Monday, December 26, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When you choose God, you become a winner!

Choosing Sides
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”—Psalm 16:8 (ESV)

Our town has a minor-league hockey team.

We make it to a game or two each season, but I don’t follow the rankings or know any of the players’ names. I don’t look up scores or know who their rivals are. I can’t really call myself a fan because I don’t keep up with them on a regular basis. But when we go to a game and walk into the arena that has bright lights on and music playing, I feel the energy of a hyped-up crowd. Suddenly, I become a fan. I want “our team” to win. I cheer when we make a goal and I groan when the other team scores. In those moments when I’m at the game, I’m all in. I’ve picked my side and I love it.

The story of Gideon always inspires me. In Judges 6:11 we meet Gideon, a young man threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites, who at this time were oppressing the people of Israel, stealing their food and causing harm. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon at this moment, calling him a “mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). The Lord knew who Gideon would become—a courageous soldier—and not who he was at that very moment: a scared farmer.

Gideon knew that God had done powerful works for Israel in the past. His family and community had been faithful to recount the stories. Gideon reminds the angel that God had rescued them from slavery and asks the question we all ask when circumstances come against us: Why doesn’t God do something about it now? (Judges 6:13).

The Lord answered Gideon by telling him that God was ready to save the people of Israel and he wanted Gideon to be His hands and feet for this particular battle. Through this encounter, God was calling Gideon to be part of His team and to choose a side. God was giving him his assignment, but Gideon needed assurance that it really was the Lord who was asking. He asked the angel for a sign (Judges 6:17), so that he could be sure. The angel made fire come from a rock, to consume an offering that Gideon had made. (Judges 6:21). That was enough for Gideon and so begins Gideon’s fight to save Israel from the Midianites and free them from their oppression. The story of Gideon and the peace he helped create for Israel lasted forty years (Judges 8:28). However, when Gideon died they began to worship other gods again (Judges 8:33-35). They had chosen another side.

We get to choose our sides every day, about all kinds of things. We choose teams to root for or against, political parties to support, current events to have an opinion about. It’s human nature. But there is a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that always feels appropriate to me: “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”

Let’s match our choices to the word of God and to what we know of His character, with prayerful consideration. We like to be on the winning side, don’t we? So let’s make sure we are on God’s side, because we know that in the end, He will be victorious.

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, help us today to keep You in mind as we choose our sides. Remind us of Your mighty works in our lives and in the world. Focus our attention on You. We love You and praise You. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Be the One” by Al Denson. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.

Connect with Glynis:

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