Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jack Graham » Jack Graham - Don't Lose Your Victory

Jack Graham - Don't Lose Your Victory

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Prayer Request
    Jack Graham - Don't Lose Your Victory
TOPICS: Forward, Sin, Repentance, Joshua, Victory

There is no person that God cannot save! There is no promise that God will not keep! There is nothing that our God cannot do! Take God's Word and turn to Joshua chapter 7. What a privilege! I hope we don't take that for granted, that moment when we say, "Take your Bibles, God's Word and open them". And so we open today in our Joshua series called FORWARD to the seventh chapter of Joshua's journal called the book of Joshua. So, the story of Joshua is the story of victory. It describes our victory in Christ. It's not just what happened so long ago, way back when in the Bible, but the story of the Bible is your story and mine as well. And Joshua's journal, what happened in Joshua's day when the children of Israel left the wilderness, crossed over the Jordan miraculously by the hand of God and then marched around the walls of Jericho.

They shouted, the trumpets blew, the walls came tumbling down and Israel experienced an incredible victory at Jericho. And it is descriptive of our victory in Jesus, not in Jericho but in Jesus. And because we are Christians, the Bible tells us that we are called always to triumph in Jesus Christ, always to triumph. We are to live in the victory that God has given us. It is your blessing. The land of promise, the promised land is a portrait of the land of life for every one of us who are followers of Jesus. The life of promise, not just the land of promise. So after the startling and supernatural epic win for Israel at Jericho, by faith the walls of Jericho fell down, the Scripture says. God said go and take it and they did. And Joshua is now a winning general. He is famed throughout the land. He's a celebrity.

In fact, the last verse of Joshua chapter 6 tells us about Joshua's fame and renown. And just as God had promised, God was with him, and they're all celebrating. It seems like Israel is now an unstoppable force. Nothing's going to stop them now from moving from place to place and seizing every parcel of land that God had promised and had given them. You would have expected after Jericho that they would just kept rolling. But in Joshua chapter 7, verse 1 a conjunction appears of change: "But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things". You say, "'devoted things?' What does that mean"? I'm going to show you in just a moment. But took the devoted things; those things that had been devoted to God and God alone.

"And then anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel. God had said, clearly, He commanded, when the walls of Jericho fall and you take this city, this Canaanite city, all of the bounty, the gold, the silver, the loot, everything, you are not to touch it; you are not to take it because the bounty belongs to Me". He's talking about the spoils of the battle, what was left of the Canaanite city. These were to be given, according to verse 19 of Joshua chapter 6, and you can read verses 18 and 19 for yourself, but it tells us that God said don't touch it, don't take it, because this belongs to Me. It belongs to the treasury of the Lord. God had a plan; God had a purpose for these possessions. He says, "They belong to Me". So He strictly warned them and said, "Don't do it"!

Now in chapter 7 on the heels of that "But" what happened, when they came to Jericho the next day or so, they were looking out over the next city to capture and it was a place called Ai. A little place but it was next on Joshua's list. It was a Canaanite outpost and so in order to take the land, they're moving now and Joshua, seeing it, sends out spies (verse 2). Spies were sent out to this enemy encampment called Ai. Just a little place out there in the wilderness. But then something happened. They returned, these spies after the reconnaissance mission. They returned, according to verse 3 and here's what they said: "Joshua, we checked it out. Not a problem. In fact, we don't even need to send most of the army over there. This is just, this is nothing. This is a nothing-burger. Ai. We'll take that; it's a piece of cake. We're going send, let's just sent the JV over to Ai".

Now they are reeking with confidence and over-confident at this point, as you can tell. But Joshua listened to his leaders and he sent 2-3000 people over there. Just 2-3000, a small army. And so what happened? Well, according to verse 3 through 5, they got over there and they were routed by the enemy! They were chased out. Ignominiously defeated by this little band of Ai soldiers. Thirty-six Israeli died in this raid. So now they come back with their tails between their legs, with 36 bodies to bury, 36 widows and children in the encampment of Israel and they all melt down, including Joshua. "God, what happened"? And Joshua got on his face and he began to cry and whine and complain to God. "God, You said You would do this and now this? What in the world has happened? What is this terrible defeat"? And you know what God said to Joshua? "Joshua, get up. Stop your crying. Stop the praying because you've got sin in the camp".

