A text by Richard Wurmbrand
Written in the “The Valley of Achor” series
When we recognize that we are partaking of that which is offered to the demon-gods, what are we to do?
God has given us a helpful example in the story of Achan, the troubler of Israel.
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. (Joshua 7:1)
When we practice the behaviors that gratify the demon-gods, the idols, we are committing a “trespass in the accursed thing.”
Whenever we partake of that which is cursed of the Lord we cause Israel to be defeated in battle. We defeat not only ourselves but all who are associated with us. We have given place to Satan.
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. (Joshua 7:5)
Sometimes the first indication we have that there is a problem in our Christian life is that we begin to lose our peace and are experiencing defeat. Something seems to be out of harmony in our fellowship with the Lord. It is not always obvious to us where the fault lies. All we know is we are not at our best spiritually and are growing uncomfortable with our circumstances.
We are not to hang back in condemnation and depression. We are to go to the Lord and find out what the problem is. In some instances the feeling of defeat is an attack of the enemy and we are to resist it vigorously in faith, commanding it to leave. On other occasions it is an indication that something we are doing is not pleasing to the Lord.
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. (Joshua 7:10,11)
The “food sacrificed to idols” in this instance was covetousness. Covetousness is idolatry. The love of money is the root of all evil.
When we discover what the problem is we are to turn to the Lord in a fierce renewal of our vows of holiness and consecration.
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. (Joshua 7:13)
If we turn to the Lord, He will show us where deliverance is needed.
In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come by households; and the household which the Lord shall take shall come man by man. (Joshua 7:14)
We must prepare ourselves to have all of our imaginations, motives, words, and deeds brought before the Lord for His examination. The thought of such an exposure of our personality may frighten us but it has to be done. Satan loves the darkness. It is his environment. The saint runs to the light so that all of his personality and behavior may be examined by the Lord.
And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. (Joshua 7:15)
We have to be ready to accept the baptism with fire. God does not deal gently with sin.
Deliverance from sin is not possible until first we make an iron determination that we want to be purged from the uncleanness.
Ours is a day in which there is much talk about deliverance. This is good. There are deliverance ministries that help and encourage the saints. We ourselves have been practicing deliverance, particularly moral deliverance for many years. We have found that the key factor in both moral and physical deliverance is the will of the believer.
The believer cannot deliver himself or herself either morally or physically by any amount of will power. On the other hand, if there is not an iron determination to be delivered there can be no permanent healing. Both physical and moral deliverance are lost if the individual does not resolutely, with all the will power and integrity he or she can summon, desire to be delivered and to stay delivered.
There may be perceived benefits in remaining bound, both physically and spiritually. Sometimes people continue to wallow in their disabilities because it forces healthy people to attend to them. Until the believer has rejected all of these and has determined he wants no part of bondage, either physically or morally, there will be no lasting release.
There is no manner in which we can heal ourselves physically by our will power. We have to combine our desire for healing with waiting on the Lord until He grants the healing. Just because someone is sick does not indicate that he or she lacks faith or desires to be sick.
As far as moral deliverance is concerned there are many practices we can just stop doing. We do not have to wait for lightning to strike us before we are delivered. In numerous instances if we will resist the devil he will flee from us. We are to stop sinning! As we call upon the Lord He will help us do just that.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (I Corinthians 15:34)
We must “awake to righteousness.” We must be diligent in the matter of deliverance from moral sin. We have to “rise up early” and make certain every trace of the enemy has been removed from us.
So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: (Joshua 7:16)
One of the most important aspects of moral deliverance is a clear, well-defined statement of the bondage. It does little good to ask the Lord to remove all sin from us. We have to specify exactly what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us, precisely what has come to our attention.
It is better that we discuss our problems as sin. Many of the “foods offered to idols” can be referred to as a psychological problem. Often such an attitude is helpful in encouraging the individual to work through his or her problem without excessive condemnation or spiritualizing. However, it is well to keep in mind that evil practices have demonic counterparts. When we denounce them as sin the Divine judgment comes to our assistance.
The authority of the atoning blood of Christ and the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit forgive our behavior and bind and remove the spiritual agencies that are intensifying our psychological problems.