The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?” (Joshua 7:10)
“You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.” (Joshua 7:13)
I recommend reading the entirety of Joshua 7, to get the context of these verses. For me, God was showing me this is applicable to sin in my life. I cannot stand agaisnt my enemy, the devil, unless I consciously remove sin in my life. How do I do that? I mean – I thought that was Jesus’ job???
It is – but I have a part in this. From John 1:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
So – I need to confess my sins. Holding them in, thinking “I won’t do that again” simply won’t work. I’ll continue to go down a path of sin/”repent”/sin/”repent”, where I’m not truly repenting, but instead trying to hide my wickedness from the world. But if I bring it into the light – if I first confess to the Lord, then confess to those I’ve sinned against (if possible), and/or to someone I am accountable to, God is truly faithful, and he will purify me from all unrighteousness. Oh, what a blessing, his grace is! Grace is not just forgiveness of sins – it’s the REMOVAL of sin from our lives!
I want to share with you a link, that talks about Josh Hamilton . I encourage you to watch his powerful testimony on how God worked in his life.
Something not mentioned in this testimony, however, is the fact that he had fallen recently. You can find articles about this. What they don’t say is the part that strikes me. The next morning, after succumbing to temptation, he called people to confess and apologize. He didn’t try to hide his failure – he brought it to the light. He removed the sin, so he could stand against the enemy. How inspiring! And oh how the Lord was pleased!
“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”