You've got a problem, Joshua. And that is someone in the camp of Israel, and, of course, God knew. Joshua didn't know, nobody else knew save God and the man who did it. The man who took the bounty for himself, a portion of it. This is what happened. A man by the name of Achan, he deliberately, defiantly disobeyed God. He sinned flagrantly and foolishly against the direct command of God, and as a result, he introduced sin and the impact and the influence of sin on the entire camp of Israel! They were defeated by one man's sin! What you might even call a secret sin.

I don't know exactly how it happened but maybe something like this: One night when the children of Israel were all asleep, they were resting in their victory, enjoying it. All sound asleep. And then walking along like, everybody's out exact Achan. Achan is awake in his tent. His heart starts to pound. It's beating out of his chest because he's thinking about what he saw earlier in the day. All that gold and all that silver, and all the Babylonians expensive garments. All the bounty, all the spoils of the battle. He's thinking and he's thinking to himself, "You know, no one would know if I went right now and got some of that for myself and my family. After all, we deserve it. After all, nobody's going to miss it. And who knows if God even said, 'Don't do it.' I mean, that's what Joshua said, that's what the priests were telling us, but maybe they just wanted all this stuff for themselves. Maybe God didn't even say that"! So he said, "I think I'm going to go get me some of that".

And so he slips out of his tent and in the cover of darkness and night, he sees, glistening on the ground this silver and this gold in the moonlight. An expensive garment. Said, "That would be a beautiful gift for my wife". And then there's a leather pouch and he starts putting it in his cloak, covering it up. And he slips back into his tent and pulls up his matt where he was sleeping and he digs a hole, puts the stuff in it and covers it back up, puts the matt back on top, lays down and smiles a big smile. "I did it and I got away with it. Nobody saw me. Nobody stopped me". No one looked, except one. God saw it. God who saw what Achan did, who sees all things today.

Yes, God sees! Here's a man, he saw the bling and he forgot about the King. He forgot about God. Why is sin such a problem? Let's talk about the power of sin, the power of secret sin. And specifically, why is unconfessed, unrepentant of, flagrant, foolish sin like this so damaging. What is sin? There are several words that I'm bringing you today that describe what sin is. One, sin is disobedience. It's a transgression. When God says keep out, don't go there, we transgress the Law, we transgress the commands of God, we step over the line. That's a big word for sin in the Bible. It's a trespassing. You see a no-trespassing sign. What is it about us that if it says don't go there, we want to go there. It's the way we're hard-wired, I'm certain, but that's sin. It's disobedience to God. It is refusing to do God's will and obey His Word. Second, sin is a defilement. It's described in the Bible as a defilement. It's dirty.

That's why when we pray, we often pray the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sin. Because sin defiles; it soils the soul; it stings the conscience; it saddens the heart; it even sickens the body. Ask David. When you read of his sin in Psalm 51 and his confession of sin. All of the things, all of the impact that sin had upon him. It was eating his soul away. It soils the soul; saturates the mind. It is a defilement. Now there are several ways in which we can deal with the power of sin and in particular secret sin in our lives. One, we can celebrate it and some people celebrate sin. All in on sin! Living high, wide and handsome. Even flying flags to celebrate their sin. Boasting about their sin.

Have you ever been around people who boast of their sin. I have. Sure, you have. And therefore, to celebrate it. "I'm free, man. I do what I want to do. There's no God controlling me. I'm not going to do what the Bible says; I'm going to do what I want to do". So some people celebrate sin. Others, cherish it, cherish sin. Psalm 66 and verse 18: "If I have (cherished or) regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened". Some people try to cancel it; some people try to cherish it; others celebrate it. And then other people try to control sin. That's like trying to control a wild animal. But people try it, by saying things like, "Well, what I'm doing, it's not big a deal. I could stop anytime. Just stop because I got it under control".

How's that working out for you? No, you can't control this. You can't control. The Bible teaches self-discipline and self-control but you can't control sin. And it is a big deal. And I can't handle it and neither can you! It's too hot to handle. Don't try to control your sin and just kind of contain it. Man, just contain it. The principle of sin, the parable of sin, the path of sin. Look at verses 20 and 21. Joshua finds Achan. They search the camp and Achan does get exposed for what he did. And, of course, now that he got caught, he's willing to confess it, but notice what he said: "Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did".

Now what Achan did is repeated. You see it in the Garden of Eden when Eve and Adam, how they sinned. We see it in David's life when he sinned with a great adultery. We see this pattern over and over. He said, "Here's what I did: when I saw (say, I saw) among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them (say, I coveted) and took them (say took. Alright). And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath". The Bible says, 1 Corinthians 10:13, "We're all tempted, but God is faithful and will make a way of escape". And I'm telling you right now, some of you are seeing some things, you're thinking some things. It's not too late for you to just turn around and say, "No, not me in the power of Christ". "I saw".

