Be sure to read the small print the next time you rent housing while on vacation. Last year, my family went on a short trip with my brother-in-law and his family. He had found an amazing deal (75% off), and we were really enjoying the time together as families. The place had a kitchen, and I opened one of the cabinets. Inside was a note: “Our staff has taken inventory of each of these items. If we find any item missing, we will assume you wanted to purchase it, and we will bill the difference to your account.”

Realizing that my brother-in-law had made the reservation with his credit card, I thought it would be funny to sneak away with all of the kitchenware so he would have to foot the bill. (At the last minute my better judgment prevailed, and I decided he would not be laughing.)

The resort knew that taking inventory would save them a considerable amount of time, money, and trouble in the long run. If we apply the same principle to our lives, it will also save us plenty of trouble and heartache. Taking inventory simply involves searching our lives for things which should or should not be there.

The negatives read like a laundry list:

  • Complacency
  • Isolationism
  • Overconfidence
  • Disobedience
  • Negligence

These were sins which caused the nation of Israel to limp home with a defeat after going to battle against the city of Ai, and they will do the same and more to us. Sin will cripple us and cause us to lose any spiritual gains we have made. It is an intolerable offense to God, and we should never permit it in our lives.

Have you taken inventory of your life, Christian? Do you know what is there (and what is missing)? Are there secret sins which are creating a wedge in your relationship with God or others? Perhaps you have been coasting in the Christian life. Maybe you think more highly of yourself than you should. Could it be that you desire something which God expressly forbids? You might think a certain sin is only affecting you. Ask God to shed light on these areas so you can correct them and experience victory.

Please join me tomorrow as we take inventory of the things which should be present in our lives.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.