Take an Inventory

During my college days at Biola, I worked at Bullock’s department store. Once every year we would take an inventory of all the merchandise. All the employees would stay half the night after the store closed and count every item that was on sale. It was tedious work, especially when counting little things like pieces of jewelry, belts, and socks. If we ran across something that wasn’t supposed to be in our department, we had to find out where it belonged and return it to its proper location in the store. We all stayed – no one could go home and rest – until everything that was supposed to be in our department was properly accounted for.

Joshua was forced to take an inventory almost immediately upon entering the Promised Land. The children of Israel were given strict orders as to what they could and couldn’t acquire when they overtook Jericho. But wouldn’t you know it, one guy, Achan, decided that the rules didn’t apply to him. As he was ravaging the city, he went into a house and laid his eyes on “a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels” (Joshua 7:21 NKJ), so he took them back to the Israelite camp and hid them in his tent. His disobedience got 36 men killed on their first run against Ai because God wasn’t with them. Joshua had to inventory everyone to find the person responsible for the defeat because God told him, “…There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you” Joshua 7:13 (NKJ).

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take an inventory of our lives. Even while we’re on the battlefield for the Lord, we may allow little things to creep in that shouldn’t be there. Is everything in our lives as it should be? Is there anything happening that should not be happening? If so, stop it. Is anything resident (attitudes, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, malice, etc) that shouldn’t be present in our “tents”? If so, remove it. We will not stand strong before our enemy until we take the accursed thing from among us.


REMINDER: Remember to study your Bible regularly. At any time of the day or night, log on to www.webtv4women.tv. Click the Bible Study channel, and then Sharon’s show, A Heart for the Word. Increase your knowledge of the Word in just 6 minutes a day.

©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including the copyright line. For all devotions, comments, and questions, log onto Sharon’s blog at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.


~ by sanewriter on April 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Take an Inventory”

  1. I worked at Weinstock’s for several years during college. I clearly remember doing inventory and going practically blind reading all the tags….especially in a huge long row of women’s pants.

    Hope all went well last night and that the Lord rewards you greatly for your servant’s heart.

    So blessed to know you!


  2. Taking personal inventory of oneself is probably one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult thing that one must do from time to time. To see ourselves as we really are by ourselves is close to impossible if not impossible. Rather than seeing ourselves in a perfect mirror where all the bumps, warts, and positive points are accurately reflected, we see ourselves in mirrors similar to those at “fun houses” with all kinds of distortions mostly enhancing the features that we want to highlight. Unfortunately when we ask “friends”-like Job did-the friends may see distortions which do not accurately reflect the heart of the person. It is great to me that God looks on the heart and not on the external appearance when He selects people to carry out a specific mission for Him.

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