God on My Team
If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:31,37
I remember, as a kid, asking God to help my favorite football team win. As an adult and parent, I’ve let slip a prayer or two for my kids teams to win. Most of us have done this. We want something so badly that we hope our prayer convinces God to be on our team. We may be powerless to affect the outcome, but we believe God could, if he was on our side. And why wouldn’t he be? We’re on his side so, he’s on our side, right?
It may be amusing when it comes to our kid’s basketball games, but we do this in more serious contexts with much higher stakes. In particular, we do it in our politics and faith. We believe in God and our doctrines are obviously shaped by that belief. Because our faith is anchored in God, whom is infallible, we make the leap that our all of our convictions are infallible because they’re based on him. We’re not just on Team God. He’s on our team.
Passages like today’s might even reinforce this belief. In the passage, Paul appropriately boasted that if God is for us, no one can stand against us. The temptation, is to then believe that God is on our side, so we cannot lose – at anything. God obviously must want my candidate to be president, right?
We can be republicans or democrats on God’s side, but that doesn’t mean he wants what we want. God isn’t a democrat or republican. He doesn’t exist to fulfill our will and purposes. Rather, he works all things for his will and his purpose. Our will can often be the opposite of God’s, even if we call ourselves republicans or Christians.
The key to Paul’s meaning in saying we’re conquerors in all things, is in understanding exactly what victory looks like to God. To us, it looks like a win for our children’s team or our favorite politician. Paul went on to say however, For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
Victory, in God’s eyes, means that we live forever in a loving relationship with him. He wants what’s truly best for us, which isn’t always compatible with what we think we want. Winning means we’re on God’s team, desiring his will, not the other way around. Nothing in the universe can stop us from choosing that.