If I must choose to take a stand, may it be for Jesus only. If I must choose to kneel, may it be at the foot of His Cross. If I must choose to lock arms, may it be with His Arms alone as I bear my own cross. And, if I must choose to walk on a field, may it be one of His Harvest, because His workers are so very few.
If I must choose a side, may it be right by the side of The One Who came to die for us all.
Because, truly – if I belong to Jesus – the only side I ever really must choose, is His…
Am I for Him or against Him?
If I am for Him, then I will want to speak the truth in love and to listen, in still greater love, during the conversations I have with those whom I disagree. If I am for Him, then I will take the place of humility in the face of hostility. If I am for Him, then I will trust His timing and allow space in the lives of others for His ultimate purpose to prevail. If I am for Him, then I will care more about His cause than my own. And, if I am for Him, then there’s no need to fight about Him because every battle is actually His and any ground worth fighting for, He’s already won.
See, Jesus did not hang to His death, so that I could hang onto my own harsh words, opinions, and personal judgments. Nor, did He choose to freely give His Life for the freedoms we all experience in this great country – wonderful as they are!
NO. Please, no.
Jesus chose death to bring about what our living never could… to rescue, to reconcile, and to redeem His Creation for once and for all. In choosing to die, He gave us the freedom to choose Him over our own pride and fear and shame. He chose death so all who put their trust in Him could choose to live loved in any and every circumstance… whether free or bound. He chose death so that we could stand forever free beside The Father.
Whom I actually claim to love.
But, if I’m not showing love to His Creation by sharing the love of Jesus in every situation, then His Love is not in me. (1 John 4:8) And, I just can’t see how standing or kneeling or locking arms or staying off the field or, taking a stand for anyone that does or does not do these things, has any ability to bring even one soul to Heaven.
So, why would I choose it?
I simply can’t.
Standing for the truth of Jesus in this fallen world? Well, this is the only thing that matters come the end of every day.
Kneeling in prayer for hearts that are stone cold and hurting, just like my very own heart can be most days? Now, that is a cause I can get behind.
Locking arms with my co-workers in the harvest fields, while falling on my face at the foot of The Cross in repentance for my own sins and brokenness? Oh, right there and then is His. Kingdom. Come.
And, I simply can.
We all can. And, we must.
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ – I believe we may love this country… and honor those who have given everything… and respect our flag and anthem for all they represent… and work to maintain the freedoms this nation provides through all manner of policies and protests and social justice… yet, forget that souls are drawn by the Father, wooed by the Holy Spirit, and won by Jesus, through the prayers and testimonies of The Body of Christ.
On all sides and by each other’s side and on each other’s side.
Honestly, though… some days I can’t help but feel a little broken over what I see spilling out of all sides of us.
So, this is my prayer: That we remember our role in The Body as we take our stand for Him. That we seek to be known by the cause of Christ, not the cause of the moment. That we let His light shine in the darkness, not set our own torches ablaze because we fear what the dark may hold. And, that it be His Voice of Love alone WE ALL raise in our attempts to reach others for His Kingdom. Amen.
“… ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’ ” Revelation 11:15