Victory is Yours
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 (GNB) "When you go out to fight against your enemies and you see chariots and horses and an army that outnumbers yours, do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who rescued you from Egypt, will be with you. 2Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, 3'Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies or lose courage or panic. 4The LORD your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.'
So the same God who delivers the children of Israel from Egypt, the same God who defeats the Egyptian army, without any help from the children of Israel says, “Don't be afraid. You will win the battle.” This is still the message God gives us. And this is the message God sends to God's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered children. You do not have to be afraid any more. God is with you. The Ruler of the Universe will give you victory.
God chose you to be part of the Lord's spiritual army. Yes, that means you, my gay brother in Christ. That means you, my lesbian sister in Christ. That means you, my bisexual brother or sister. And that means you, my trans-identified brother or sister. When we are entering into spiritual and personal struggles, remember that God is with you and will give you the victory.
Like Moses, you may feel you are not capable of being in the Lord's army. All of the regrets of your life, all of the broken dreams, all of the condemnation you've felt - there is no way you are good enough to serve in the Lord's army. Perhaps, God has a reason for choosing you. The people society felt were the best of spiritual men killed Jesus.
When the Lord revealed His name to Moses, He said He is the I Am. There are many possible meanings that can come from the Hebrew word translated I Am. One of my favorite meanings is He causes to be.1
God is the warrior, the one who causes salvation to be, who causes the promised land to be. Like the children of Israel, every time the name of God is spoken, queer people are reminded that God causes to be salvation, food, water and the promised land. The God who causes to be is the kind of God who changes history for you. Part of the history God is changing for you is how you view yourself, how you relate to your own heart and to the heart of others.
As you step forward in faith for God, in faith serving God, remember it is is the God who causes to be who is supporting you, your work, your ministry. The God who gives you the skills, who commissions your work is the very God who causes your ministry to touch lives. And the God who causes to be is the God who is with you in the storms and hurricanes of life.
When the rest of the world is lashing out in fear at specific groups of people, we do not need to do that. Even when the rest of the world is lashing out against us, we do not need to lash back. We do not need to get into the blame games and scapegoating different groups of people. We do not need to respond in fear, because God is the one who wins any battles for us. And as we come to know God more, we come to realize those who are truly our enemies and who are truly God's enemies are fewer and fewer in number.
Niemoeller (knee-muller) was one brave man! He is reported to have
protested Hitler's anti-semitic measures to Hitler's face. That
takes courage! Eventually, he was arrested and imprisoned between
1937 and 1945. At least part of that time was spent in a death camp.
He is quoted as saying,
“It took me a long
time to learn that God is not the enemy of my enemies. He is not
even the enemy of His enemies."2
God is not the enemy of gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-identified
people. That is wonderful news. What is also wonderful news is that
God is not the enemy of those who fear and hate queer people. As a
friend to all peoples, the Lord constantly searches for ways to show
divine friendship. May the Lord do that
through your eyes, ears and legs and may the Lord demonstrate that
friendship through your hands and your voice. Notes:
God is not the enemy of gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-identified people. That is wonderful news. What is also wonderful news is that God is not the enemy of those who fear and hate queer people. As a friend to all peoples, the Lord constantly searches for ways to show divine friendship. May the Lord do that through your eyes, ears and legs and may the Lord demonstrate that friendship through your hands and your voice.
1Revised Common Lectionary Commentary, Clippings Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – September 1, 2002.” Diocese of Montreal: The Anglican Church of Canada. (Montreal, Canada: Internet web site – http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/apr22m.shtml).
2Daniel B. Clendenin. “Link of the Week – When Faith is Hijacked.” September 4, 2005 Proper 18/Ordinary 23. (The Text This Week internet web site: http://www.textweek.com/).