There are people today who still believe that what they bring into their homes will have no effect on them. They can have novels, music, DVD’s and magazines about witchcraft, sex outside of marriage, first-person shooters, and more and still think that because it is in the form of entertainment, that it’s fine. They don’t believe that what enters their home, also enters their mind and heart and has the capacity to pollute them.
We have a drastic example of this in the book of Joshua. In Chapter 6, God expressly states the following:
Joshua 6:17-19 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
Even in Joshua’s day, it is abundantly clear that not everyone believed this admonition either.
Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
Because of this refusal to abide by God’s commandment concerning the stuff of Jericho, Israel did not win their “small” battle against AI.
Harbouring things in our lives that go against God’s Word hampers our own victories over the enemy of our souls as well. Three things come into play when the Child of God disobeys the command not to have any accursed thing in their homes.
1) First, is unbelief. They don’t believe that anything can have any damning power over them and therefore feel that they can have whatever they want in their home without it affecting their faith or effectiveness in the Kingdom. This is in spite of the various Scriptures available later on throughout the Bible that urge us to watch what we expose ourselves to. Even Christ, as He ushered in the Age of Grace, reminded His own disciples of the following:
Many today continue to believe this just isn’t so.
2) Secondly, we have the issue of envy. God knew the destructive nature of this particular sin and expressly stated not to engage in it in the 10 Commandments:
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
The two words: envy and covet mean the same thing – to wish that what someone else has, was yours instead. Our modern so-called civilized western culture is steeped in the concept of envy! Our entire marketing and promotion system is based on making a person want what they don’t yet have for a wildly long list of reasons. We teach each other how to take satan’s tactics in the Garden of Eden and use them for our own purposes to get people to use our service, buy our product, etc. We refer to it as the “what’s in it for me” question that we need to answer in order to get people interested enough to part with their money. As one person put it earlier this week, we have created a culture of dissatisfaction and discontent. Everyone wants what everyone else has and no one is happy or content with what they already have.
3) The last thing to come into play in the act of disobeying God’s warnings that having certain things in our homes will decrease our effectiveness for the Kingdom and even damage us directly, is that of pride and selfishness. Pride places us over God and figures we know better than He does, while selfishness plays into the “me first” train of thought where we choose to please ourselves before pleasing God. Price preceded satan’s fall from heaven and Solomon’s proverb that pride goes before a fall remains true to this day. When we think we know better than God, we immediately set ourselves up for trouble, just as Achan did in Joshua 7. Sometimes that setup for a fall affects more than ourselves, but affects our entire household, or even our entire church community!
I hear many Christians these days wondering why the Church seems to ineffective in the world around them. They marvel that the salt has lost its savour and the light is so faded that hardly anyone pays any mind to it anymore. We need to examine our lives, our thoughts, and our homes. Achan buried the objects of his envy below his tent, in the dirt. He probably felt that by hiding it in this manner, no one would know he’d taken of the accursed things. But God saw, God knew, and God was not happy. Our behaviour can give place to the devil and create footholds that allow him to wreak havoc in our lives, homes, and communities. Many so-called innocent things, labelled such by those who have the selfish desire to engage in them even though God has expressly stated not to, are in people’s homes, workplaces, and even church offices. Some of them are wrapped in cute trappings such as the magic hidden behind My Little Pony videos for example. The concept of magic dragons, zombies, and breaking the law to feed one’s family (Breaking Bad anyone?) are just current examples. Rumour has it that many Christians have avidly watched “Game of Thrones” which doesn’t just have twisted political intrigue, but all the pre-marital problems already rampant in society.
How are we to expect God’s blessings on our lives when we don’t acknowledge that He knows best on these issues and has already guided us via His Word to abstain from such thoughts and influences? How do we expect Him to go before us into battle when we don’t believe His Word is true and unquestionable in these matters? How do we expect God to stand by and wink while we see the accursed thing and continually long for it? If we honestly want God’s blessings in our lives, in our endeavors and in our battles, we need to humble ourselves, admit that God knows best, and learn to be content with what we have. Secondly, we need to learn what displeases God and avoid those things in any presentation they may appear in. Thirdly, we simply need to learn obedience to His Word and actively live that out every single day in our private as well as public moments. God sees us in private. Never forget that.