God Does Not Choose Sides

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

by Dave Miller

God does not choose sides. He is the side and expects us to join Him. Period.


A couple decades ago, I participated in Experiencing God written by Henry Blackaby. Like thousands before me, the wisdom and understanding of knowing the ways of God were evident and seemed to flow from every page. But, unlike many, I was not ready at 20 years old to receive what the Lord was actually saying. The reason? I took what God showed me through the study, and tried to force it into my understanding of how God works, for the next 15 years!


I made three bad assumptions:

  1. My work was “ministry,” therefore my work was godly.

  2. My knowledge was “biblical,” so my ways were right.

  3. Therefore, God would bless my ways.


Since that time, the faithfulness of God has taken me on a journey of change, one that admittedly I did not recognize until much much later.

Step 1:

The Lord took my wife and me out of a “successful” ministry and a truly wonderful church, close to family, six months pregnant with our first child.


Step 2:

The Lord sent us to Midwestern town, alone as a couple initially knowing no one, to have a baby with a doctor we did not know, in a hospital we didn’t know much about. We began a student ministry with full confidence in ourselves and our ways, only to discover, culture matters, -30 winters are cold, methods do not create a successful ministry, and a lifelong friend, mentor, and partner in the gospel is of incredible value.


Step 3:

Father-in-law passing, church split, and confidence destroyed. Insatiable appetite for God and His Word begins anew. Off to seminary to learn with newly minted humility.

Step 4:

Move further from home for 3 1/2 years of learning and working “secular” jobs, providing for a family, and discovering the Lord always had godly mentors training me. My recent humility training allowed me to be teachable to one of the most prominent influences on my life.


Step 5:

Move further away from home to another cultural context to work in an east coast church, with a humility in method, the blessing of a decade long mentor, and a confidence in my knowledge. In a seminary town, learning that such knowledge, just like method, does not guarantee a successful ministry or disciples who become like Jesus.


Step 6:

Move yet again to a Southwestern culture in a western town, to transition a 100+ year-old church to an off-campus small group structure, during a move from downtown to a new campus. An insatiable appetite to learn how to really make disciples, coupled with 2 1/2 years of remote doctoral study in disciple making + a family of 7, a house that won’t sell in one state while renting another, another father-in-law death, and a realization 6 months in… the small group transition and new campus weren’t actually going to be possible. Yet, understanding I needed to become the mentor, that I had the privilege of having.


Step 7:

Quit all the ways I had known, become a businessman, make disciples and plant churches back at home. Reliance on the Lord was the only option. There was no plan B. Humility in knowledge, method, and faith did not mean no confidence, in fact, it was quite freeing to know that unless the Lord went with us we would fail.


The book of Joshua has been the Lord’s current choice communicating to me and a handful of disciples in a network of churches in Oklahoma City. Particularly the following story:


When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua approached him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies? ”

“Neither,” he replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”


Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in homage and asked him, “What does my lord want to say to his servant? ”


The commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did that.

- Joshua 5:13-15


God does not choose sides. He is the side and expects us to join Him. Period.


In one moment, the Lord taught to Joshua a lesson that took me 15+ years to learn, and I am still learning. Here is the real answer to my assumption problem: I was always inviting God into my life, I was always asking for God’s blessing on my life, I was always asking Jesus to follow me around, but as Henry Blackaby has been teaching for decades now, our work, our ways, our knowledge are rubbish, foolishness. Only His work, His ways, His knowledge is sufficient, powerful, and Holy.


There is only His work, done His way. There is no my work, done my way. There is no His work, done my way. There is no my work, done His way. The blessings and promises of our God are found when we do His Work in His Way. That requires each of us to be FAT, as our coalition says, Faithful, Available, and Teachable to our Lord and to the FAT followers of Jesus around us.


Oh, the depth of the riches

and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments

and untraceable his ways!


For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?


And who has ever given to God,

that he should be repaid?


For from him and through him

and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever. Amen.


- Romans 11:33-36



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