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Here Comes Trouble - Part A

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October 3, 2023 6:00 am

Here Comes Trouble - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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October 3, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Skip examines an event in the book of Joshua that highlights the consequences one man’s actions can have on a whole group.

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Skip Heitzig

Here's the point to be made. Every believer's actions matter, for better, for worse, and they affect the whole group. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip examines an event in the book of Joshua that highlights the consequences one man's actions can have on a whole group. But first, vision for the future is not a blind leap of faith. This is Pastor Skip reminding you that present vision needs to be informed by God's past faithfulness, his actions in the present, and his promises for the future. That's why we have prepared a special vision package.

Here's more information on this resource. Listen to what the message version of the Bible says about the necessity of a clear vision for the future. If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.

But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. Vision for your life. That's the theme of our resource package that features five excellent full-length messages by Skip, including six things that will surprise you about heaven and God's purpose for people. Now, here's a comment from Skip Heitig on the topic of purpose. God has a desire. God has a purpose for you. And one of his purposes for you is that you know him, that he walk with you, that you do life together with him. Do you walk with God?

Is that a concern of yours? Is that a stated goal in your head, in your heart? I want to walk with God. I want to live to please God.

I want to know God. Clear vision for your life. That's the theme of our vision resource package that features five excellent full-length messages by Skip, including six things that will surprise you about heaven and God's purpose for people. You'll want to order our vision resource package for this month, which also features a full-color magazine about the vision that drives Skip's ministry. You'll also receive an audio copy of Skip clearly outlining his philosophy of ministry in the past, present, and future. Receive your vision package when you make a donation of $50 or more to connect with Skip. Give your gift by calling 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. All right, we're in Joshua 7 as we join Skip for today's teaching. The Hightsea boys were trouble, especially the third one. That's my brother Bob. Bob was six foot eight, and he liked it. And he wanted others to appreciate it. He could walk into a room and be very intimidating.

So though all of us could bring a little bit of craziness to a situation, when Bob was coming, it's like, here comes trouble. And he sort of liked that mystique. There was a new bartender that moved into an old frontier town, western town. And he was in town.

And his predecessor said, I've got one piece of advice for you. If Big John ever comes to town, get out quick. Well, years went by, and one day, a cowpoke put his head in the saloon and said, Big John's a coming. Everybody ran far and fast, except the bartender. He couldn't get out and just then, through the saloon doors, in walked this huge, biggest, ugliest, meanest looking guy, black hat, snarl, riding a buffalo. One hand was a rattlesnake, other hand was a bullwhip. With one fist, he could break a table, broke it in half, ordered up a root beer.

I alter the story, depending on the audience, you know. And he took the root beer, bit off the cap with his teeth, drank it. The bartender said, can I get you another one, sir? And the big old dude said, there's no time. Big John's coming. So it's one thing to be big and mean and ugly like that guy, but there's somebody worse than him. My brother Bob was Big John, or he wanted to be seen that way.

Six foot, eight inches on a Harley with a gang, just love that mystique. Now, I knew him, and I knew that deep inside, that wasn't really him. He was really tender-hearted, but he liked to give off the rough, tough exterior.

The person in our story is exactly the opposite. His name is Aiken. Aiken wants to appear like he's no trouble at all, but he is. In fact, his name means trouble. That's what Aiken means, trouble or troubler. And he comes in like he's a soldier, he's yes, sir, he's mild-mannered, he marches with the rest, but he's trouble. Here comes trouble.

And he brings trouble to the entire nation. We're in Joshua chapter seven, that's where his story is, but I just want to give you a little bit of catch-up before we get into it. In chapter seven of the book of Joshua, there's a change from the first six chapters. If you were to read the first six chapters and then begin the seventh, it's like you're reading two different books.

The first six chapters, everything is great. God gives promises to Joshua, the new commanding officer, the new general of Israel. They cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. There is a miraculous change there is a miraculous takeover of the first city, Jericho. All of that's good until you get to chapter seven. And you can see it for yourself. Look at the very last verse of chapter six, verse 27.

So the Lord was with Joshua and his fame spread throughout all the country. First word of the next chapter, but. That's not a good change. That signals that things are going to be different from here on out.

And they will be. This is the first defeat that they will experience. Now the overcomers are overcome.

Now the victors become the vanquished ones. Here comes trouble. What's interesting is that what brings the trouble is small. It seems insignificant.

Most of us would say, oh, come on, what's the big deal? It's so small. It's a soldier who wants the spoils of war, which soldiers have wanted for, well, since there have been soldiers.

That happens in a battle. It seems small, but it brings something big. Some years ago, I was speaking in North Carolina at the at the Cove, it's called the Billy Graham Training Center.

I think we had about 400 people in our seminar that week. And I had just discovered or somebody introduced me to this bakery shop that was not a national chain yet. It was just a local bakery shop only in North Carolina.

