“But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”
There are some mistakes you can make for which you can quickly recover with little damages or consequences to your life, but there are some mistakes that are very costly for which you will pay a high price for the rest of your life. It would be invaluable information if I were to tell you that I can help you to avoid these costly mistakes. We all have made mistakes in life that have led to sin, but there are some whom we all have seen make these costly mistakes that have negatively impacted their lives for years. Two incidents in Israel’s history reveals several costly mistakes that you must avoid.
The first costly mistake is overconfidence. The verse above is the next verse after the children of Israel conquered Jericho. Israel became so confident in their ability to win that they went to conquer Ai with a small portion of their troops only to experience defeat. Overconfidence in your abilities is always the precursor to sin having victory in your life. Many people have fallen into sin after the greatest spiritual victories. Always remember that it was never of your ability that brought spiritual victory, but it was God who gave you the victory. You are sure to make bad decisions when you get overconfident in your abilities.
The second costly mistake is considering sin. Israel considered Gibeon’s request for a treaty when they should have obeyed God’s initial command to conquer the whole land. You don’t have to consider if something is right when God has already told you what to do. Balaam made the mistake of considering, and it led to his eventual death. Too many people consider sin when they should run from it. The thought of sin should quickly be quenched so that it doesn’t take root in your heart and mind and produce sinful thoughts and actions that are very costly to your life.
The third costly mistake is feeling-based decisions. In this same incident with Gibeon, Joshua let his senses determine that Gibeon wasn’t a threat instead of letting principle make his decisions. Just because something feels right doesn’t make it right. Your feelings will cost you much in life if you let them determine what you need to do. Feelings are based on the emotion of the moment instead of on the principle of right and wrong. If you always let your principles cancel out your feelings, you will be able to see clearly what you should do in every situation.
The fourth costly mistake is powerless righteousness. Joshua 9:14 says, “And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” My friend, just because your flesh knows how to do right doesn’t mean that you should do it without spending time with the LORD. Doing righteousness in the power of the flesh always produces unrighteous results. You cannot do a righteous work to God’s standard in the power of the flesh. Always get God’s power to do what you already know what to do.
The fifth costly mistake is making peace with sin. Joshua made peace with Gibeon to his detriment. Nothing good ever comes by being at peace with sin. Never make peace with any sin, but determine to fight it until you completely conquer its desires and presence in your life.