After several weeks I have found myself back into Joshua, picking up right where I left off. I wrote several blogs going through Joshua 1-6, and then I read the heading on Joshua 7, "Achan's Sin", and didn't want a disappointment, so I wandered into other parts of my Bible. However, yesterday morning the Lord tugged on my heart to open back up to Joshua 7. You can read my other blogs with these links. Strong and Courageous, Step into Your Jordan, Shout of Faith. And now that you are caught up on Joshua's story we can dive into Joshua 7.
This chapter shows how much we are like Joshua, or at least how much I am like Joshua. The first verse in Joshua says, "The Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things..." it continues and says, "...so the Lord's anger burned against Israel." Basically, the Lord told them to destroy all of the "bad" stuff, to purge out anything that would cause them to sin, to get rid of the worldly things. And the Israelites did what we so often do. They say to the Lord, "Yes, I got it all, I'm through with it. Done with it. Never going back. Zilch. Nada." Even though somewhere, somehow they are still holding onto a piece of it.
God knows everything. So, He had to know that they were being unfaithful, but He still allowed them to cross over the Jordan. God may allow us to cross the Jordan with some baggage, but it won't be everything He intended it to be. Why? Because of our lack of obedience. Our lack of obedience doesn't allow it to be everything He intended it to be. This happens with parents and their children all the time. A parent may allow their child to do something even if they know they aren't obeying, just so they can "learn their lesson". But, sooner or later, we will have to face the consequences and own up to our lack of obedience and faithfulness. We have to let go of that little piece that we are still holding onto, to receive the fullness of stepping into our promiseland.
The Israelites went to battle with the Amorites and lost. They should have won, but they lost. Joshua was defeated. He lost hope. He immediately began to question God. Even saying, "Lord, we shouldn't have even crossed the Jordan, If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan." This makes my stomach turn. The Lord had done something mighty, crazy and supernatural, and Joshua is doubting if they even should have done it. He is doubting if God can handle what they've come against. How often do we receive breakthrough, expect green grass and nothing but happiness, then hit a road block, and we begin to doubt God. This is no bueno! Not good, not at all. This is when perseverance is soo key in our walk with the Lord.
When you are in the center of God's will, a trial or problem does not mean to stop. It simply means to take a look at what you've done, see if you've obeyed completely, seek the Lord, and PERSEVERE.
The Lord reminds Joshua of the Israelites unfaithfulness and tells them, "I will not be among you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction." We must get rid of the things that lead to destruction. We will not be able to stand against our enemies until we remove it from our lives. We can't leave an open door for the enemy to sneak in. Close him off, don't let him have a hint of room to get into your life.
A lot more happens in the end of chapter 7. The family that was hiding the devoted things owned up to their sin, got stoned, and burned the devoted things. And chapter 7 ends rather abruptly. I'm still disappointed in the Israelites. But, man does it make sense why we act the way we do sometimes after a move of God happens. We have to come against that carnal mindset and set our minds on Christ, no matter what obstacles come our way.
In my daily devotional book it talks about how a momma eagle will force her baby eagles to fly [when they are ready]. She'll tousle up the nest so they will fly, but then she will go and fly under them when they are struggling and give them her support until they can fly on their own. And as Hannah Whitall Smith said, "And so the Lord." He does the same thing with us. How comforting. :)
Be blessed and have a wonderful Sunday.