That's where it started. It's called Krispy Kreme Donuts. And when I had one of those, I just thought God gave this as a gift to mankind.

This is like manna from heaven. Those hot now donuts, come on. So I had one, I thought, oh my stars, we've got to get a donut like this into the hands of every participant in this seminar.

So the Cove volunteered to do that. We ordered 400 donuts to be brought in for our seminar participants. When one of the guys went there to pick up the 400 donuts, he waited and he waited and he waited until he finally said, now what's taken so long?

Why is this such a long process to wait for? And the guy at Krispy Kreme behind the counter said, well, to bake up 400 dozen donuts, it's taking us a lot of time. He said, 400 what? He said, 400 dozen donuts. No, I ordered 400.

See, it's just one small word. There's only five letters to the word dozen, but it changes everything, right? 400 donuts is a whole lot different than 4,800 donuts. I think we got the guy to stop at 90 dozen donuts. So we carried 90 dozen donuts back to the Cove.

They dropped them off at homeless shelters and just kids, just along the way and still had plenty left over. I think we sugared up every homeless person in that town that night. People who say that small things don't matter have never slept in a room with a mosquito. Just one little thing can change everything. As we look at this seventh chapter, what I want to do is frame for you the man Aiken. And I'm going to provide four sides to this frame by giving you four statements, four little maxims, four axiomatic truths, self-evident truths.

Here's the first one. Every disobedience is detrimental. Mark that, every disobedience is detrimental. Verse one, but the children of Israel, here it comes, but the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things. For Aiken, remember his name means trouble, Aiken the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things, better translation, the devoted things, things that should have been devoted or set apart for the Lord.

And so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, that's how you pronounce that little town, Ai, which is beside Beth Avon on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them saying, go up and spy out the country. So the men went up and spied out Ai, they eyed Ai, and they returned to Joshua and said to him, do not let the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not worry all the people there, for the people of Ai are few. So about three thousand men went up from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai struck down about 36 men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent. Therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.

Here's the deal, Jericho was the first town they took over. The spoils of war to Jericho were to be devoted or dedicated to the treasury of the Lord's stuff. The people were not to touch it, the soldiers were to leave it alone.

The commanding officer Joshua gave that order in chapter 6, don't touch it, don't keep it, leave it alone, doesn't belong to you, belongs to God, if you touch it you'll be cursed. Well Achan didn't seem to care, he saw something that caught his eye and he thought, why let it go to waste, it won't be missed, and he took it for himself. Because he did that, 36 men lost their lives. Because he did that, 36 families are experiencing grief. Because he did that, 36 wives became widows.

Because he did that, 36 sets of children lost a dad. And because he did that, the whole group of Israel is held accountable. It's interesting, you go down to verse 11, God speaks to Joshua and he says, Israel has sinned. Yep, Achan stole, but Israel has sinned, the nation is liable. And it's going to cost Achan his own life, literally.

Achan will become bacon by the end of the chapter, it'll cost him and the lives of his family. Here's the point to be made, every believer's actions matter, for better for worse, and they affect the whole group. As Warren Wiersbe put it, never underestimate the damage one person outside the will of God can do.

Ask Adam, just one little piece of fruit, no big deal, thank you very much Adam. Just ask Abraham, just one little lie, one act of disobedience in Egypt almost cost the life of his wife. Just ask King David, just one decision to number the people of Israel cost 70,000 lives. Ask Jonah, one ticket aboard one boat brought a storm, a whale, and almost sunk the ship. Ask the church at Corinth, who because they tolerated the sexual immorality of just one of their members, brought judgment upon that church, 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 1.

Ask the families of 10,000 people who last year lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic accidents. Just one choice, one act. Now, we're connected to each other, we are. You might not feel that way or you might not act that way, but the Bible says as the body of Christ, we're a part of one another, we need each other.

I know we needle each other from time to time, but we need each other. And what we do affects everyone else. It's called the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12. As the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ. Christ, now listen to this, and if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.

If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Beware of the person who says, what I do is what I do, it's none of your business. As long as it doesn't hurt anybody else, that's just the thing, it always does hurt somebody else. It's selfish and ignorant and arrogant to think that you can just do it and it doesn't hurt anybody else. It always does, always affects other people. Ecclesiastes 9 says, one sinner destroys much good. Or to put it in our little axiom, every disobedience is detrimental. That's one side of the frame, that's part of the picture frame of Achan.

Let's go now to another side. Not only does every disobedience become detrimental, but every sin has stages to it, it comes in stages. Now I want to go down to verse 19, I want to Skip ahead, so follow your eyes down to verse 19. After Joshua prays to God about this, and God tells him to find the person responsible, Joshua said to Achan, my son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, make confession to him, tell me now what you have done, do not hide it from me. And Achan answered Joshua and said, indeed, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I've done. When I saw among the spoils, a beautiful Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver, a wedge of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them and took them.

