If God is for us who can be against us?

A thought-provoking verse for the start of 2013…

What then shall we say to these things?

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

It’s a question many people have thought about, indirectly, as they ponder the tragedies that have struck them over the previous year. Illness and death of loved ones; marriage breakups and other family problems; natural and man-made disasters wreaking havoc in communities – never to be the same again!

I remember a young man speaking to the youth at Forrest Hill Presbyterian Church about 20 years ago on this very verse. He read it through many times, but each time emphasising the next consecutive word.*

IF God is for us, who can be against us?

If GOD is for us, who can be against us?

If God IS for us, who can be against us?

If God is FOR us, who can be against us?

If God is for US, who can be against us?

If God is for us, WHO can be against us?

If God is for us, who CAN be against us?

If God is for us, who can BE against us?

If God is for us, who can be AGAINST us?

If God is for us, who can be against US?

He then proceeded to explain the nuances of meaning as he talked through the verses. I don’t recall all he said, or even his name, sorry, but he did have a point. It’s a message I want to talk about here. Our omnipotent God is a wonder and as I start this New Year of 2013, I want to reflect on what has happened and what will continue to happen as we do “Life”.

IF God is for us, who can be against us?

This little word “if” tagged onto the beginning of any statement can affect the meaning in such a great way! Are you currently doubting whether or not God is doing what He says He will do for you? He will guide us, Ps 48:14; watch over us Mic 5:5; protect us, Ps 89:18; and shelter us, Ps 91:1. Are you doubting that He is doing all these things, because you are just looking at the circumstances of your present situation? God never tells us in the Bible that life will be easy for us, just because we believe in Him. In fact, He does allude to the fact that we will learn from the trials we endure, and become stronger along the way. He does tell us that we need His help to endure them, and that the glory of making it through is not for us, but to share with non-believers around us, so that they might also gain hope and believe for miracles in their life, too.

Have you decided once and for all, that God IS looking out for you, and we can be joyful and believe this is true, despite our current circumstances and that there is a hope and a future for us, Jer 29:11.

If GOD is for us, who can be against us?

God, the creator, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Emmanuel! He doesn’t need a New Year’s knighthood … nor does he show his title off proudly. He has earned our respect just because of who He claims to be. If we believe He is God, we believe everything written about Him and passed down to us through the generations.

If God IS for us, who can be against us?

He tells us, “I am who I am”, Ex 3:14. Do we need anything more? He is with us – yesterday, today and forever.

If God is FOR us, who can be against us?

The creator of this magnificent universe is our friend. He looks out for us and cares for us, and wants to befriend us. Do you call someone a friend and then not care about them? No, we are eager to communicate with our friends; evidenced by the massive numbers of texts, tweets, emails and whatever else the young people are doing these days, sent every minute. Okay, so we don’t text God, and He doesn’t tweet us, but our prayers are heard, and He speaks to us in that wee small voice that we must attune our ears to if we want to hear!

If God is for US, who can be against us?

Who is He for? Us – people who believe. If anyone stands at the door and knocks? Rev 3:20. To all who believe, He has given the right to become sons of [the most high] God, John 1:12. How can you expect to get anything from someone if you don’t believe they exist? Maybe it’s time to make sure of your eternity, and become one of ‘us’. Not that we are anything special in and of ourselves, but the god we believe in, is!

If God is for us, WHO can be against us?

Sometimes this verse has been interpreted that no-one can be against us, if we follow God. This is not the best definition. In fact, the Bible teaches us that the evil one [2 Thes 3:3] lurks around, ready to devour; the thief has come to lie, cheat and destroy.  We must be on our guard against things that would creep up into our lives and try to separate us from following heartily after the Lord. Just a crack in the door, where the devil can get a foothold, is all that he needs, Eph 4:27. So make sure, you keep yourselves safe from temptations. Purposefully move away from them. Build a strong accountability network around you so that you can gain strength when temptation lurks around. Keep in fellowship with God on a daily basis, hourly, (or less) if needed through the tough times.

If God is for us, who CAN be against us?

There are times when our plans start out with the best intentions, but somehow they can go haywire and we are left wondering what went wrong! Movement in any direction seems to just dig us deeper in the do-do!! Often we find that the devil can catch us unawares and then try to blindside us on our way down! But, God tells us to “Fear not. For I am with you”, Jer 46:28. He is the only one who has known the plan for us from the beginning; a plan for a future and a hope, Jer 29:11. Anyone coming up against us has Him to contend with first! They have lost before they start, if God has a different plan from them.

If God is for us, who can BE against us?

People may catch us for a short while and tempt us out of our God-ordained destiny, but ultimately, it won’t last. We have the Holy Spirit left with us to guide us and teach us [John 14:26] and bring us back into fellowship with God. Other things might seem ok for a while, but no-one will remain with us, and be at our side through thick and thin, except God, himself.

If God is for us, who can be AGAINST us?

What God says of us is what we should believe, not what man says. God is for us, not against us, and His word has power, 1 Cor 2:4. We are children of the most high God, coheirs with Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, Mark 16:19. Others may try with their words to bring us down, or undermine our confidence, but we should only believe the truth that the Father reveals to us in our time with Him.

If God is for us, who can be against US?

When we are in fellowship, meeting together with other believers, we can have a unity and strength that we can’t possess by ourselves. When two or three are gathered and pray, Matt 18:20, He will hear. We need the iron sharpening iron principle [Prov 27:17] of others around us to keep us guided and on the right path. It is too easy to wander off track, little by little, until one day we look and see how extreme we have become. God created us for fellowship with Him and we learn how to build relationships with others from our relationship with Him.

This is very much a precis for the believer, but if you are reading this and want to know any more about what I have said, feel free to ask. I have written it for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s, because it is easy to wander off the track while watching something of interest. Don’t be fooled, though, as the narrow tracks are narrow for a reason. They lead you to the destination God had in mind for you from the beginning.

So welcome 2013 and make it your goal to really think about what you read from the Bible this year. I am going to keep updating this blog with my passions – thinking and publishing online.

*I am sorry I cannot remember your name, and credit some of these ideas to you…please forgive. I simply don’t know 20 years later, which ideas were yours and which are mine now, either. 🙂