Who Are You For?

I wasn’t born in the South.
I moved to Alabama in the middle of the school year when I was six years old.

15167490371647258806alabama-vs-auburn-clipart.medOne of the first questions my new classmates asked me was this:
“Who are you for? Alabama or Auburn?”

I can remember desperately wanting to choose the right answer.

I didn’t have any idea what an “Auburn” was, but I did know that Alabama was the state where I now lived. So when they asked again, “Who are you for?”

I answered quietly, “Alabama.”

Thankfully, my answer satisfied most of that group of first graders.

Let’s just say I had no idea then how important choosing a football team is in Southern culture!

But “Who are you for?” is always a high stakes question.

It forces you to choose sides.
It reveals your loyalties.
It presents a risk of being rejected by the crowd.

And whether we acknowledge it or not, you and I are faced with this question every day.

“Who are you for?”

Am I for myself, for my own way, for whatever makes me look good or makes my life easier?

Or am I for God, for His way, for whatever exalts Him and draws others to Him?

My way or God’s way.

Who are you for?

Joshua chose God’s way.

But if it doesn’t please you to worship the LORD, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Who will I worship?
I want to choose to worship the Lord.

choice-2692575_1280

Isaiah chose God’s way.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. Isaiah 26:8-9a NIV

Which way will I go?
I want to walk in the way of God’s commands even if it means waiting when I’d rather run ahead.

Whose name will I exalt?
I want the desire of my heart to become making God’s name famous, not mine.

What do I long for?
I want my soul and spirit to long to be in God’s presence more than in the company of others I admire.

So, how can I choose God’s way instead of my own?

Paul reminds us that Jesus makes it possible.

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 CSB

And he [Jesus] died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14-16 CSB

Who are you for?

The answer will always be “me” until I come to the cross.
I can only live for God if I die to me.
Christ in me is my only hope.

You see, God answered the “Who are you for?” question before you and I ever had to.

God is for us.

For you.
For me.

God sent His only Son to live as one of us. Jesus showed us how to listen to the Father’s voice and how to choose God’s way in every circumstance. Jesus chose God’s way, even when it meant death on a cross. He died so we could live.

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 CSB

Who is God for?
He is for you and for me.
He spared nothing, not even His only Son, to prove it.
Nothing can separate us from His love.

Who are you for?
Every day we choose sides.
God is for us.
Let’s choose to live for Him.

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