Hindrances To Victory (Part 1)

Hindrances to Victory  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Series Intro

Text - Matthew 17.19-21
Matthew 17:19–21 NKJV
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Title - Hindrances To Victory
Series - Hindrances to Victory


A man brought his child came to Jesus for help
the child was demon possessed (sick with epilepsy)
the child was brought first to the disciples but they could not cast the demon out
Jesus said the primary reason is “unbelief”
the parent were unbelieving - Matthew 17.17
the disciples were unbelieving - Matthew 17.20

The Main Idea

The disciples were previously given authority over the power of the enemy, and still there were times when they could not win over the spirits.
In the same way, we believers, who already have the Holy Spirit, can sometimes, perhaps many times, experience defeat or a failure to overcome a particular war against the devil.
Jesus pointed out the main problem - unbelief
but unbelief can take many different forms in our lives.
unbelief helps shape our attitudes towards things of the world and things of God

Part 1 - Joshua’s Defeat

Text - Joshua 7.5-9
Joshua 7:5–9 NKJV
5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water. 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?”
It was supposed to be a quick victory for Joshua and Israel
Ai was small, and the spies determined 3,000 men can easily conquer the city and deliver a quick victory
Instead, they fled before their enemy and 36 of their men were killed
the hearts of the people were discouraged, and Joshua fell on his face before the ark of the LORD
God told Joshua the problem
Israel has committed sin: they have taken some of the “accursed things” and brought them inside the camp

Point no.1 - Israel’s sin

Israel’s sin was threefold
Joshua 7:11 NKJV
11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.
they stole accursed things
they pretended nothing happened
they brought the accursed thins inside the camp
Sin no. 1 - they stole accursed things
accursed things are things condemned for destruction
Joshua 6:16–19 NKJV
16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
Joshua has “devoted” everything inside Jericho to the LORD, for destruction
except for the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron - they were consecrated and become part of the treasury of the LORD
Achan took of the accursed things
Joshua 7:1 NKJV
1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
What are accursed things today?
things that are devoted for God’s exclusive use
fristfruits of our increase
things promised to God (money, house, etc)
things that are meant for destruction
things of the world
Sin no. 2 - they pretended nothing happened
the word was “deceived” - literally “lied”
they pretended that nothing was wrong
similar to the sin of Annias and Sapphira - the wife knew what the husband did but kept silent
Acts 5:2–3 NKJV
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
Sin no. 3 - they brought the accursed things inside the camp
Israel’s camp was sanctified by the presence of the LORD
Paul warned us against defiling the temple of God
1 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV
17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
The result of Israel’s sin was defeat
Joshua 7:12 NKJV
12 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.
they could not stand before their enemies
they could not benefit from God’s help

Point no. 2 - God’s solution

God offered the solution to Joshua’s problem
Joshua 7:13–15 NKJV
13 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.” 14 In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the Lord takes shall come according to families; and the family which the Lord takes shall come by households; and the household which the Lord takes shall come man by man. 15 Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’ ”
sanctify the people
identify the person
burn the transgressor with fire
Note - this prescription implies the problem is corporate
Sanctify the people
consecrate by performing a certain cleansing ritual
today, we consecrate by means of prayer or setting apart for a certain period prior to the assembly
Identify the person involved
talk to the person
encourage the person to confess his sin
Burn the transgressor with fire
this judgment was final
in the N.T. Jesus prescribed
repentance - renouncement of sin
prayer for forgiveness
Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,


Joshua acknowledged the gravity of this sin
Joshua 7:25 NKJV
25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
Achan - means “troubler”
Achan troubled the whole camp of Israel
When the accursed things have been removed Joshua was assured of victory once more!
Joshua 8:1–2 NKJV
1 Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it.”
Accursed things remain abominable today
do not covet them!
do not bring them inside the camp of God!
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