I had papers from my old insurance still sitting out on my desk. In my mind, the stack was huge! This morning Jane helped me to clear my desk. I didn’t realize how much these items were weighing on me until I cleared them away. What a relief. What looked like a monstrous task, only took 30 minutes! Did you know that all physical items can have a “voice” and affect us in either a positive or negative way? Take a look at what’s around you right now. How does each item make you feel?
In removing the items from my desk this morning I got a new revelation on Isaiah 58:6. It reads: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Things, places and people can all be bands of wickedness for us. They can oppress us and feel like a yoke on our necks. God’s will is for us to be free. But it’s not His job to always be the one to rescue us. We have a responsibility also.
Galatians 5:1 tells us that we are to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” We can’t stand in the great liberty of Christ if we have unnecessary things pulling at our hearts and minds. God is not responsible for taking all those burdens away from us. We have been given the spirit of Christ in us, including a full set of spiritual five senses. For example, yesterday I started to eat a steak and my spiritual taste buds told me it was not good, so I told the waitress and she took care of quickly and easily. It’s our responsibility to use these to recognize when things or places or people are oppressing us or putting undue burdens on us.
I love the Old Testament prophesy of the coming Messiah, that says: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isa. 61:1).
How many crazy things around us are keeping us bound up and agitated? —our minds and emotions prisoners to things we might not be fully aware of? The impact of having something or someone around that emits negative vibes is enormous in some cases. It was like that in the Bible, when Achan took a few items that were under a curse.
When Joshua and the Israelites were coming into their promised land, they conquered the city of Jericho, but the Lord put a ban on certain items from the city. “Be careful that you don’t covet anything in it and take something that’s cursed, endangering the camp of Israel with the curse and making trouble for everyone” (Joshua 6:18).
But Achan didn’t resist the urge: “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:21).
Because of that, the whole tribe of Israel suffered and couldn’t seemed to make any real progress. It’s interesting here to see that the items Achan didn’t deal with properly, but instead, took and wanted to keep for himself, affected the health and welfare of his whole family and his whole tribe.
There’s another great principle to see here: Not everyone was aware of what Achan had with him. Just like we are not always aware of the things in our car or our house or in our children’s closets. God had to tell them: “There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you” (Joshua 7:13).
This principle of the Word of God is still true today. We can’t progress like we want to if we’re burdened by things, places or people that are not in God’s will for us at this time.
And it’s the spirit of God within us, that teaches us to be observant. Using our spiritual five senses, we look with our spiritual eyes, smell, listen, taste and feel what may be Achan “treasures” in our midst.
Another important thing: It was Joshua who rooted out the problem. For me it was Jane who helped me see what I needed to do with the stuff on my desk. I knew it, but the actualization needed a little spark from a good friend!
Being human, it’s easy to be a collector. We collect everything from rocks to papers, to electrical devices, to associations, etc. etc. We probably need to take inventory a little more often. It’s amazing how much junk in any category can pile up if we let it! And it burdens us, nags at us, “calls” us, begging for attention.
Let’s make sure we practice being spiritually aware of what and who is around us and clean up. No Achans allowed! Freedom is where the Lord wants us. The only burden we have is His, and Jesus promises, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).
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