18 Aug “Follow the Leader” by Carolyn Mariorenzi
The book of Joshua is full of so many timely themes necessary for the days we live in: Fearlessness, Courage, Strength, & Godly Leadership: all the characteristics God wants us to inhabit are found here. In the book of Joshua, we find our man leading the Israelites as they head into the Promised Land, but pockets of resistance still remain. Joshua and his army are to go and take over the city of Jericho from the adversaries who inhabit it. Previously, in Joshua 1:7-9, The Lord promised His presence to Joshua.
In Chapter 5, Joshua is nearing Jericho when he looks up and sees a man “with a drawn sword in his hand.” (Joshua 5:13 NIV) This was no ordinary man. This was The Commander of the Lord’s Army. Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute. An angelic warrior just arrived in time for the battle. Mercy! I would have fainted. Joshua bowed low to the ground, immediately recognizing he’s in the presence of a greater authority than himself.
Joshua asks him, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied. “But as commander of the army of the LORD, I have now come.” It’s mind-blowing how God sends help and hope when we need it and always tells us His heart on the matter when He does! We don’t want to miss that.
We believers don’t need to lose our ability to recognize the authority that God has placed in front of us, nor do we need to choose a side when talking to people about current events. I am thankful that our leadership here at CCF has recently addressed the way we post on social media. Are we submitting to that leadership?
This is something that speaks very loudly to my non-believing husband, Ken, as he watches what my Christian friends & family are posting on social media. It’s confusing to my husband that Christians are supposed to be loving to one another and to others, yet so many posts by so many claiming to serve Jesus are not so.
Jesus gave us a great commission. If you think of that in a social media context, are we “posting” the Gospel? Do we “forward” to others Jesus’ new commandment from John 13:34?
I trust that my church leadership is honoring God in following the rules laid out before them in my state. If I can trust them with my soul, can’t I trust them with my health? The Bible is clear that God places those in authority (Romans 13:1-3) and sets up nations for times and seasons He ordained (Acts 17:26). America is not going away until God says so. No body, politics, or sickness can take away what God has ordained. We can rest in that fact.
If we are confident that God has ordained both our church and our state leadership, we don’t have to fear any government or virus because God is in control. We don’t need to lose sight of the spiritual war in the midst of this COVID-19 battle. No one needs to bury their head in the sand, either: we vote our conscience as is our privilege and right as U.S. citizens, but keeping in mind that our heavenly citizenship (and the salvation of those who will one day inhabit that home with us) should be our chief and final aim.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34