And there they are, hidden in the earth, in the midst of my tent with the silver under it. Did you notice the stages? Do you notice what he says he did? Look at the verbs, he said, I saw, I coveted, I took. In other words, it didn't happen all of a sudden, it happened with a series of stages. I saw something, I wanted something, I took something.

So far we've been seeing that in just about every one of these crash and burn studies. Eve saw the fruit, it was pleasant to the eyes, good for food, makes one wise, so she took it, ate it, gave it. Lot didn't just wake up one day in Sodom, he first looked toward it, looked good, he moved his tent in that direction, then he moved to town, then he led in that town, then he lingered in that town.

So there's always stages to this. Now here's the irony, if Achan would have just waited one more chapter, if he would have just obeyed God and said, okay, I'm not going to touch anything from Jericho, I'm going to just do it. The man says, I'm going to obey this. We get to chapter 8 verse 2, and Joshua tells his soldiers, now the town of Ai is all yours, you can have anything you want in it. Jericho belonged to God, but this whole town is yours. All the spoils of war are yours to keep. He would have gotten even more than he got out of greed. Jim Elliot, the missionary said, God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.

Isn't that great? God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him. But he saw, he coveted, he took.

Those are the stages. Now I asked you at the beginning, did I not turn to or to mark James chapter 1? So turn there for a moment. I want you to look at two verses. James chapter 1 gives to us, we could call it the anatomy of temptation. It's like he's a scientist and he dissects temptation to show you the different stages, and it's like he has been reading Joshua chapter 7.

James chapter 1 14 and 15, I'm going to begin in verse 13. Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown brings forth death.

Notice the stages. First stage, desire. Desire.

James says, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires. We all have desires. There's nothing wrong with having a desire.

They're normal. You couldn't function without desire. You have a thirst drive. You have a hunger drive. We have a sex drive. God put that in the human race. There's nothing wrong with desires. What's wrong is when you seek to satisfy those desires outside the will of God.

That's the problem. So for example, eating is normal. Gluttony is sin. Sleep is normal. Laziness is sin. Sex is normal. Adultery is sin.

Wanting an education is normal. Cheating on the test. That's sin.

You get the point. Begins with desire. The next step is deception. After desire comes deception.

You'll notice in verse 14, James tells us, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires. See the word drawn away? It's a hunter's term. It means to lead an animal or lure an animal from a place of safety into a trap.

I have a friend who is helping me solve a problem. I think I have some kind of critters at my house. He thinks they're squirrels.

So he says, I got the solution. I'm going to trap these squirrels and then I'm going to trap them. These squirrels and then I'm going to let them out somewhere far away.

So he has these traps. The doors open and he put a little container with just a little bit of peanut butter in it. I love peanut butter. I'm tempted by it. I won't let my dog out because he'll get trapped. So that little door is open and that little cup of peanut butter is sitting there to lure an animal from a place of safety into a trap. That's the idea of drawn away. Come here little squirrel. Also look at the word in that verse, enticed.

Do you see it? Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Now this word comes from the word that means to bait a hook, to take a hook and put bait on it. So you throw a hook into the water. You don't want to leave it like the hook because the fish is going to go forget you but you put bait on the hook and he's going to think there's breakfast not knowing he is the breakfast. That's the point of baiting the hook. You're hiding that lure from them.

You're bringing them out from a place of safety. You're baiting a hook. Achan had a desire for more.

Okay nothing wrong with having a desire Achan. And then he sees something alluring, clothes and cash. Babylonian garment. It's the style now. It fits just perfect. Why let it go to waste?

Looks good on me. It's a lure. So desire and after that deception there's a next step, decision. That's verse 15, James 1.

Then notice this. When desire has conceived, see that word conceived, it gives birth to sin. Now that's the terminology of having a baby but it could be translated when it has spawned.

When it has spawned. Have you noticed that all of these terms in these two verses are animal terms? And I think that's for a very important reason. I think what James is saying is when you live on the level of just getting your needs met, your desires met, you are living no higher than the level of an animal. That's what animals do. They live according to their senses. They just want their needs met any way possible. Any creature can do that. That's animal living. So when you have desire followed by deception, you're faced with a decision.

You take it or do you leave it? That's Skip Hyting with a message from the series Crash and Burn. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. We share these messages to help you connect to God through His word and grow in your relationship with Him through intentional study of Scripture.

And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and to so many others around the world so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. We hope you'll be here again tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, Here Comes Trouble, to discover the encouraging truth about how God can give you victory in the midst of your trouble. God is saying, I can take your trouble and turn it into triumph.

I can take your defeat and make it delight. I can make a door of heaviness close and open a door of hope from that place of defeat. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection. A connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-03 04:52:11 / 2023-10-03 05:01:20 / 9

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