Typical. We've all done it. We know that if we do something now it could prevent extra work later but it is not a problem now so we ignore it. It can be anything from bill payments to spilt milk. You know what I mean. You see the milk container is too close to the counter edge but you just leave it because it isn't really a problem. Two minutes later you, or someone else bumps against it. Now you have to spend the next ten minutes trying to clean it up.
We refer to it as "preventative medicine". Insurance companies are getting good at this in order to save money. They come in and inspect your property to see if there are any dangers. They then give you a list of things like broken tiles, piled boxes, torn carpet that need to be fixed or they will cancel your insurance. It makes sense doesn't it? Why pay out money after the fact for something that can be prevented with a simple repair.
I once saw an episode of "Malcom In The Middle" where their dad had discovered he had forgotten to send in the cheque to the medical insurance. This meant they had no medical coverage. Suddenly everywhere he looked he saw potential hazards. Of course he spent the rest of the episode comically accident proofing his house.
There are many things in our lives that we should look at in order to prevent hardship and heartache in the future. Our reading this morning is another example of this in our relationship with Jesus.
Joshua had just won a great victory and was ready to move on. He had no idea that a hazard had shown up in the form of hidden sin. You may think "How could he know about something that was hidden?" Because he had access to our God who sees everything. Joshua's mistake came in not asking the Lord for direction. He made some assumptions and lost in a big way. This could have been prevented if only he had taken the time to ask. God would have told him and Joshua would have taken care of it. Instead they went into battle without the strength of the Lord and lives were lost. They put on a big effort to petition the Lord but it would have been an easy matter if they had asked first.
This lesson can be carried into every aspect of our life. It is always best to take care of the little details, put everything in order, don't be lazy about it, don't assume and you will save yourself a lot of work later. on.
A good example for my students is their school work. So many of them have milk sitting on the edge of the counter. They can take care of it by putting a little effort into completing the task to move it from the edge. It would be better to do that than to try to clean up the mess later. Afterall, who enjoys cleaning up a mess (or attending summer school). If there are things preventing victory in this area of your life ask God and he will reveal the problem to you.