What can we learn from hidden items buried below a tent, a battle gone wrong and a pile of rocks? As we are working our way through this sermon series on the book of Joshua, we approach a difficult storyline in chapter 7. We see in this chapter how God looks at the seriousness of sin and how we need to take it seriously, too.
A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a dear woman. She had a phrase that throughout our time together she used many times, and it has made a lasting impression on me. She would ask the Lord to reveal every hidden thing in her life. She wanted him to reveal sin in her so she could confess, be forgiven and move forward.
I began to pray this prayer. It didn’t take long for me to see things in myself that I needed to confess—many of which, like growing jealousy, I had not previously seen! It was a hard prayer to pray, and even more difficult to humble myself and confess. I didn’t like to see the sin “hidden under my tent.”
God has been gracious to me. He forgives me, and I have been able to see sin patterns that need attending too long before they start to take over.
I share this with our church family because I believe there is much we can continue to learn about the seriousness of sin. I’d encourage you to pray that prayer, too. Let’s ask the Lord to reveal the sins that are separating us from him, keep a short account, confess and move forward in his forgiveness, mercy and grace.
Here are a few takeaways from this past week’s sermon:
Pride: Joshua was relying on his own strength, instincts and knowledge to see his way clear and conquer the enemy. Where have you allowed pride to creep into your life?
Perspective: Our perspective of sin matters. When was the last time you prayed for God to reveal sin in your life and then confessed it? If sin separates us from God, don’t we want to ask for the forgiveness that only a holy God can give? (1 John 1:8-9)
Posture: I love how Joshua just falls face on the ground in front of God and asks for forgiveness. I would encourage you this week—pay attention to your posture toward God. What is your tone like when talking with him? What is your physical posture? Perhaps, like Joshua, it might be worthwhile to get on your face in front of him this week. I know that in my walk with Christ, my perspective changes when I physically get on my knees in front of him and cry out for peace, forgiveness or direction.
People: When was the last time you confessed your sin to another? Scripture talks about confessing sin within community. Take some time to process and then share with a trusted friend, spouse or life group about your struggle. (James 5:16)
Plunder: It says that Achan saw the plunder and wanted it. Pastor Luke challenged us to be careful what we look at with our eyes, hear with our ears, and let into our hearts and minds. What are you allowing into your life? Is it drawing you closer to Jesus, or creating shame and sin?
Praise: It is in the power of God that we can walk in righteousness. Praise him for that today. Read 1 Peter 2:24-25. Also, take a moment to listen to Charity Gayle’s song, Thank You Jesus for the Blood. It will bless you today.
First Free Rockford, let’s guard ourselves from wanting plunder more than walking with the one true God.
As I close this post, I will share a prayer I pray often in our worship services together. I encourage you to make it your prayer this week:
God, help me to have eyes to see you. (Give me eyes to see the hidden things in my life, as well as eyes to see your grace and mercy in it!)
God, help me to have ears to hear you. (God, help me to hear your still small voice, as you speak to me today.)God, please help me to walk in your ways and follow your commands. (Lord, help me to take sin seriously and to keep short accounts with you. Guard my heart and mind against what the enemy wants to do in my life. I know he wants to steal, kill and destroy. I know you want abundant life for me, so help me walk in your commands, for that is how I show my love for you.)