Check Your Armor
"That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies.... (Joshua 7:12).
Battle commanders want to know the vulnerabilities of their enemies. Companies want to know the vulnerabilities of their competition. We also need to know our spiritual vulnerability.
This is the message God told Joshua when he attempted to go against a small army at Ai, which was the Israelites' second battle in the Promised Land. Sometimes we try to figure out why we are not successful in an endeavor from the natural only. We look at all aspects of our performance to see what went wrong. Perhaps our strategy was flawed or our timing was off or our pricing was wrong. For the people of Israel, it was not easily seen on the surface. Everything seemed just as it should be from Joshua's vantage point, so when his army was soundly defeated, he cried out to God, "Ah, Sovereign Lord, why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?" (Josh. 7:7a).
The people had been defeated because God could not bless them. One person had violated the covenant with God. They were not to take any possessions from the first battle, but one person failed to be obedient and the whole army suffered.
Sin makes our armor vulnerable to attack from Satan, who then gains permission from God to attack us in the area where we have failed to uphold righteousness. If we break down in moral purity, Satan comes in and establishes a stronghold. If we give place to bitterness and unwillingness to forgive, we will break fellowship with God and others. If we become money-focused, we will fall into greed and deception. It is a vicious cycle.
Examine your armor today. Make sure you are not susceptible to attack. Begin from a solid spiritual foundation and your chances of success will be great.