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CONTENDING FOR GOD – Dec. 19th

December 19, 2012

“If he is a god, let him contend for himself…” Judges 6:31b

I remember a summer picnic from my youth. It was a very typical summer afternoon.  Warm enough that you wanted to stay under the protection of the shade trees, with a slight breeze, blowing the freshness of the adjoining hay-field across the lawn. The BBQ filling the space with the aroma of cooking steaks; friends and family filling the ears with laughter – lots of laughter.

However, this picnic sticks in my memory for the opposite of laughter. At this picnic, I took a stand with righteous indignation of passion. For in the midst of this particular gathering, an offense had occurred. A giant of a man, at least that is how I viewed him at the time, had uttered a grievous insult to my Dad. He had called my Dad a “so-n-so”!  To this day, I cannot remember what he actually called him.  I realize now that what I had perceived as an insult was merely a joke common among adult men and rarely appreciated among women and children.

However, I did not see the humor at the time.  At the time, I felt it was up to me to contend for my Dad. Therefore, I stepped between my Father and his offender, squared my shoulders, threw back my head, and roared in my pre-pubescent voice, the only thing that came to my mind –

“NO HE IS NOT!” 

The response that I received was not what I expected. I had expected to be crushed but what I got was a smile with a pat on the head and a “You’re right, he is not”, in a voice of complete understanding and condescension.   I realized in a flash that my Dad had not needed me to contend for him.

It occurs to me that many are going about roaring at any slight or offense to our God as if he cannot contend for himself. We forget that God doesn’t need anyone to contend for him. He is God. The thought of God needing us to contend for Him is more amusing than my adolescent contending on behalf of my Dad.  Any god that needs man to contend for him is not God.

We can become so consumed with contending for God that all we become known for is what we are against. We should be known for what we are for. We should be known for our love and compassion for one another; we should be known by our good works.

I see many Christians out in the public square and they seem angry and contentious.  That may be a sign that their attitude has slipped into the realm of contending for God.  I don’t know where that line is. I believe that we need to speak up in the public squares of the world for truth.

However, we should always remember why we are doing it.  Our job is to boldly proclaim the gospel to all who will hear.  It is not to be right about moral issues. It is not even to protect a lifestyle that we believe is preferable, even Biblical.

As Christians, we are for the good news of Jesus Christ. We are for taking care of the widows and orphans and those who are in need. We are for speaking the truth in love so that the lost may be saved.  We are to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. We are not to contend with them. That is God’s job.

Jesus did not come to protect the righteousness of the law. He came to fulfill it. He came to save those who are lost.

We are to search the world for those who are not offended by Christ. That means we are going to find a lot of folks who are offended by Christ. They are not our goal.

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”. Romans 10:13-15

We are to preach the gospel in love to a world where the majority will not appreciate us. They will revile and insult us. They will do and speak many things that we don’t agree with.

Let us respond as Christ responded – in love – and leave the contending to God.

PRAYER: Father – Forgive me for my attitude; forgive me for being more concerned about how I perceive others than how I am perceived by others; forgive me for wanting to be right; forgive me for caring more about my lifestyle than the lives of the lost; forgive me for contending for you when my job is to love.  Lord, give me eyes to see the lost as you see them; give me a compassion and a love for those who hate everything about you. Lord, lead me to those who are not offended by you so that they may hear and be saved.  Lord, change my ways so that in all circumstance I will be known for the love and good works that come as fruit from the Spirit.   Amen

2 comments

  1. Thank you for this. Sometimes, it’s so easy to forget that we can’t fight for God. The righteous indignation flows in and we forget that God is all in all, not a little kid cowering behind an adult waiting for someone to come to his defense. Thanks for sharing. God bless you x


    • I know that I need to learn more about letting God be God. Thanks for visiting my blog. Your comments are very appreciated.
      JD



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