The Christian walk is not supposed to be up and down, in and out, but victory after victory. Why then does God allow His children to experience defeat? It is not God’s desire it comes through disobedience. We either do things His way and taste victory or do not and taste defeat. Just because we are saved does not mean that there are no consequences when making the wrong decisions.
We are to be holy as God is holy, which is only possible through Holy Spirit. As disciples, we are set apart from the ways of the world our life is now hidden in Christ. Everything we do, everything we have is to be dedicated to God. Our old life and everything about it is to be burned. If we continue out of greed to use the things of this world for our personal gain we will be punished.
A man named Achan stole dedicated things from Jericho and it cost Israel humiliating defeat at the hands of Ai. Failure can move one forward if life lessons are learned. So what was the life lessons from Ai?
First of all, we must always acknowledge God before going into battle. No matter how small the situation without God’s wisdom we are bound to fall. No battle is too big for God but without God, no battle is too small in being defeated.
Yesterday’s victory might be today’s defeat if we don’t take the time to make sure our heart and the people we lead is right with God. We must never assume anything. God knows all things and He must be acknowledged for sound judgment to follow.
Defeat should not cause us to give up and head to the sideline it is an opportunity to learn, and grow, where failure actually moves one forward.
As a young football coach around 21 years old and newly saved, I was hanging out with my Jr. High team at the High School game, we were wrestling around, and a teacher who was an Athiest and didn't like me, singled me out and had the Sheriff remove me from the game, it was so humbling. I wasn't allowed to go to another game for the rest of the year.
It is one thing to be persecuted for doing nothing wrong it is another thing to be prosecuted for getting caught for doing wrong. The children of Israel experienced defeat because one person did wrong, but as the saying goes, "one bad apple spoils the bunch." When one player doesn't do what was asked of him or dogs it during practice, the coach makes everyone face punishment because they have to learn to think like a team. As members of the body of Christ, our choices affect the other parts of the body whether for good or bad.
The best way to deal with sin is to repent right away to God and all those that our sin affected, the punishment will then be much less severe. If we do not then God will expose our sin and the punishment will be much more severe as we see through the example of Achan in Joshua 7. If the sin we have committed is stealing then we must return everything we have stolen before we can be made right.
One way that we rob God as it says in Malachi 3 is with our tithes and offerings. Those who bring their tithes and offerings to the storehouse will be blessed. Those who do not will live under a curse. Everything we own must be dedicated to God that which we hold onto as our own becomes the stumbling block or access point in which the enemy can enter in. We can do things in the name of God but if we don't do things in the way of God it will not have His seal of approval. If we put money before God, money has become our God no matter what we do in His name.