Thursday, March 19

Time to clean house!

Scripture: Joshua 7-8, Psalm 69, 1 Corinthians 5

Joshua 7:13 Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.

Observation

Gave gave Israel victory over Jericho and clear instructions that they were not to keep any of the plunder; it was all to be destroyed.  Yet Achan kept a robe, and some gold and silver and hid it in his tent.

When the Israelites attacked the next city, Ai, they were soundly defeated and mourned before the Lord.  God said that they were defeated because someone had violated His command and kept some of the spoil of Jericho.  God told them what to do next, and included in that instruction this sentence:

“You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.”  

Israel could not experience victory while they were disobeying or rebelling against God’s command.

Application

The same could be said for us.  We can’t experience victory if we are disobeying God.  We ask God to bless us, but if we are knowingly and deliberately disobeying His clear command, we are asking God to bless our disobedience and rebellion.  I don’t think He’ll do that!

I’m not saying that we have to be perfect or earn God’s blessing.  I’ve experienced God’s blessing in my life in spite of my weakness and failure.  But if I’m hiding known sin—like Achan—if I’m covering up willful and deliberate rebellion, I can’t expect God to bless that—or me.

A friend of mine points out that the church today prays for revival and God’s blessing while a high percentage of men in the church are addicted to pornography and sexual sin.  He says that revival won’t come until we repent.  God won’t bless our disobedience.

What’s true of us corporately is also true of us individually.  Now is a good time to do some soul searching.  Am I hiding some sin?  Am I knowingly disobeying God in some area?  Have I been consistently defeated in some area of my life?  Am I experiencing the blessing of God?

“You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.”

Now is the time to come clean and repent and receive God’s blessing.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your mercy!  You promise to show grace to those who repent.  Help us today to come clean and receive your blessing.