The work that Christ did at the cross is done completely. The attempts at saving ourselves with good works will be a never-ending-story because when we are not bringing our sins and transgressions to the Lord to be rid of them, then we are covering them up. The result of this self-righteousness will be a flawed and insipid Christianity. The duplicity and subterfuge we practice will only diminish our strength in the Lord who is trying to reconcile us to Himself, but we falter at whatever we do.
Achan disobeyed and took some of the spoils and it brought judgment on the people of God when they tried to overtake the city of Ai. Through a process of elimination, Achan was discovered to be the reason for the judgment that had defeated them.
When Joshua confronts Achan, his responds is this. Josh 7:21 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.
Achan had literally covered his sin in his tent and it brought a great loss to himself and his family. Joshua 7:24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. This cover-up caused the death of himself and his children. As it says in Num. 32:23b And be sure your sin will find you out.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We stumble for a lack of Godly confidence. Confession and forsaking sin will still bring mercy into our lives and will help us have mercy for others who are struggling with different weaknesses.
In his book, Enemies Of The Heart. Andy Stanley says, “It is easier to behave your way to a new way of thinking than think your way to a new way of behaving.” This is what the Lord is trying to get us to do. If we come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy, regardless of how bad we feel about falling in sin, the reward of going to God’s throne will change our self-righteous behavior. Our obedient behavior will result in submission to Christ, the Savior, and we will obtain true mercy and grace.
He still is the way, the truth, and the life. Lord, help us to uncover everything that causes grief to your heart and help us to be courageous in humility, for you have all the answers for our souls. In Jesus name we ask. Amen.