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It’s never fun to lose.

It’s even more disappointing to lose because we messed up.

It’s true in sports. It’s true in board or card games. It’s true in the pursuit of dating relationships.

And it’s particularly true when the erosion of God’s blessings is the result of our eroding obedience to Him.

To some extent, we’ve alll experienced each of the above.

I pray that you’re not in a season of eroding blessings.

If you are, then the verse below can give you some valuable guidance toward a status with God that will likely lead to renewed blessing.

The context of today’s devotion is this: In Joshua 7, the children of Israel had just suffered an embarrassing defeat by a small army from the city of Ai. Though only 36 Israelites had died from among many thousands of Hebrew soldiers, Joshua and other soldiers acted as if the defeat were the end of the world.

They thought God had let them down.

God quickly told Joshua that sin was the reason for the defeat.

An Israelite named Achan had directly defied God’s order that all precious metals found in the defeated Jericho should go into the Lord’s treasury. Achan hid some of it in his tent before the attack on Ai and God saw what was going on.

If God didn’t deal with this early-stage rebellion in a blunt fashion, He knew that bigger problems would follow.

And that’s why God told Joshua and the Israelites to stop whining and stop sinning.

For if they didn’t, they would continue to be fighting enemies without His help.

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 7:12

This verse sounds ominous, but it actually inspires a great deal of optimism for me.

Why? Because I choose to flip the the emphasis in the second sentence.

If I make sure to rid my life of sinful things, behaviors and attitudes that God wants destroyed, then He WILL be with me in the efforts to overcome ministry obstacles, everyday life obstacles, physical health obstacles, etc..

I know from experience that I’m not good enough on my own to vanquish all that comes against me.

I need His help.

And so, I need to live the way God commands and give the way God commands.

I hope that you’ll do the same.

Lose the secret sins, my friend. Life is SO much better with the blessings and victories that come with God’s presence and power.

As always, I love you
Martin

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