The battle is raging around you and you are standing on the promises of God’s Word, using His Word as a sword. And yet, it seems as though you are not breaking through to victory. When this happens it is important to do a heart check and make sure that you are not holding onto sin.
In Joshua 7, Israel was defeated in war because there was sin in the camp. Barbara Wentroble, author of Prophetic Intercession says, “Israel’s defeat at Ai was not a failure of God’s promises; it was caused by man’s disobedience … cleansing had to take place before the enemies could be defeated.”
It is the same in our lives – cleansing has to take place before our “enemies” can be defeated, whether those enemies are physical, emotional or spiritual.
Joshua chapter 7 says that the Israelites were defeated by their enemies because of sin in the camp – the sin of a few men who stole and lied affected more than themselves. When the Israelites went to war, the men of Ai killed about 36 of them.
The sin in your life will affect those around you as well. How will your prayers protect those you are praying for if you are losing the battle due to sin?
The Israelites became fearful. Joshua 7:5 says that the hearts of the people melted and became as water.Josh 7:6-13 “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, ‘Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?’ And the LORD said unto Joshua, ‘Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant, which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed. Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, 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.’” KJV
Do you want to be victorious in spiritual battles? Then take time in the presence of God and ask Him to reveal if there is anything in your heart that needs cleaning before you go to battle. Ask Him to forgive you and turn from your sin. When you sense God convicting you that something is wrong in your life, pay attention and obey Him immediately. This is a daily cleansing of your heart. It is vital to keep your heart clean if you are to stand victorious in spiritual warfare.