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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now the Lord said to Joshua: ‘Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai.’”—Joshua 8:1 (NKJV)
God is a faithful Father, which means He doesn’t turn a blind eye to the needs of His children, especially if they need correction. His nature does not permit Him to look the other way or allow sin to slide. When His children are guilty of doing something wrong, He will be faithful to chasten them and deal with the issue. This is exactly what we previously saw in Joshua 7 as God exposed and punished the sin of Achan.
Yet, because He is a faithful Father, God doesn’t leave us in the valley of discipline. He knows how important it is for His children to learn their lesson—and then to move forward into the next season of His will for their lives. That’s what we see in the opening words of Joshua 8. The sin of Achan had been sufficiently dealt with and Israel learned a powerful lesson as a result. Now, it was time to move on—time to arise and go up to Ai.
This is vital for us to understand because within our human heart we harbor the potential of staying in a season of divine discipline. We feel convicted and guilty when the Lord puts His finger on something that’s sinful. Again, this is a healthy manifestation of our heavenly Father’s heart for us.
But if we’re not careful, conviction can turn into condemnation and guilt can turn into shame. This goes beyond God’s heart for us! He doesn’t condemn us, nor does He want us under the paralyzing shadow condemnation casts. He doesn’t want us to be ashamed of who we are, either. In fact, He has gone to the greatest lengths imaginable to endue us with dignity and value . . . even at the expense of sacrificing His beloved Son for us. Recipients of such a precious gift should never hold onto condemnation or shame!
We need to remember that although God disciplines us, He also has an Ai for us to conquer. Our forever fate isn’t relegated to being in a spiritual corner or “time out.” Quite the opposite! The Lord wants to grow and improve us through discipline for the purpose of walking in the victory that He’s prepared for us. For that is how our faithful Father is glorified through His children.
If you’ve been corrected by the Lord, absorb the lessons to be learned—but be prepared when the Lord tells you to “move on!”
DIG: What occurs in Joshua 7?
DISCOVER: What happens in the opening words of Joshua 8 and what does this signify?
DO: Where might the Lord be telling you to “move on!”? Spend some time today praying about it.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.