Honing the Soul

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. (Joshua 8:1)

In Israel’s first attempt to conquer the city of Ai, they failed because of the sin of disobedience within its ranks – namely Achan and his family who took gold and silver from Jericho that belonged to the Lord. Joshua discovered Achan through a series of casting lots. If Achan had admitted his transgression and repented during this process, he and his family might have been saved from the penalty of death, but he waited until Joshua whittled his way down from the Tribe of Judah through all the families until the lot fell to Achan and his house (Joshua 7:16-21). In Proverbs 13:6, we read, “Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked.” Achan and Israel at the city of Ai were defeated and overthrown because of their wickedness or sin of disobedience regarding the Lord’s instructions. Israel repented and took the hard edge of a chisel and hammer to themselves removing the burr of sin. They had to destroy one of their own (who admitted his sin, but never repented–Joshua 7:20). It is hard and difficult work to repent and make the necessary habitual corrections in our live to reflect the Lord’s righteous character. Similar to Israel, our individual and corporate repentance may require a significant sacrifice. Still, righteousness guards those whose actions and motives are blameless before the Lord. We demonstrate the reality of our faith in Christ Jesus through faithful obedience to his instructions of right behavior and character (James 1:19-27). We must possess our faith, not merely profess it; our obedience of action and demonstration of character is the fruit of proof that our faith is in Jesus Christ our Lord. That Jesus has changed us for His glory. Let your soul continue to be honed for the Glory of God.

Let this hymn serve as your prayer: Trust and Obey

iStock_000011188979Small1.jpgWhen we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

john-14_15.jpgNot a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

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