Joshua 7:4-13. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.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 to morrow: 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.
What’s truly amazing about this story is that the offender who caused the death of 36 men did not suffer in the battle.
I have seen it many times where the transgressor gets away without suffering whilst others nearby suffer instead. From the only sober Christian boy dying in a car crash whilst all the drunk non Christians survive to Christian women suffering greatly through their marriage to non believers…. there is a rule of association where God, almost non-sympathetically says, “Stop complaining and whining about your suffering; rather make the decisions that are right in my sight and you will see a change in your situation.”
Below are some very real instances of association that are causing Christians to suffer unnecessarily:
1. the workplace – If you work for a secular company and are not praying for the leadership and your superiors you are either going to be under continual affliction or you are drawing away from God without knowing it. Spiritually, you will not stay in the same place. You will either be impacting that company or it will be impacting you. Do not stay in a non Christian business if you are not praying for your company on a daily basis.
2. Family – if you are tolerating members of your family (under your house) living in an ungodly manner, your entire family will be under duress and affliction. By accepting their ungodly behavior in your home, you accept the devil’s influence and must be prepared to suffer the consequences. Earnestly pray for that family member and contest any behavior that is not acceptable. Fight in the natural and spiritual with all you have. (In this regard do not cast them out, which is to give the devil even more authority over them)Be Christ in every way, which includes strongly contesting in the spiritual and voicing strong opposition whenever appropriate. The pain of contention is far less than the suffering that comes by doing nothing.
3. If you are in a relationship with a non Christian person, be prepared to suffer regularly and painfully. Both partners in a physical relationship become open to spiritual impartation from one another. Any demonic authority from 3 generations up the bloodline of your partner will be allowed access into you life. Demonic possession outside of the marriage environment is routine. Prepared to see changes in your thought patterns and spiritual state. Women are especially affected as they move from under the spiritual covering of their father to that of their partner. Multiple relationships leads to multiple spirit ties and ultimately lead to demonic possession. Each of these demonic powers, will either openly or in a hidden manner, lead to torment and ruin our life unless they are dealt with through repentance and deliverance. (And any person engaged in pornography is developing similar bondages and spiritual yokes)
4. Yielding to ‘professional’ authority – There are many areas where Christians routinely yield to bad counsel and advice, under the supposed leading of the Lord. In this area I include nutrition, education, the use of technology etc, but count the greatest culprit to be that of pharmakeia or the medical fraternity which is subordinate to corporate interests, whose goal is to treat you for the rest of your life, rather than see your recovery. Modern medicine is one of the biggest killers of this age and too many Christians are quick to take whatever they are offered regardless of whether the product is appropriate, needed or safe. We live in an age of information and if we choose not to seek God’s solution for our health we can at least properly research our condition and find better options.
5. Spiritual engagement. This is willful opening up of ourselves to demonic authority and could be from visiting clairvoyants, to alternate healing practices that evoke spiritual powers and authorities, to carnal / ungodly Christians laying hands and praying for you, to being yoked with a Church that teaches false doctrine. Each instances give the devil authority into your life. Pray for discernment.
If you have succumbed to any such practices, stop crying out to God for relief but fast for 3 days on water and pray earnestly for God to lead you to repentance, the forgiveness of others, seeking forgiveness from others, the renouncing of sins and the breaking of spiritual ties, bondages, authorities & other influences. God has raised up various Christians and groups throughout the world who deal with spiritual healing and cleansing to bring breakthrough.Find them and be restored.
Alternatively suffer on gladly as many Christians choose, but please don’t blame the Lord and say it is His will.