No Answer

Joshua 7:10-12

10 So the Lord said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their [a]backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

 

Joshua 7:25

25 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned [a]them with stones; and they burned them with fire [b]after they had stoned them with stones.

 

Have you ever gone to the store with someone and the two of you are walking and talking together? And let’s say that you both walk into a large department store where it’s easy to get lost or separated.  Before you enter the store, there is an agreed upon direction and goal.  The conversation between you continues.  But at about the midway point of the journey into this huge store, you turned right instead of continuing straight ahead on the planned path.  Your friend continues to walk and talk as if you are still right there by their side.  But you have been distracted and wondered off. When you turn around after noticing that your friend is nowhere near, you become frantic and start calling out hoping that they will answer you.  You expect them to hear and come quickly.  You friend has reached your agreed upon destination and purchased a few items as well as a few things that they told you that they would purchase for you.  By the time they track you down and find you, the store is closed.  You have now missed out on a gift for yourself.

At this point, you are upset with them because you missed out on your gift.  You are upset because you walked off the path and they didn’t run back for you.  You are upset because your friend did not just be responsible for themselves but you as well. What you want is your friend to treat you like a child, but you don’t want that.  You asked to be treated as a friend but disagree with having to bear your own responsibility for your actions.  You want this person to give you free rein and freedom of responsibility while getting want you desire at all times.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, our relationship with Jesus Christ is a lot like this.  It would also explain a lot about our trials and tribulations, our moments of brokenness, our struggle against the Spirit, our testing of faith, and the way our lives play out.

When we share the concerns of the world to the point of looking just like the world, we will look like the multitude.  God tells us to not love the world.  Not to bring the things of the world into our houses and into God’s temple.  God said to be separate and not like the people he is destroying.  We can’t expect to conquer anything or anyone when we have disobeyed God’s commands.  God has put forth the agreed upon requirements to be victorious. So, when we fail to follow God’s instructions; which have been proven to produce the outcomes we desire, why is it that we are shocked when things go terribly wrong?  We have no room to approach the throne of grace with the tears that are flowing from hearts that are disobedient.  We wheal and cry with many tears, ripping our clothes as we put ash on our heads as we try to get back our inheritance that we sold by being disobedient.   We seek Christ about it with tears as we believe that Jesus died so our hearts could be adulterous. What we think Christ did for us was to die and rise again to give us the ability to live any kind of way and still be blessed.  We say, God knows my heart; we say, it’s because of grace that we are saved; we say, God forgave us of our sins; we say, only God can judge us; we say, all have sinned and fallen short; we say, Jesus loves the sinner.  Jesus Christ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave saved us from the true penalty of sin, absolute, immediate, eternal, no second chance death! Because of grace we still live and have the opportunity to repent and turn from ourselves back to God.  Christ did not die our death and live a life of obedience to give us a license to sin freely so we can pray for forgiveness when we have had our fill of sinning for the month.  But we use “Lord forgive” like a plan b pill when we act in selfishness, pride, lust, and evil ways fulfilling our pleasures.  We willingly put ourselves into situations that feed our flesh as we chase the devil basking in his diverse schemes.  Our Savior is treated like a safety net as we partake in risky behavior.  We consistently walk the tightrope, the plank, the ledge, and the edge of the razor because of God loving kindness, mercy, and grace.  God told Joshua, why are you crying before me because of your defeat?  Someone has sinned and I told you what would happen if you sinned.

So, when we pray and pray with the results that we are hoping for being far away from us; we should consider changing our prayers to one of repentance.  We should pray seeking the Lord to show us where we have gone astray.  Sometimes, no answer is a call to bring attention to our true heart and not the heart we want everyone and God to think that we have.  Sometimes we actually believe our own hype about what we deserve and how loyal we have been to the Lord.  We should truly listen and pay attention the silence of the “no answers” from God because He is saying something and it’s not that a blessing is coming but judgement if we don’t return to Him.

 

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