DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
It’s been my experience that the greatest temptations come right before or right after our finest triumphs. Charles Spurgeon used to say his greatest moments of discouragement came shortly after he preached. “So, if you think you are standing firm,” the Scripture says, “be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Many men of God have fallen because they didn’t understand their most vulnerable moments were at their height of their biggest victories.
Such was the case for Joshua. God had given him a great victory. There was only one explanation for his success: God had acted on his behalf. There was such a mighty move of God that Joshua became famous. The Bible says, “So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land” (Joshua 6:27). God used Joshua mightily and showed Himself powerful on behalf of the children of Israel.
But the next verse is enough to make every follower of Christ sit down and take heed to God’s warnings: “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel” (Joshua 7:1).
Amazing! They had just experienced the glory of God. Now they would come to know His judgment — in such a short time! Sin always produces judgment, and it robs us of our spiritual discernment. Joshua sent spies to check out a place called Ai. They came back with a positive report. “No problem,” they said. “Ai is a piece of cake.” In fact, they said, “We only need about two or three thousand men to take the city” Joshua 7:3).
They had confidence, but the wrong kind. Their confidence was in themselves — not in God. Joshua sent out the troops, only to be surprised by what took place. These men who had seen God move and deliver them with signs, wonders, and miracles were routed by their enemies.
Joshua responded to their defeat in a manner that can become a great lesson to every leader in the kingdom of God. First, Joshua took responsibility for the sin among the people. He had not personally sinned. But he began to cry out to God about the reason for their defeat. God was very clear with Joshua: “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction” (Joshua 7:11, 12).
Joshua had to come to grips with the sin of the people before he could again experience victory. He had to be honest and see the situation realistically. Too many times, leaders will wink at sin. They don’t want to rock the boat. But if we’re not honest with God and ourselves, we may find our boat sinking. It’s much better to rock the boat than to sink it. Joshua was willing to rock the boat.
Second, Joshua had to call God’s people to consecration (vv. 13, 14). A genuine move of God will take place only when God’s people surrender fully to His will. This is one of the missing elements in today’s discussion on revival. If revival is to come, there must be surrender to God. We cannot hang on to our sin and expect God to give us victory. We must be wholly surrendered to God.
Finally, we must understand the consequences of sin. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” Sin results in spiritual death, emotional death, and even physical death. Sin is a horrible thing. Sin kills our spirits. It destroys our families. It will even take our lives. Such is what happened to Achan. He thought he could get away with a small sin. But it resulted in the death of a number of Hebrews as they tried to capture Ai. And his sin eventually resulted in his own death.
A spiritual leader must understand the seriousness of the task God has given him. Defeat is not the worse thing that can happen to a leader. Much worse is refusing to face the problem and to deal with it thoroughly. God is a God of grace and mercy. He is ready and willing to forgive and restore. But first we must be brutally honest and deal with the sin in our lives.
Joshua : Chapter 7
1) But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a]; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. 2) Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3) When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4) So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5) who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water. 6) Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7) And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8) Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9) The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” 10) The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11) Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12) That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. 13) “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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