In a gut-wrenching effort to prevent divorce, God said to Israel, “I am going to block her way with thorns…I am going to lure her and lead her out into the wilderness and speak to her heart…and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope” (Hosea 2:6; 14-15). Have you found yourself boxed in by God, with no sense of his presence, and no way to save yourself from total ruin? If so, the reason may be that you’ve resisted the leading of the Holy Spirit for so long that God is bringing crisis to your life in a final attempt to save you. The devil will lie and and say, “God won’t really provide for you. He’s a hard God,” but God’s heart is to open a gateway of hope. He loves you! Will you walk through the valley of Achor trusting in the goodness of Jesus? What Jesus will explicitly show you is that you are the hard one and not Him. Are you free in Jesus today??
When God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute, Hosea didn’t grumble, “Come on, God, I only have one life! Are you really making me do that?” Instead, Hosea trusted the Lord and did what he’d asked. Can you say the same about your walk with Jesus? When difficult times have come, have you lifted up your hands and thanked Jesus, or have you turned away in your heart and gone to grumbling, grouchiness, or a bad mood? This is not a small issue. Grumbling is sin; it is a refusal to be made holy. If we, as America and as a church, refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to rebuild the foundation principles of righteousness, God will finally say to us what he said to Israel: “You are not my people, and I am not your God.” Will you forever renounce grumbling today?
When Achan stole and hid gold, silver, and fine clothing from God, the Lord withdrew from Israel, and thirty-six people died in battle. The Lord exposed Achan’s sin to all Israel, who stoned and burned Achan and his family. Just as the fire of judgment consumed Achan, the fires of hell will consume us if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to probe us and uncover the worst parts of our hearts. And just as Achan’s brothers died because of his sin, our fellow men are dying in sin while the Church at-large remains powerless because she refuses the work of the Holy Spirit to bring her to repentance, and brays, “We’re all sinners!” Are you still a sinner? Or do you fear sinning? Will you spread your sin before the Lord now in deep repentance and a holy fear of God, that you and those around you might be saved; or will you wait until the Day of Judgment, and be damned?