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We worship our way into sin and we worship our way out.

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But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel. 2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” 4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, 5 and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”

 

After Israel boldly crossed the Jordan River and witnessed the massive walls of Jericho collapse, Israel’s hope was alive. They were finally living in the land of victory. Nevertheless, we come to chapter seven of Joshua and read the three letter word “but.” Yes, even in the land of victory, there was a lingering “but.” Even in the land of victory, the people of Israel broke faith.

Looking at the story of Achan, Ryan Paulson reminded us this weekend that rebellion against God leads to ruin in our lives. Unfortunately, most major rebellion happens through a series of small compromises just as the first line of this passage indicates. Before there is a breaking of the law, there is a breaking of relationship. Achan broke relationship with God. That was the beginning of his defeat and it led him down the path of worshiping lesser things. Achan even admitted he began to desire, then covet and finally act out by taking something he thought would satisfy. A decision that would result in ruin for himself, his family and leave rippling effects on the entire community.

What happens in a moment can destroy what took a lifetime to build. And, what happens in a moment of disobedience begins with a failure in devotion. Romans 1:25 talks about the process of rebellion as “exchanging the truth about God for a lie and worshiping the creature rather than the Creator.” We worship our way into sin and we worship our way out. Today, let’s intentionally worship Jesus without the lingering “but.” No turning back. Listen to Christ is Enough and pray for a greater sense of desire to honor him today.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel 

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