Are You on God's Side? (Joshua 5:13–14) - Radical

Are You on God’s Side? (Joshua 5:13–14)

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked. And behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No, but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my Lord say to his servant?'”
(Joshua 5:13–14)

Oh, get the picture here. Joshua was about to lead the people of God into the first major battle in the Promised Land, the city of Jericho. So he’s off by himself at this point, he lifts up his eyes and looks and there’s a guy there with a sword drawn in his hand. So Joshua asks the obvious question, “Are you for my side or for their side? For us or for our adversaries?” And I love the response. The response is not, “I’m for you,” or, “I’m for your adversaries.” The response is, “I’m for the Lord. I’m the commander of the army of the Lord.” To which Joshua falls on his face and says, “Okay, what message do you have for me?”

May we keep from thinking that this life is primarily about us. God teach us to pray according to Your will. Help us to seek Your will above all else.

This is so key. Oh, I love this. The most important question is not whose side someone is on, the most important question is are you, Joshua, on God’s side? That’s the most important question, not just for Joshua in Joshua chapter five, that’s the most important question in your life and my life today. Like, we often pray and we ask God to be with us, not that that’s not a good thing to pray. Well, one, God has promised to be with us, he’s omnipresent, He’s promised to be with us. But we want to pray for the power of His presence with us and His guidance and His grace for us in all kinds of ways.

So it’s good to pray for God to be with us, but, you know, fundamentally, we need to ask the question first, are we with God? Are we on His side? Because if we’re not careful, we can come up with all kinds of plans for our lives and we could ask God to bless them like, “Come over and get behind this.” Instead of us saying, “Wait a minute, what are God’s plans in the world and how could I align my life with them?” That’s a different way to think. I think one of the most common questions people ask today is what is God’s will for my life? Instead, I wonder if it would be better for us to ask what is God’s will in the world and how could I align my life with it? It may sound just like you’re saying something different but I think it’s actually fundamentally different. Because we, oftentimes, when we’re saying, “What is God’s will for my life?” We’re kind of coming with different options instead of starting with His will and saying, “What is your will in world, oh God, and how can I best align my life with it?”

So God, teach us to pray like this. Teach us to pray according to your will, to just to seek your will above all else. We want to be with you, oh God, yes, we want you with us, leading us, guiding us, we need you with us leading and guiding us. We can’t do anything without you. But God, we want to start by seeking you, by coming to you, by yielding to you in a Joshua type way, here. What message do you have for us? What is your will in the world? How can we align our lives with it? We trust in you, we don’t trust in ourselves. And God, we praise you, we praise you that you promised to be with us and lead and guide us according to your will, that you put your spirit in us for that purpose, that your very holy spirit dwells in us for that reason. So thank you.

So we pray, oh God, help us to walk in your will in the world. Help us to align everything we do with your will in this world. Help us to abide in you, to make disciples of all the nations, to live for your glory in all that we do, to proclaim your Gospel. We know this is your will in the world, help us to align our lives with it, we pray. Help us to make disciples, help us to walk in purity, to walk in humility, to seek you, to love others selflessly, to give sacrificially and generously. God, we know all these things are your will for our lives, to build up your church, to care for the body, to reach those who are without Christ. God, please help us to align our lives with your will today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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