This week, Pastor Miles gave us an update on our new church home in Point Loma. In approximately 17 Sundays, we move in.
The new sanctuary seats 3,500 and is very close to the exact dimensions of Noah's ark. However, only two-legged animals will be in attendance.
Pastor Miles took a short trip to Las Vegas recently to see video projection systems that are being considered for our new sanctuary. While there, Miles was struck by how everything in Las Vegas is designed to pull you in and indulge your senses to the utmost; that's why they call it Sin City.
Besides, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Wrong.
The Most Effective Lies
The most effective lie of all is the one that is surrounded by truth, excepting that one small seed of dishonesty. This week, we see how Joshua and the Israelites were taken in by the well-crafted lie, how they failed to seek God's counsel and followed their own way, and what happened because of it.
In Joshua 9:1-11, the inhabitants of Gibeon schemed to deceive Joshua and the Israelites by pretending to be ambassadors. Their goal was to persuade the Israelites to make a covenant with them by pretending to be on their side (Joshuan 9:11-13) so they wouldn't be wiped out like the inhabitants of Jericho and Ai.
Their scheme worked, and Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them. Joshua 9:15 It was an intentional trap set by the enemy to ensnare Joshua and his people. When Joshua and the men of Israel failed to seek God's counsel, the enemy succeeded.
Remember God in Everything
Miles reminds us that we must always seek God's counsel in our lives because it's the only way that the enemy's traps can be foiled. He's very crafty and far smarter than us. He would rather see us alive and use us as a tool to destroy as many as possible around us (without our knowledge or our consent) than to destroy us outright.
The enemy can often use us to do his bidding and we're not even aware of it. That's why we must always seek God's counsel when entering into relationships whether it's with friends, potential mates, employers, or other endeavors. Without God's counsel, seemingly harmless affiliations can hinder our spiritual growth or the enemy may even use us to hinder the spiritual growth of others.
It didn't take long for Joshua and the Israelites to discover that they'd been lied to. Joshua 9:16 But because the enemy's traps are sealed by the words of our own mouths, Joshua was sworn to let them live. Joshua 9:19
Because the Israelites didn't seek God, and instead made a treaty with the enemy, they were forced to deal with the consequences.
We serve a powerful God who wants to be a part of all aspects of our lives-the big stuff, the little stuff, and everything in between. After all, God is the only one who knows what's truly big and little; we are merely guessing based on very limited knowledge.
We are blessed beyond human comprehension that Jesus loves us and gives us His endless grace even when our own words and deeds ensnare us in the enemy's schemes. If you find yourself in a situation that's bringing you or others down spiritually, ask God to realign that in your life.