A Path to Peace and Joy

From the book of Joshua, I think we have all heard in some form or fashion the story of the Battle of Jericho. Israel surrounds the town of Jericho, marches around it for days, and on the seventh day, the trumpets blasted, the voices shouted and the walls came down. All spoils except the silver, gold and bronze and iron were to be destroyed. However, a man by the name of Achan kept some spoils for himself and hid them by burying them under his tent.
Not knowing this, Joshua then proceeded to next the town of Ai. It was a small town, so Joshua sent only a small army to battle them. The Israelites lost and had to retreat. God told Joshua, who was distraught over the loss, that someone had hidden the spoils and until their sin was exposed, He would not be with them. Joshua lined the entire nation up and they all passed in front of him tribe by tribe. When Achan passed in front of Joshua he admitted his sin. Joshua had the spoils along with Achan, his family, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, stoned then burnt, ridding the nation of the sin that had so angered the Lord. Having seen the cleansing, the Lord turned from His anger and blessed Israel yet again.
What is the lesson to be learned here today? You may hide your sin from man, but not from God. When praying specific prayers, God knows what you want before you ask it. He wants you to ask specifically so that YOU know what you need. If He knows your need better than you know yourself, isn’t it logical to conclude that He knows your sin even before you confess it? He knows we need to confess our sin to have a true penitent heart and to restore our relationship with Him.

How grateful we should be that Christ came to earth? We do not need to fear the wrath of judgment that Achan experienced because Christ did that for us.
When we gave our lives to Christ, we were forgiven our sins. The Father’s love is unending. But when we still sin, which we do because we are still human, our relationship with Him is strained. He doesn’t love us any less. As a parent doesn’t love their child any less when they err, so is God with us when we sin. Our relationship is strengthened through confession. This is the basis of 1 John 1:9 which says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This begins a cause and affect sequence which is the real topic of this lesson. To be cleansed from all unrighteousness means a close relationship with God. A close relationship with God is the only place where true peace can be found.  C.S. Lewis said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
And by finding true peace you can find joy. If you are having a hard time finding peace, then I would suspect you are having a difficult time with joy as well. Not all sources of tension limiting peace and joy are a result of sin. A family member suffering from cancer or some other disease is a good example of this. But if your lack of peace and joy can be traced to your guilt, your sin, then begin the road of restoration with confession and with working to be closer to and worship Him.  When we confess our sins, we grow closer to Him. Being closer to Him overwhelms us with peace, overflows in joy and manifests itself in glorious praise of God.

© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved

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