But it started with the eye gate, so be very careful of what you see and what you hear cause that's where this stuff starts coming in. Satan attacks us through the mind. And then he said, "I coveted". That's a word for desire. Now he's moving in to sin. The desire of the heart. And the desire was, this wasn't a moral sin; this wasn't about David's adultery or anybody else's adultery. In this case it was about money; it was about possession. He wanted more. I suppose what God had promised in giving them the land of abundance, all these things weren't enough for old Achan. And so he said, "I desired it, I wanted it". And then he said, "I took it. I did it; and then I hid it". Same sad story we hear again and again and again. "I saw, I coveted, I wanted, I took and I hid".

And so the peril of this sin and the pathway of this sin leads to the punishment of secret sin. Because he is publicly executed and his whole family is taken with him. It's a terrible story. The fact is that God punishes sin. The judgment was swift and severe. It was capital punishment. to the community of the Israelites. He was taken out like a cancer. And this is a solemn warning to everyone. God is serious about sin! Deadly serious about sin! And you can't sin and win. So now there's graves in the garden of the Promised Land, just like there was a grave in Eden. And Adam and Eve sinned and their son killed his brother. Sin is so damaging, so destructive. So that's why you don't play with it. That's why you can't cherish it or celebrate it or try to cancel it, try to control it or cover it.

John Owen, the preacher from the Pilgrim preacher said, "Be killing sin or sin will be killing you". So what do we do with sin, therefore? We don't cover it; we don't cherish it, we don't celebrate it, we don't cancel it, we don't choose it. That's the problem with this sin, he chose it. It was a deliberate, defiant act of sin against God! But what you do is confess it, and crucify it by taking it to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. First John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". The writer of Proverbs, 28:13 of Proverbs: "Whoever conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy".

God is a God of justice and righteousness and holiness. And He will judge sin and He will discipline sinners. But there is grace and mercy available, the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son can cleanse from every sin and it's not too late for you to discover this great grace in God. Jesus died for you. He was crucified and rose again. He was executed. Joshua could not do anything about stopping the execution of Achan and his family. Joshua didn't have the power to do it but Yashua our Savior-Joshua does have the power to stop the execution. And you know why? You know how? He took the execution Himself! He took the death! He took the hell; He took the judgment. So what we do when we ascend is pray with the psalmist in Psalm 139, "O God, search my heart and see if there is any wickedness in me", if there's any wrong thing in me, if there's something in me secret that maybe I don't even know or forgotten about.

You know, some people have buried their sins in the past deep within. Bitterness is an example. Anger turned inward is so bitter they just buried that. Some of you I'm talking to today, you have buried your sin and that's why there's so much shame going on in your life. You can't change something until you confront it, and if you bury it deep down in your soul, it just festers like an infection in you and ultimately it will destroy you! So come clean before God. Own it! That's what it means to confess your sin. The word confess, homologeo, which means to agree with, to say the same thing as. So rather than playing the victim card or the blame game thing, "It's not me" or "It's not my sin" or "It's not my fault" or whatever excuse or rational, we own it. And we say, "God, you said this is wrong and I know it's wrong. I'm no longer hiding or holding on to this sin but I'm giving it to you in confession and repentance and faith".

And do you know what will happen if you do that sincerely? The blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you".Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow". But you've got to be willing to stop the sinning and stop it now. Stop the sin and stop it now. Let's get real. I'm talking to some men right now, perhaps some women. You're hiding sin; you're covering it up and you're committing adultery. Let's just name it. And you think you're going to get away with it, but you're not going to get away with it. You need to go before God and get right with God.

And Dad, "Oh, it's just a little bit of porn; it's not that big a deal". But it is eating away at your soul. And no wonder you're not living in victory as a Christian. You're loving money. Stop! Again, that was Achan's sin. What God had given them apparently was not enough. He wanted something more, something else. And you repent of that and say, "God, I am so sorry for living with things and money and stuff". You say, "I don't need that to be happy in life. Just give me Jesus". And then if God blesses you with a lot of good things, and He will, just celebrate it as what He has done. And one more thing, quit depending on all the victories of your past, your Jerichos, and start living. Because the victories of the past do not suffice for the challenges of the day.
Are you Human?:*