“Return…I will heal your backslidings.”          Jer 3:22 NKJV

What’s the root of our failures? Failure doesn’t lie in the strength of the Enemy, or our own weakness, or God’s reluctance to help us overcome. A small town defeated Israel after having conquered mighty Jericho. Their failure, like ours, was the result of unconfessed sin (See Jos 7). But once their sin was brought to light and dealt with, God spoke encouragement to them. “Don’t be timid…Take all your soldiers…I have turned the king of Ai over to you—his people, his city, and his land” (Jos 8:1 TM). Sin unacknowledged will keep you defeated, but sin confessed will bring you forgiveness and restoration that leads to victory. Author Hannah Whitall Smith tells of moving into a new home. She noticed in the cellar a very clean-looking cider cask sealed at both ends. She debated whether to open it and see what was inside, but decided to leave it undisturbed. Each spring and fall cleaning, she’d recall the cask but deferred opening it. Unaccountably, moths began to fill the house. She used every means she knew to get rid of them, without success. At last, remembering the cask, she opened it and thousands of moths poured out! The lesson here is simple: Anything we cling to that’s contrary to God’s Word will cause us to fall before our enemies. Always keep before you David’s prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart…see if there be any wicked way in me” (Ps 139:23-24). Whatever God shows you, confess it immediately and by faith receive His forgiveness and cleansing. Then you’ll be able to stand victorious before your enemies.