Why do most major issues become rapidly politicized and fought over, with fixed battle lines and endless strategizing? Who wins with this approach? Who loses?
We are living in a time where everyone is looking for the “high ground” of being the “one” who is right. Not to mention the immediate huddling into opposing camps, consolidating power, shaming and reproach of opponents, and basic devaluing of the dignity of ourselves and others. Looking for the high ground in a conversation, and especially in an argument, robs us of the benefits of the perspective of others. The robbery happens when we need to prove our points as superior and ultimate.
13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14 He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15 The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Just for a little context, Joshua was on the lead up to his first major battle in the campaign the Lord had commissioned him to – conquering the city of Jericho. He had been inaugurated as leader, they had crossed the Jordan, the men were circumcised (no trust in the flesh, remember) and had recovered. They ate of the fruit of the land, the manna stopped. This is the next scene. Can you sense we are picking up momentum and an ominous sense?
He “lifted up” his eyes…. Probably we shouldn’t overlook that. His eyes broke the plane from the horizontal (human) to the vertical (divine). We could leave with just this takeaway and be in a much better place.
Man standing opposite him… 🤔
Sword drawn – battle posture, to be sure.
Are you for us or for our enemies? No, I am not. Was Joshua surprised at this response? What do you think? To be sure, there was a lot going on at that moment.
While we are just haggling with each other over human points of view, we can sow endlessly to vanity and pride, and all end up – ourselves and our “opponents” – worse off for it. Wrangling among each other, mired in the “flesh and blood” struggle, the perspective of heaven (or, even heaven itself) disappears while we are trading licks in futility and disgrace. This “No I am not (for you or your enemies)” comment should jolt us out of our moral superiority and self-centered aggrandizement. There is an ultimate perspective. No, it’s not yours.
When the Captain of the the Lord’s hosts appears, clarity comes with Him.
What is holy necessitates a humbling or ourselves, and worship. This was Joshua’s immediate response. Today, we are tempted to worship what is not God, but the argument and rhetoric that best expresses what we want. How hard is it for us to see / discern that SELF is obviously at the center of this, but what is behind such animation is diabolical? With the removal of what is holy from our perspective, we are being used to serve “lesser gods”, spirits that desire to animate and destroy us and the other objects of God’s love.
You can not walk in your high calling through low living. The target of these spiritual forces is to drag us from our seat in heavenly places, and to toss us into to the carnal struggle. We are being robbed by this means of our high calling, and pulled down into the mud slinging, the biting and devouring that we are warned not to participate in. Such arguments are equally dangerous in their capacity to dissipate us as the drunkenness we are warned to avoid in Ephesians 5. Dissipating is when you squander, fritter away or otherwise waste valuable resources foolishly.
Yes… we are in a time of collective insanity at the highest levels. But why are we surprised? Have we failed to heed the warnings that “evildoers will wax worse and worse”? Do we see ourselves first as nationalists, and then everything else follows in course? Our citizenship after all, is principally in heaven!
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Who set their mind on earthly things…. Selah.
The Captain of the Lord’s hosts is yet inviting us to join Him in his battle, even while we are so busy trying to get Him to join us in ours.
2 Replies to “Overcoming Politicization”
Are you talk’un ‘bout me boy?
Thx Tony! My inspiration for this post came from my recent travels in Brazil.