I know it’s been a while since I promised this post L!! I apologize and thank you for graciously bearing with me. But without these extra weeks, I don’t know if I would have been ready to convey to you what I hope to. The Lord had some things He wanted me to learn or grasp before I began writing this. And the fact that I am writing this now is not to say that I have these lessons learned and have “arrived” to the place where I aught to be—oh no! Far from that! In fact, applying the points I hope to convey to you, dear sisters in Christ, has become a daily struggle and almost constant battle in my life recently. But I am trying to work on them and I believe I understand, a little more fully, though still with my finite mind, about what it means to “be on the LORD’s side” with the illustration I’d like to apply to it in this study.
What Does It Mean to be On the LORD’s Side??
About a month ago (**grimaces**) as I read these words during my quiet time with my Savior, it made me wonder what it really meant to “be on the Lord’s side” and what all it entailed. How did that apply to me, as a Christian young woman striving to serve my Lord at home and in my church? How did and does it apply to me personally in my walk with Christ? I say I’m on the “Lord’s side”, but do I truly live in such a way as to portray it?
Since it’s been so long since part one, let’s review!! J
#1. If someone is on “someone’s side”, it generally implies two “sides”—two differing groups contesting each other. Everyone is either in one group or the other. Only one of these groups will emerge the victor. In the Christian life, the two contesting “sides” are that of the Lord’s side and Satan’s side.
#2. Although when I read this, it brought to mind three different scenarios, each one has three distinct things in common:
1.) Each of them is under the leadership of one
2.) In each case, the “sides” are in opposition to or competition with the other
3.) In every instance, the main objective to win!!
#3. In general, “being on the Lord’s side” means that
1.) I’m not on the devil’s side,
Which places me in
2.) Opposition to the devil’s side/position,
Which means I’m
3.) Fighting (actively) against the devil’s side
Seeing then that as saved individuals are on the “Lord’s side”, we need to live, act, behave in such a way that aids His cause and bares a good testimony of Him to others!!
The question we are trying to answer is “How can we, as Christian young ladies, do this?
Last time we tried answering this question, we came at it from the angle of being part of a sports team. (Who Is On The LORD’s Side…? Part One). This time, let’s approach it from the DEBATE angle (an argument, or college debate team, a simple fight on the playground, politics or even a court of law…), and see what important truths we can glean!
When you were a little kid, and there was an argument or a fight on the playground, you took sides with your best friend—sided with them—whether they were right or not. J And you would have argued their point or position to the death if necessary! (Or at least we thoughts so in our 8 or 9 year old logicJ) Well, Jesus is (or can be!)our Best Friend and we aught to side with Him on every issue against the playground bullies (that would be the devil and his demons and all who represent him)!! The perk in doing so here is that we will always know we are right!! J
But if we are to take sides with Jesus, our Best Friend, the (right) Candidate, our Debate Team Leader, there are a few things that we as Christian young ladies aught to be doing to ensure that we can effectively oppose the enemy in this ever ongoing debate!
- Know what you believe
- Know why you believe it
- Apply it!
Knowing What We Believe and Why We Believe It
When you are “on someone’s side”, you are usually on it because you believe what they believe; you have the same principles and goals; you abide by the same standards. Often when there is a situation of “choosing sides”, it is because there’s an argument and/or disagreement and you choose which side to be on or identify yourself with based on whose take or side of the argument you agree with or know to be true based on the facts. If we base our standards on the Bible, the Word of God, we will always be “on the Lord’s side”—always “take His side of the argument.
As I sat down to write this post, I thought back on what I’ve been learning lately and how I could apply being on the LORD’s side to a debate perspective.
In a debate, the person or persons involved are ready to “go at it”. They are extremely well prepared. A political candidate is briefed on the problem then (hopefullyJ) begins to develop a way in which he believes it would best be solved. Often they are coached in voicing that opinion. In the instance of a debate team, the study for months in advance! They learn all they can and then memorize every little detail concerning their side of the argument they will be presenting (they also learn a little about the opposing argument and try to decide with what arguments they will use against them, in order to form strong answers to counter the attack). Each team member— not just one of them! (MINI BUNNY TRAIL: The pastor isn’t the only one responsible or expected to carry and/or have all the Biblical knowledge for everyone else—they must study out the Scriptures for themselves!) After they have learned all of this information and are sure they understand it all very thoroughly, they take what they have learned and begin to apply it to the argument for the good of their proposition. They take all this information they KNOW and begin APPLYING it to the situation. The same is pretty much true in the sense of a legal case as well. Not only the amount of knowledge they posses, but also the way they apply that knowledge and present it helps them to win the argument for their “side”.
