First Time Obedience

In Joshua 6 we read of the great faith of Joshua as he listened to and obeyed God for GREAT things. Joshua was slowly being prepared for the BIG day...the day that the Children of Israel would take Jericho. He took the people over the Jordan on dry ground by faith, set up stones and cut away the flesh of the people in obedience.  Joshua was learning that faith and obedience go hand and hand.

All of this was preparing Joshua for the next BIG test of his faith...Jericho. Would Joshua obey God..would he trust God...would He believe that God would do what He said?

As Joshua was instructed by God, he so instructed the people. They were to walk around the city one time for six days and on the seventh day they were to walk around seven times with seven priests blowing seven trumpets. When the trumpets blew the people were to yell as loud as they could and the walls of the great city would fall. They were then instructed to burn the city and not take any of the spoil. Everything went according to plan except for one small thing...someone disobeyed and took of the spoil. 

We tend to say what's the big deal, right? Wrong! Obedience is a BIG deal to fact it's what makes or breaks us as believers. It's been said that partial obedience is disobedience and even delayed obedience is disobedience. But  God says "Obedience is better than sacrifice"  (1 Samuel 15:22) It's more pleasing to the Lord that we heed His instructions and listen to His still small voice then anything we could offer as a sacrifice to Him. 

We can flourish in our walk with the Lord or we can struggle through it....the key is first time obedience. We often find it easy to obey in the BIG things (fellowship, prayer, daily devotions, serving  at church, tithing...)  but very difficult in the smaller things (gossip, exaggeration, over sharing, complaining, procrastination, hypocrisy,  patience, loving the unlovely, forgiving...) We somehow think that these "little" sins won't effect us or others and it's not a big deal.  But, in reality it's the small areas of obedience that the Lord often puts His finger on in our lives. He wants all areas of our lives in submission to Him.

Joshua knew that something was wrong when they went to go take the small city of Ai and ended up losing the battle. It was then, that God told Joshua that there was sin in the camp. One by one Joshua went through the tribes, then the families, and finally the men, to see who it was that took of the spoil. When Achen's sin was revealed and he was removed from the people Joshua then went back a second time and took the city of Ai. 

It was all a matter of of complete obedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. God wants our complete obedience in all areas of our lives, big and small.  Oswald Chambers said; " The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience." 

Sin hinders us from hearing from God, being used by God and understanding God's Word. "No man ruleth safely but that he is willingly ruled." said  Thomas a Kempis, are you willing to be ruled by God completely...for that is where your safety lies, in complete obedience. Lord help us to obey all things...small and great and to do so quickly!