So approximately 3,000 warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai chased the Israelites from the town gate as far as the quarries, and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away…
“Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.
Joshua 7:4-5; 13 (NLT)
In this context Joshua and the Children of Israel had just conquered Jericho. This was the first city that God had given them to defeat as they made their way to their promised land.
God had instructed them to take everything that was confiscated from the city and give it to Him as first’s. If they would give God the FIRST, He would give them everything else.
We see a similar scenario with Adam and Eve in the garden when God told them that there was ONE tree that was His and everything else was theirs. He said; Give me everything from the ONE tree and you can have everything else! (Genesis 2:16-17).
During the time the Children of Israel were taking over the city of Jericho, without anyone knowing, a man by the name of Achan stole some of the things. Everything was dedicated to God. God was not happy!
Everything that we have is given to us by God. If He asks for a small
portion, I think that is a pretty good deal
Everything that we have is given to us by God. If He asks for a small portion, I think that is a pretty good deal!
God does not ask for these portions for His benefit; He asks for them because of His Word. He can never go back on His Word and His Word is to get His people in a place of Redemption.
He asks for our heart so that He could REDEEM the rest of our life for eternity.
He asks for the first of our household increase (the 10%) to REDEEM the other 90%
What if we gave Him the first of our TIME in our day? What would happen if as soon as our eyes opened in the morning we gave the first few minutes to Him?
I believe God would REDEEM our Time for the rest of the day!
Sunday is the first day of the week. What if we gave God the first of our week? What if we didn’t neglect coming to His house to worship every Sunday?
I believe God would REDEEM the rest of our week.
I believe God’s plan is to give His people GOOD things!
But, God can’t give us things if we are so stingy and closed fists. Our fists are so tight that God can’t put anything in our hands.
"God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands
are too full to receive them!" -Augustine
Here are 3 BARRIERS that will block God’s plan for us.
Most people will reject the idea that they are greedy. They will say things like, “I’m not greedy, am I?” I guess they are trying to convince others….or maybe they are trying to convince themselves.
In the passage in Joshua, Achan got greedy. God had asks for everything from the 1st city. Everything meant everything.
Achan’s view of everything was different than God’s.
I think sometimes our EVERYTHING is different than God’s as well.
We determine what is EVERYTHING!
For many, giving God ANYTHING begins with the thought of “If there is anything left!”
If we will work GREED out of our life, God can bless the rest of it!
2nd BARRIER that blocks God’s plan for us.
As soon as the Children of Israel took the city of Jericho, they begin to plan for the next city, Ai.
When they scouted the land, it was not even close to the fortified city of Jericho. They got arrogant.
When they returned, they told Joshua, “There’s no need for all of us to go up there; it won’t take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don’t make all our people struggle to go up there.”
Joshua 7:3 (NLT)
Arrogance breeds self-glory!
When a person puts themselves above anyone or above God……Pride and ARROGANCE becomes the driving force!
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 (NLT)
3rd BARRIER that blocks God’s plan for us.
When things begin to fall apart in our lives…. FEAR sets in, not FAITH!
In the passage in Joshua, when 3,000 men were killed by this small amount of forces in Ai, FEAR set in.
When FEAR rules, we forget about our past VICTORIES!
The Children of Israel had just defeated a POWERFUL city by obeying God!
It was not an isolated event. God had already spoken the Word concerning giving them the LAND!
When we mess up, the process is not to become FEARFUL, the process is repentance and move forward in VICTORY!
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidy, but
of power, love, and self-discipline" 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Discipline – to train by instruction and exercise.
When fear tries to grip you, know that God has not created in us FEAR; that’s from the Devil. God has given us power over fear and has given us (Discipline) instructions….our part is to EXERCISE the movement of carrying out the INSTRUCTIONS.
Don’t let greed, arrogance, and fear rule YOU!
Listen to God. Obey His instructions. Act on His behalf and watch what He will do for you and through you.
“Lord, thank You for Your Word.
God, it is in our human nature to embrace greed and arrogance. We are by nature fallen humanity. But, through Your Son Jesus Christ, we have been made right.
Help us see those things in our life that we need to change. Things that need to be dealt with, repented over, and removed from our life.
Thank You for being patient with us. Help us to see with clarity Your plan. We give You full authority over these barriers.
In Jesus name, Amen."