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Very few things slow the progress of the Church more than hidden sin in the camp. Have you heard of that phrase before? It comes to us from the true story of Israel’s defeat at the city of Ai in Joshua 7.  After a miraculous victory over the city of Jericho, they quickly went on to battle the next smaller city Ai on their own, overconfident and prideful.  They are defeated, and 36 men lose their lives.

Joshua 7:5 (NKJV) “And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.”

Joshua, the new leader, is devastated and sets out to pray. God answers and tells him to get up because there was sin in the camp.  God revealed to Joshua and the nation that Achan had stolen and hidden some of the plunder under his tent, thinking no one would find out. He was partially right for a brief time. The people didn’t know but would soon find out. Why? God knew. Judgment fell hard on Achan and his family, and we’re reminded that there are severe consequences for lying to God.

That’s what happened in the Early Church, just differently. The enemy couldn’t get to the church through the outward persecution of the Sanhedrin, so he joined the church influencing Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Spirit. They, too experienced swift judgment.

Acts 5:5–6 (NKJV) “Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.”

We are grateful that instant judgment isn’t experienced like that today, but the consequences of sin always play out.  It may take some time, but your unconfessed, unrepentant sin will always find you out.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 (NKJV) “This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”

You’re deceived if you think you’re getting away with anything. With what you think is hidden sin in your life, you live on the lowest level of life for the believer, the plane of your flesh.  Don’t be deceived.

Galatians 6:7–10 (NKJV) “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

As we learned from the unfortunate situation with Achan and Ananias along with his wife Sapphira, sin that was once hidden will be demonstrably revealed.  It will be painful.  God wants purity among His people in His Church. He demands it.

Matthew 5:48 (NKJV) “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Come clean today, repent, and return to the Lord. Get back to a holy purity that God will bless!  The time is short. This is no time for the believer to be messing around with so-called hidden sin.

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