Sept 3 - The "S" Word (You Don't Sin Alone) Part 4
When you’re doing God’s work, God’s way, there is not an enemy that can defeat you. But what happens when you go against the word of God and start doing what your own will, rather than God’s? The ripples of that sin will be seen in your life and can extend to the life of your family and church as well. The bible has many examples of this, such as all mankind suffering for Adam and Eve’s disobedience, or Jesus paying the ultimate price for the sins of everyone but himself. On Sunday, the biblical example Greg used to illustrate this is the story of Achan.
Achan was an Israelite who fought in the battle of Jericho. He was doing God’s work, but he was not doing it God’s way. God told the Israelites not to take any of the spoils of Jericho for themselves:
Joshua 6:18-19 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.
Achan’s faithfulness to God was overridden by his greed. He disregarded the Lord's instructions and chose to fill his own pockets rather than add to the Lord’s treasury; he stole a robe, along with some gold and silver, and hid it. As he had been warned, this made their camp “liable to destruction” and the Israelites were defeated in the battle at Ai. God told the Israelites someone had disobeyed and offered an opportunity for the thief to admit his sin and return the items, but Achan remained silent. The Lord called him out on his actions, then summoned Achan and his family forth to pay for what Achan had done.
Joshua 7:25-26 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor (trouble) ever since.
When we choose to sin, we don’t sin alone. We may be alone during the act of sin, but the effects will extend to our families and our church. They are not immune from the aftermath of our greed, addictions, anger, or any other sin; they are often the innocent victims. Sin can also hurt our effectiveness as Christians. Using last week’s example of sloth, we may be too wrapped up in avoiding work and indulging in our own comfort to hear God calling us to grow his kingdom. God will forgive our sins, but we (and those around us) will still have to pay the price here on earth for our choices.
Are you being an Achan? Are you and your loved ones being hurt by your sin? Is it preventing you from doing God’s work? We must take sin seriously! Confess your sins to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength to make your sins a thing of the past. By removing the sin from our lives, we will be victorious in the plans God has laid out for us.