Garland Of Grace – 09.17.17

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Bad Alignment

“So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.” – Joshua 9:14

Whenever you hear the word “alignment,” what probably comes to the forefront of your mind is an automobile. For instance, it is vitally important for vehicles tires to be aligned with each other.  The word alignment means “to be in agreement with.” When your tires are in alignment, it means that they are in agreement with each other. Yet on the other hand, alignment can be a bad thing.  James made it clear that believers were not to align themselves with the world because friendship with the world is an act of hatred to a holy and righteous God. (James 4:4). Oh that we would understand that it is a dangerous thing to flirt with the attractions of the world and align our hearts with things in opposition to God.

Joshua chapter 9 tells of how Joshua and the children of Israel made an agreement with the Gibeonites.  But as they made this agreement with the Gibeonites, they were acting in direct disobedience to God; for God had specifically instructed His people to destroy the Gibeonites.  Why; because the Gibeonites were enemies of the one true God Jehovah.  Israel had been deceived by the Gibeonites, and fell into the sin of making a covenant agreement with them.  And in the midst of the story, we stumble across a very chilling statement that is hard to fathom. The Bible tells us that Joshua and the people of God aligned themselves with the Gibeonites, and never sought out the Lord’s counsel on the matter.

But this scripture text teaches another spiritual truth. Even great heroes of the faith like Joshua are susceptible to the sin of agreeing with the world and lining up with things that are in direct opposition to God. If it can happen to spiritual giants like Joshua, then it can happen to anyone. This is why we must cautiously guard our testimonies and our lives throughout every season of our spiritual development. And we can do so by seeking God in all circumstances.  This practice must be a continual spiritual discipline intentionally and meticulously woven into the very tapestry of our daily lives.  It involves guarding against the blinding, devilish arrogance that can creep into our lives and cloud our judgment, which in turn can keep us from seeking God’s counsel.

Acting without seeking the counsel of God is a very detrimental thing. When we align ourselves with the world, we are immediately out of alignment with God and out of His will for our lives.  Such an act is spiritual adultery, and a vile offense to the Lord.  Yet this temptation can be subtle and deceptive just as it was for Joshua and the Israelites. For the believer, joining up with the ways of the world is not something that happens overnight in some brief moment in time. Rather, it is a gradual process just as sin always is.  Oh how grieving it is to know how susceptible God’s people really are to aligning themselves with the world!  We must avoid this miry pitfall by seeking God’s will in all things; for He is our caring Father who has a plan for our lives and has our best interest in mind.

So as you face the circumstances of life, ask yourself, “What does God think about this matter?”  And as you pose this soul probing question, remember that it does not really matter what the world says and thinks, it only matters what God says and thinks.  Dr. Adrian Rogers said it best; “If you please God, it does not matter who you displease, if you displease God, it does not matter who you please.”  Ponder upon these truthful warnings, and see to it that your heart is only aligned with the one true and living God.

 – Pastor Eric

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