is idolatry. Being conformed to His image is the eternal plan of God and why we were saved (Rom. 8:29). If we neglect growing in His likeness, we might as well bury our talent of salvation in the dirt (Matt. 25:24-25).
When the church at Corinth was torn by divisions, Paul said, “For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not worldly and behaving like mere humans?” (1 Cor. 3:3). When we are divisive, we are no different than the fallen world. But as we grow in Christ’s love the world will know we are His disciples (John 13:35).