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13 & 14 April 2024 (Pastoral Page) REMAINING WATCHFUL

By Dn Timothy Yeo

With Easter in the rear-view mirror, some may have realized that it is easier to spend a dedicated period focusing on Him compared to sustained discipline and meditation. In our pursuit of righteousness and obedience to God, we are called to be vigilant, just as the Israelites were during their journey into the promised land, chronicled in Joshua.

In Joshua 7, we encounter a sobering account of the consequences of sin infiltrating the camp of Israel. After the resounding victory at Jericho, the Israelites were filled with confidence and assurance in God's favor. Yet, amidst their triumph, one man, Achan, allowed greed and disobedience to take root in his heart. He coveted and took forbidden spoils from Jericho, violating God's commandment and bringing a curse upon the entire nation.

The repercussions of Achan's sin were dire. When the Israelites attempted to conquer the city of Ai, they suffered a humiliating defeat. The realization dawned upon them that sin had tainted their covenant with God, weakening their strength and resolve. Joshua, in anguish, fell before the Lord, seeking guidance and understanding. Through divine revelation, the sin of Achan was exposed, and justice was swiftly administered.

This is a strong reminder for us to remain watchful as sin, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, can have far-reaching consequences. In the post-Easter glow, sin can be insidious, creeping into our lives when we least expect it, and when left unchecked, leads to spiritual decay and separation from God. Just as the Israelites faced the consequences of Achan's sin collectively, our actions as individuals can impact the body of Christ as a whole.

Therefore, let us heed the words of Joshua to the Israelites: "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you" (Joshua 3:5). The call for sanctification, to consecrate our hearts and minds unto the Lord, was not meant to be a once-off affair, but rather a continued daily sanctification in Him through prayer, fasting, and immersion in the Word of God. It is through these we fortify our spirits against temptation and remain steadfast in our devotion to Him.

Let us cultivate a spirit of accountability and mutual support amongst us – be it in your CARE group, mentoring group or even in your areas of ministry. Just as Joshua and the elders of Israel sought to uncover the sin within their midst, let us encourage one another in love to confess our faults, repent, and seek restoration. Together, as a united body, we can withstand the schemes of the enemy and advance God's kingdom with unwavering faith and integrity. Is there someone that you are already accountable to? And if not, why not?

As we embark on the journey ahead, may we be vigilant, may we be steadfast, and may we be ever mindful of the presence of sin in our lives – the evil one is always lurking and waiting. Let us remain watchful! Fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, and walk in obedience to His commands, knowing that in Him, we have the victory over sin and death.

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