4/9/16: Take 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.
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