In Joshua 7 there is a story that many of you know. The story of Achan taken the devoted things and burying them in his tent. God had commanded that no one do this and yet he knew, while he was stealing them, that it was wrong and yet he did it anyway.
Recently I witnessed something somewhat close to this happening. The people involved knew they were doing the wrong thing-even while they were doing it- and they still went ahead and sinned. They have come forward and asked for forgiveness and truly seem to be repentant, but there are still consequences.
In this story 36 men died as a consequences for Achan's sin. They lost a battle that they had no business losing. God's name was run through the dirt, as other nations watched them be defeated. None of this had to happen except sin got in the way. Then, even Achan's family and livestock had to pay for His sin with their lives. None of the other people or animals had anything to do with Achan's sin, yet they had to suffer the consequences of his sin.
So much of life is like this. We often think our sin doesn't hurt, or even effect, anyone else and often that is not even close to the truth. Sin makes us stupid. In the situation I have been watching we will not know the far reaching consequences for quite some time and will certainly never know the full extent of what they are. It is sad that we allow sin to quench the working of the Holy Spirit's work of conviction of sin in our lives and then we fall headlong into every greater sin as we just keep quenching His work.
We must stay close to the Word and be praying that God would grow and change us into His likeness. We must be more and more like His Son and hate sin increasingly every day to be made holy even as He is holy. Our sin does effect others but more than that it tarnishes the name of Christ to a lost and dying world.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
He must do the work so He can get the glory. May He do His work in us and get glory through His working in us. There is no greater testimony than a changed life.