In our lifetime we will routinely pass by these noteworthy moments.
Moments were we pause and access ourselves.
One of those moments is always the dawning of a new year.
Therefore, as we fet ready to head into the new year, we should pause and do some personal inventory.
Today I’d like to look at a group who were moving into a new era in their life and were forced to stop and take some inventory.
What we learn from their story can be invaluable to us in our journey as missionaries for Christ.
We step into this story at a point were they are facing some growing pains.
Victory in the Lord
Israelites were experiencing the fulfillment of God’s promise in a truly amazing way.
Crossing the Jordan
The defeat of Jericho
Following God through these miracles involved following very specific instructions.
What was God showing the Israelites:
God is not only the provider (as in the wilderness) God is almighty.
Following God means doing things God’s way.
What was God showing “the world”?
God was showing the world that He is the Almighty God.
His people are different because HE is different.
Notice: It wasn’t just victories; it was victories God’s way.
The world may only see the victory and not understand the devotion.
Ultimately, God will reveal Himself to the world, our job is to follow Him.
We follow Him Faithfully
We follow Him Obediently
Now we all want God to Glorify Himself… but we can have pretty self-gratifying motives.
When things go wrong, we might have the same prayer as Joshua.
“Lord, what will you do for your great name?”
That was cry from Joshua!!! (See Jos 7:9)
If we were being honest our prayer should probably be…
Lord take care of me! … I mean glorify yourself!
What brought Joshua the nation of Israel to this place?
(Remember) God gave them very specific instructions
Provided very miraculous victories.
Among those instructions...
“Do not keep for yourself things devoted for destruction.”
Why are these things devoted for destruction?
We can speculate.
People will do that to make God acceptable.
But really: It’s because God said so.
And one of the Israelites kept some devoted things for himself
They had won against a mighty force then failed to defeat a small opponent.
Joshua rightly falls on His face before God (him and all the elders)
God’s response is amazing!
Why have you fallen on your face?
Israel has sinned.
What we can take from here are some important principles.
Sometimes (maybe most the time) the prayer isn’t God save me!
But rather God forgive me!
Individual sin can effect the whole body.
“Israel has sinned” Jos 10:11
You are part of something bigger than you.
Your private sins, private battles, private fears effect that whole body.
“You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you!” (Jos 10:13)
It was true then and it is true today!
You have to make a decision.
Will you cling to things of God or things of the world?
This is were we bring the lesson of this story into an application for today.
We have devoted things ourselves.
I know that by our victories and defeats.
We want to blame all our problems in a fallen world
(and we will have trials here)
But we are not without sin…we have things in our life that are devoted for destruction.
But how do we get them in our life?
21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them.
And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
We are called to spread the news of Jesus Christ to the world.
And we are happy to do that, but somewhere along the way something catches our eye.
And the world starts creeping back in.
Our relationship with God through Christ begins to be a struggle.