I couldn’t just stop with one post from Joshua 22. It’s a gold mine. I’ve got this post up my sleeve and one more that I’ll share with you soon.
With their plunder packed, the Eastern Posse hit the dusty road to home, but before they crossed the Jordan, they decide to build an altar. It was not just any altar, mind you. It was “an imposing altar” or as we say in the South, “a biggun” (Joshua 22:10-12).
Apparently, word travels fast in the promised land, and the rest of the Israelites got wind of the altar and immediately jumped to the conclusion that the EPs had lost their minds. So, they hold a meeting to discuss what to do about the wayward children.
Let us give credit here where credit is due. The Israelites have been through the wringer many times because of some crazy folks in the family. If there is one thing that they have learned through their travels, it is that Yahweh does not play when it comes to worshiping other gods or mis-directing worship to Him. There are specific rules to follow and serious repercussions for not abiding fully to those laws. So, the Israelites decide to confront their brothers, and behold, the first accountability group is born.
Accountability is tough but necessary. If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am a member of an accountability group which was born out of a larger women’s bible study.
Going from a bible study group to an accountability group is taking it to the next level. It’s like the difference between “going out” and “dating.”
When you’re “going out” with someone everything is laid back and casual. No time commitments, no serious conversations. Everything is good and breezy and fun. That’s how our bible study was pre-accountability. Everything was easy. People would float in and out depending on the study we were doing. Serious conversations happened but rarely.
Then, one night at Donna’s kitchen table as we were patting ourselves on the back for completing another bible study book, we found ourselves smack in the middle of a DTR (Define the Relationship).
DTRs in my opinion are awkward. In fact, I’m fairly convinced that they embody the very definition of awkward. If there was a word more awkward than awkward, I would use it, but my vocabulary is not that exhaustive.
So, there we were, stuffed with hamburgers and potato chips, staring a plate of awkward trying to decide if we would take it to the next level of accountability. We never looked back and I’m so glad we made that commitment.
Folks, we need other believers to keep us honest. We need safe places to share what is in our hearts and the struggles that we face because this world is messy. We need people who love us enough to speak truth to us – even when it’s painful – and we need people that will keep our feet firmly planted in His Word and our focus on Him alone because just as it was in the old testament days, there are serious consequences for mis-directing our worship and being disobedient.
Yes, we live under the new covenant of grace, but the God of the OT is the same as the God in the New Testament and the same God we worship today (Hebrews 13:8). He will not share His glory with anyone or anything (Isaiah 42:8).
If you don’t have an accountability group, pray for God to provide you with one. Pray for God to surround you with a group of people sold out to Him so that when the world tempts you to bow to the gods of money, fame, power, prestige, beauty, relationships, work, and possessions, you have people to pick you up and re-direct your worship to Him.