Does Holiness Matter? It 100% DOES If—We Want To Live In Victory!

As I’ve been reading through the book of Joshua about the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, a recurring theme has been quite evident. Before they crossed over to the west side of the Jordan River to begin the conquest of the land, Joshua gave the people some very important instructions. All throughout the Bible, these instructions were a recurring prerequisite in Israel’s history for securing victory over their enemies:

“SANCTIFY yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5)

To help the Israelites in understanding how their deliberate and repeated decision to live holy engages HIS power, God immediately performed a miracle:

“So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan.

So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

Joshua 3:14-17

This amazing miracle had a twofold effect in securing their victory. It gave the Israelites courage because they could SEE God was with them; AND it also struck fear into the hearts of their enemies!

So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their HEART MELTED; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.

Joshua 5:1

God gave them miraculous victory over the extraordinarily fortified city of Jericho. But, because of one man’s unholiness, the Israelites’ next victory was thwarted. This man, Achan, disobeyed the command of the Lord. This one man’s unholiness prevented Israel from tapping into God’s power and thus, God did not fight with them in the next battle to conquer the much smaller city of Ai. As a result, thirty-six soldiers lost their lives. Joshua was distraught! God then informed Joshua that there was sin in the camp and that He was not fighting with them. God said:

Therefore, the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. Get up, SANCTIFY the people, and say, 

Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you CANNOT stand before your enemies UNTIL you take away the accursed thing from among you.

Joshua 7:12-13

Achan’s sin cost thirty-six men their lives, Israel the victory, and ultimately the lives of Achan and his entire family. This may seem terribly unfair to the casual reader; however, for those of us who have been born again, we know that it is a somber reminder that our sin cost God the life of His precious Son. There is no casual sin in God’s eyes: To engage the full power of God and to live victoriously against the enemy—we must vehemently pursue holiness. Holiness must be important to us because it is important to God, who IS HOLY. Holiness draws us into the presence of God and makes us bold. We are able to rest in the knowledge of His presence. We know it is not up to us to secure victory; rather, we know that God is fighting FOR us! 

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1

We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.

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6 Responses

    1. Praise God! My only desire is to glorify Him and bring people into His presence. Blessings, Kimberly

  1. awesome study really touched me and made me think. thank you Lord for speaking to me thru this lesson

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How Having Less Gave Me More

“But seek FIRST the KINGDOM of GOD and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and ALL these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Matthew 6:33-34

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