This can apply to us as Christian young ladies in several different ways, one of which is to know what we believe and why we believe it. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “…sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Just as that debate team member or lawyer or candidate learns as much as possible about the subject at hand, I am—we are—as Christian young ladies, to diligently search the Scriptures to learn all there is to know about the God we serve and the Captain we fight for! Just as Jesus commands His disciples to “search the Scriptures” in John 5:39, He calls us to do the same! We are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16) so that we are/ can be ready to give an answer to those who ask us why we believe the Bible is the Word of God, or why we dress the way we do, why we do this or why we don’t do that, why we behave and respond to circumstances the way we do. If we are not in God’s Word, daily searching the Scriptures for the ways He wants us to live, behave, speak, dress, believe… how can we answer the curious or gently disarm the scorner? Also, if we do not know why we believe what we believe, or even simply what we do believe, in those times when the enemy dishes out the “secret weapon” knowledge for the opposing argument, how can we wisely retaliate? And what about the recess in the debate, when the opposing team member comes up softly behind us and begins planting doubt in our minds by hissing, “You don’t really believe that, do you?” (Genesis 3:1) “Oh, that’s not really true!” “I know you’ve always thought of it this way, but have you ever considered it from this angle?” “Your argument’s wrong and you know it!” “You’re on the losing team!” “You’re worthless as a member!” “You’re not saying this right, or presenting your argument in the proper way.”? If we are not sure of our Leader and His truth, if we have no real studied out knowledge of why we believe what we believe, we begin to falter! We begin to waver! (James 1:6) (Romans At the very least it causes us to DOUBT and plants fear into our hearts. And then we begin to question whether or not what we know and believe is actually true to begin with!
I am finding that this is true with meL. I’ve been blessed to grown up in a Christian home and in a good church that preached the Gospel, and I’ve been taught from day one what was right and what was wrong, according to God’s Word. I knew the “what” I believed, but why did I believe it?
Because that’s what I’ve always heard in church?
Because that’s what I always learned at school? (Yep—I went to a Christian school every year of my schooling experience, expect for the year that we moved, and attended the public school nearest our home. My parents always made sure I received a Godly education, even when my daddy lost his job for a long while and it would have been much easier taking us out of Christian school and putting us in the much cheaper public school! They are wonderful and I love them so much and praise God—who always provided every penny of school payment, by the way—for them and their sacrifice! But, I digress. J)
Did I believe it simply because it was what I had always known?
Because it was what worked for others?
Because it was what the Bible said?
Because Pastor preached it from the pulpit?
Because it was what was taught in Sunday school and screamed from the hearts of wonderful evangelists at summer camp??
And what about those certain topics I didn’t (don’t) even really know where I stood? Why do I believe what I believe?
The Lord has been showing me lately the importance of searching the Scriptures for myself, to see “whether those things [are] so” (Acts 17:11), of seeking God’s opinion concerning the issues that I am yet uncertain of where exactly I stand, and to be always be ready to give an answer of the hope that lies within me, even if it is just to myself as the devil, the leader of the opposing team, tries to discourage me and take my eyes off my Leader—my Jesus. For if he can get me to waver and take my eyes off of God, he causes me to sin (Romans 14:22-23) and miss out on the blessings I could otherwise be receiving from Christ if I would simply trust Him (James 1:5-8)!! Ladies, may I remind you that there is a battle going on! And if you are saved and part of the Lord’s army, “on His side”, Satan is still going to do everything in his power to make sure that you’re not living for Christ!
But, not only are we supposed to learn and know—we are TO APPLY what the Lord is gracious and faithful to reveal to us and teach us through His Word! It is not enough just to have a “head knowledge”! That knowledge must be applied! It isn’t enough to know how to shoot a gun when a lion is charging right for us! It does us no good to stand there and piously say, “Well! I know how to shoot this gun! In fact, I know several ways how to do it!” NO!
And the same is true with the devil—the leader of the opposing argument, the bully on the playground—our adversary who “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8)
Sure, we may know all the weapons of warfare to use against him, but it is not enough simply to know how to use them. We must actually and actively use them against him as he constantly and daily bombards us with doubts and guilt and temptation to sin.
We know that we can counteract the devil’s argument by quoting Scripture at him.
But have we memorized Scripture concerning the areas we know we most often struggle with so we can?-(Matthew 4:7) (Luke 4:12) (Ps 119:11)
We know that when he flings at us that our argument is no good, and tries to bog us down with sadness or steal our joy, that praising God for His goodness and/or singing and making melody in our hearts or verbally is a wonderful way to answer back and restore our joy. Also, thankfulness is a good one.
But do we sing and praise and give thanks…when we don’t feel the song?- (Ps 77:6) (Job 35:10) (Ac 16:25) (Ps 69:30) (Ps100:4) (Ps147:7)
We know that our Leader will forgive us for the (NUMEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!!) slip ups we make in every debate we face—we know because He has told us-promised us! (1st John 1:9) and He CANNOT LIE! (Titus 1:2) (Nu 23:19) (1Sa 15:29)
But during the fifteen-minute recess, when Satan sneaks up behind us and is reminding us of how bad we just blew it, do we have faith and trust in God’s Word?-(Col 1:23) (Eph 6:16)
And again, dear sister warriors, this is an area in which I daily struggle! Okay… more like moment by moment! I’ve had to during the actual typing out of this post! L But I am trying by God’s grace and with His help and for His glory to apply this to my life.
My reason for writing this is to encourage you to as well!
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
In Quick Review…
Do you know what you believe? If so, do you know why you believe it? If not, I encourage you, dear sister, look up as many verses as you can about the topic and study it out from the Word of God! Pick up a Godly book on the subject and learn the truths within! Talk to your parents about it! Ask their advice and help! Talk to your pastor, his wife, or another Godly influence God has placed in your life!
And then, dear warriors, if you have this knowledge, are you applying it do your daily walk with Christ? When He speaks to you from His Word, is that as far as it goes, or do you actively try to put it into practice from that moment on?
I know that I have hit you with a truckload, dear sisters. But this has been on my heart for some time now, and surely will continue to be for some time J. I’d love to hear your thoughts on and concerning this! And I pray that God continues to lead and guide each one of you day by day, moment by moment, in and according to His perfect will.