Summary: Five truths about sins power that you need to know.
Intro: It was only a little comma, but it cost the Lockheed corporation millions of dollars! An error was made in a contract with an international customer—a misplaced comma in a crucial number. The company insisted that the manufacturer honor the contract as written. Unfortunately for Lockheed, the error was made in an equation that adjusted the sales price, and it cost them $70 million. – Our Daily Bread; "People who say that small things don't bother them have never slept in a room with a mosquito." --Dennis Rainey;
God had given His people a miraculous victory at the mighty Jericho, but a much smaller city, Ai, brought tremendous defeat.
1. Sin Is Often Rooted In Your Overconfidence
A. It’s a good thing to be confident, if your confidence is found in the Lord. Israel had just experienced a miraculous victory at Jericho and thought a much smaller and weaker Ai would be no problem. Wrong!
B. Yesterday’s victory does not guarantee today’s victory. Ex. When I was at the height of my golf game, I was pretty good. Not great, but I could hold my own. In the City Championship I played a man by the name of Clayton Gibbons. One look at him and I thought – “I’ve got this guy easy.” He was very overweight, his clothes were out of date and wrinkled, his clubs and bag looked like they were from the 1940’s. After we reached the 13th hole, Clayton had won the match. I let his appearance fool me; deceived by outward appearances, too confident in myself.
C. After a major victory is won, look out that you remember the One who gave you the victory! 1 Corinthians 10:12, “…let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
D. Overconfidence in self causes you to think you are the source of victory, when God is! Ex. “I can watch check out this site, it’s not that bad.” Ex. “I don’t have to file my taxes with integrity, the government won’t miss anything.” Ex. “That person that showers me with so much attention at work, it’s all right. We are just friends after all. I’m too faithful to the Lord to ever let something like an extra-marital affair take me down.” I heard a pastor declare that the sin that is tearing down the church of Jesus Christ faster than any other is…ALCOHOL? No. HOMESEXUALITY? No. ABORTION? No. He said, “It’s the sin of gossip.”
E. Remember, normally it’s not the big things that tear you down, but the small compromises that are outside of God’s will.
F. Look at Joshua and the Israelites. Before Jericho, Joshua had sought God’s plan and power through prayer. No mention of prayer here. Before they had waited on God’s Word to bring them victory. No word from the Lord here on how they could just walk in and defeat Ai. READ JOSHUA 7:3, “Don’t weary the people, for the people of Ai are few.”
G. You may look tall and mighty, but the small things want to take you down in a major way! Replace self confidence with God confidence. Begin to admit to God your need for Him first thing in the morning, not half-way through the day when the battle is raging! Shove aside thoughts that say, “You don’t need to study, prayer, seek godly counsel, etc.” Sometimes, Christians say, “The Devil can’t do anything to me.” 1 Peter 5:8
H. It’s not wrong to be confident in yourself as long as that confidence is rooted in God’s grace and mercy. The Apostle Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
2. Sin Damages Those Close to You
A. Ex. Darren Evans, the UGA Athletic Director, lost his integrity, $550,000 salary, family, shed bad light on the UGA Athletic program recently (DUI, driving with a lady not married to). Ex. Football season is coming up. When one player on that offensive line messes up and goes offside, it makes the whole team go backward.
B. A MLB baseball player this week from the FL Marlins went to throw a pie on his teammates face after the game; player throwing pie wound up tearing up his knee; that’s not going to help his team out any.
C. What do you do when someone falls into sin? Do you begin to think, “Boy, they sure deserved that.” Or do you think, “Lord, strengthen me to resist sin. Without your help and power, I’ll fall, too.”
D. Another fact of the power of sin is that it damages those close to you. 36 lives lost at Ai! Hearts once courageous, now cowards because the Presence and power of the Lord was no longer with them. Ai means “ruins.” Sin ruins everything in life. Relationships, Homes, Churches, Countries, etc.