Sunday, August 5, 2007

Picking Sides

When I was a little girl I hated gym class. What I hated most was when we’d be divided into teams by picking sides. You know the routine: two people would be put in charge of picking their teams, and one by one they’d call your name. Most kids didn’t like this because if you were last be called, it meant you weren’t good at the sport to be played, or your weren’t liked by those calling names. Although that did occasionally happen, I didn’t hate it because I was last picked. I hated it because I would always be picked for the opposite side as my best friend. I didn’t like she and I being on opposing teams! She was my confidant, my safety net, and my comfort zone! We were a pair – two of a kind. I was simply happier when we were together.

Jesus speaks of opposing sides in Matthew 12:30 when he says “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Are you on the opposing side of Jesus? You have to be really paying attention to your actions to answer that question. And unlike gym class teams, you can switch sides in an instant, and switch back again.

Sometimes we switch sides just because it seems to be more fun to be on the other side. There’s a myth that sinners have more fun than Christians do. This myth is laden with sinners who proclaim it to be so because they’ve never completely given their life over to Christ. Unfortunately for those who would rather not pick a side, but rather play the field, there is no cheering section, no fence to ride, and no gym pass for this game. You are on one side or the other.

It’s completely true that being in opposition to Christ as a born again believer isn’t fun. In fact, yours truly can tell you, it’s miserable! It’s as if you’re part of a big jigsaw puzzle, and someone is trying to hammer you into a certain shape that you don’t fit. The key to finding happiness in being a Christian is to become the shape…what Jesus want’s you to be…without opposition. Allow Him to mold and shape you into his image and you’ll find that being on the Christian team is to be on the winning team. It’s much easier to allow Christ to fit you into His plans for your life, than to try to fit Him into your plans.

Here’s the truth, whether you want it or not. If you aren’t pulling for Jesus, you are pulling for Satan. If you aren’t standing for Jesus, then you’re standing against him. If you’re not telling the lost about Him, then you are Satan’s co-captain. Yes folks, it is that simple. If you are not for Him, you ARE against Him.

Now is the time to decide consciously which team you’re going to play on. In Matthew 13:47-50, Jesus tells us “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

One day, the sides will be clearly marked, as in gym class. The angels will be calling our names, and separating us. Which angel do you want calling your name? How will you feel if you very best friend is suddenly on the opposing side? How will you feel when you’re separated forever?

Strive now to be on the same side. Consciously set a goal, evolve a plan, and put the steps in motion to be sure that happens. Live in the Spirit and not the flesh! Live to where you will be a force to be reckoned with in the spiritual world. Show your lost friends and family that there is great joy in serving God when you serve with your whole mind, body, and soul.

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