What Team Are You On?
By Jana Kelley
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
When I was growing up, we played a game called “Steal the Flag.” I found it difficult to know who was on which team. Not wanting to get tagged out, I would call from a safe distance, “Whose side are you on?”
As adults, we sometimes suffer this same confusion. Whose side is God on? We find ourselves trying to “earn” God’s love, as if we could work hard enough to gain the right to have Him as an ally.
I have good news. That’s not what Paul meant at all when he wrote today’s verse. In fact, the original word “for” in this verse carries more weight than what the English translation. The meaning includes the idea of “over” or “in place of”.
God is “over” us. This same word is used numerous times in the Gospels when talking about Jesus’ death on our behalf. God gave His Only Son to take our punishment. Jesus is literally “for” us … in place of us. And because of that, God is “for” us.
Aren’t you glad this verse means so much more than: “God is on my team, so we have the best player”? Instead we can hold on to the wonderful truth that God is “over” us. He has given His Son “for” us. He is Lord and King. He is above us. That’s so much better.
God is “for” us, if we are followers of Christ Jesus. And if God is for us, friend, what does it matter who is against us?
Jana Kelley, a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ devotional project, is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. She and her husband married in college and by their second anniversary, they lived in a remote African town. After 13 years in Africa and the Middle East, they moved to Southeast Asia where they and their three boys currently live. Jana is the author of two devotional books and three novels. You can learn more about her at janakelley.com.
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Originally published Wednesday, 22 May 2019.