This is war and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse. Luke 11:23 (The Message)
Sometimes it feels like we’ve been fighting battles—of one kind or another—since 2020! We’ve been fighting viruses. We’ve been fighting supply chains to get the items we’ve relied on for years. We’ve been fighting our neighbors over either wearing or not wearing masks. We’ve been fighting our children and our parents (just on general principle) and sometimes we’ve even been fighting ourselves! It’s no wonder we’re worn out!
Jesus had just cast a demon out of a fellow who hadn’t been able to speak. As soon as the demon left him, the fellow started making up for lost time! As in any crowd, there’s always one who has to throw cold water at anything that’s happening. Someone mumbled that this demon casting was just a trick to fool the gullible.
It’s really irritating, when you are doing the best you can to help someone out, to hear someone else diminish your work. There are some people who will con others into thinking something great is going on when actually, it’s just slight-of-hand; but there are a lot of people who honestly try hard to do the right thing. If it works, they don’t want a big to-do over it, they’d just like to hear a “thank you!”
This scripture has been used in a lot of ways to intimidate others and there may be some reason for using it. Obviously, if I don’t agree with you, I might stir up trouble for you, but I might not. I might just walk on down the road, leaving you to do your thing. I’m not necessarily going to make things worse.
I believe that, if you’ve ever called on God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit for help, they’ll be on your side, helping you out. I believe that there is a war going on between good and evil, but I keep thinking of Dad’s old toolbox. Some people hear an implication that we’re supposed to do something special to help God out in his battle with evil. The thing is, if God knows us inside out, he probably already has a plan to use us just as we are.
Dad had some of the oddest tools in his box, and he kept collecting them. There were old screws, bent nails, rocks, and wonky scrapers. There were some good tools but there were a lot of tools that I thought should be scrapped. Dad would say, “You never know when it’ll come in handy!”
There are days when I feel like an old screw or a bent nail. I do something thinking that it will help a situation and the whole thing blows up in my face. Thank heavens, God knows when I’ll come in handy—and when I do, I’ll be ready.
Becky Gillette is a former teacher, newspaper reporter, and preacher who seeks to take an original approach to life’s lessons. She has recently published her first book, Jessie’s Corner: Something To Think About, which is now available for purchase. Based on several lesser-known scriptures from the Bible, this is a collection of articles which she wrote for a weekly newspaper.