Practicing the Presence of God

“When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
Joshua 7:21 (NKJV)
The Lord’s instructions to the Israelites as they entered the promised land and approached Jericho were very clear.  One of which was to plunder nothing from the wealthy city for personal gain.  All the gold was to go to the treasury of the Lord.  It was for the Lord and the Lord alone.
A man by the name of Achan disobeyed the Lord’s instructions as mentioned in the verse above and his sin was found out.  He had taken a Babylonian garment, some silver, and a wedge of gold.  He may have thought no one was watching him, but the Lord sees all.  He may have looked right and left but failed to look up.
Our failure in sin is that we do not have a healthy fear of the Lord.  If we truly understood that God is always with us and sees everything we do, we would be far more obedient then we are.  Like Achan, we tend to look to the left and the right but fail to look upward toward God because we are more concerned about what we want then what He wants.
There are several things we can learn from the life of Achan.  First, notice the progression from temptation to sin: “I saw…I coveted…I took…”  This is exactly the stages that James lays out for us regarding temptation in 1:14-15:
“14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
God always gives us a way out.  Achan failed to understand that God is everywhere and sees everything.  Secondly, he failed to give God that which belongs to Him.  Thirdly, he was unable to enjoy that which he had stolen.  Obtaining things outside of God’s provision will never be enjoyable long term.
May we practice the presence of God by honoring Him at all times.  Even when we think no one is watching.  Let us always remember to look up.
 
Your brother in Christ,
Aaron R. Force
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