I’ve written over the past few weeks about God with us and in us. I’ve never spoken to a group of women for whom the idea of intimacy with God, that kind of closeness, wasn’t scary for some, if not most.
So today we’re talking about one last promise. I’ve betrayed my English Major roots and themed everything I’ve written this month around PREPOSITIONS. We have WITH, and we have IN. Our last preposition is FOR: God is FOR us.
If the idea of intimacy with God is uncomfortable for you, perhaps that is because you have a view of God that isn’t safe. It’s hard to feel good about a God who is with and in you, if you don’t believe He is for you.
Maybe you see Him as a judge, as critical, as punishing. Maybe you confuse Him with other authority figures you’ve experienced who did not protect, love, celebrate you. Or maybe you were taught to live for Jesus, but not taught that He lives to intercede FOR you.
Friends, God is FOR us.
From the very beginning we were His idea, and He breathed His own life into us. The story of all humanity is a God who wants to be with His people. He demonstrated His love for us, on the cross. He is on our side:
Hebrews 13:5-6 He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” 6 so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
He LOVES us. Romans 8 again:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? … Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He is FOR us.
Last month I saw an Instagram post/meme thing going around from a prominent Christian conference, quoting one of their speakers as saying “Jesus is not your cheerleader.” I’ve been arguing with that speaker in my head.
I see the truth in it: Jesus is not on anybody’s sideline. He’s the quarterback, the coach, the ball, the whole dang field. More than that, picture the field on the earth, rotating in orbit: He’s the sun, our center of gravity, the weightiest thing in all of our lives. To God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, forever and ever amen.
He’s not on any sideline.
But my heart still breaks a little that believers are passing around memes that say “ Jesus is not your cheerleader.” Because when I look at the Bible, I see Jesus as both the quarterback, coach, ball, whole dang field, the sun we all orbit around… AND cheering us on.
Every weekend in Nebraska, parents gather around to cheer their sons and daughters.
- We give our Friday nights to football,
- we show up for band concerts,
- We yell ourselves hoarse at basketball refs
- We smile through atrocious beginning violin players,
- We sweat it out through softball games, even the extra innings.
- We beam at baby ballerinas and mini gymnasts
- We alternately freeze and burn on the soccer sidelines.
- We go to track meets, y’all, which take ALL DAY LONG.
We, mere humans, show up in droves to cheer our children on.
Surely we are not better than our Father in heaven? We don’t care more than Jesus, right?
Can’t He be the center of the universe, worthy of all the glory and praise and honor and also be FOR US?
I think maybe Jesus IS our cheerleader.
What do you think? Do you believe that God is FOR you? Can you picture God, your Heavenly Father, cheering you on? Celebrating even the tiniest steps of faith, grinning at your brave choices, jumping up and down when you trust Him, yelling his fool head off when you follow His Son and love the unlovely?
God is WITH us.
Jesus is IN us.
God is FOR us.
If you’d like to begin practicing this truth, take a few moments to journal and pray through the following questions:
Take a few moments and think about the promise that God is for you. Do you believe this truth?
Try to picture Jesus as your cheerleader.
Picture something hard or great in your life right now. How do you see God responding to you? Does He have His back turned? Is he frowning, criticizing? Are you going to hear about your performance later?
Can you see Him – Jesus who DIED FOR YOU, Jesus who is the center of the universe who is also love incarnate – can you see Jesus cheering you on? Hurting with what hurts you, cheering every small victory, CELEBRATING YOU?
Take a moment and pray. Thank God that He is the center of the universe, and also for you and in your corner. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to walk in this truth.