Message: In Joshua 8 God sent the Israelites back to Ai to conquer them. Their victory was assured this time because they had consecrated themselves and removed the sin that made them vulnerable. This time instead of sending just part of the army, God told Joshua to send all of them. They used their previous failure to their advantage and devised a plan that drew their enemy toward them and then ambushed them from behind with a sneak attack. When they had their enemy trapped between them they worked as a united force to defeat them all. As I read this I thought about not only the power of unity, but the power of “together”. When they tried to take Ai the first time they were confident that they only needed part of the army. They didn’t know that they were vulnerable because of the sin so they were chased out and had no backup to help them. When the sin was addressed they went together and worked together. Part of the army was used to draw the enemy out and part of the enemy was used to ambush from behind and then they all defeated the enemy together as one. One of the smartest things we can do is learn from our failures and use them to our advantage. One of the most dangerous things we can do is fight alone. When we are alone we are vulnerable to the blind spots of our sin and we have nobody to back us up when the enemy pursues after us. When we are united with likeminded believers we are protected from our own deception. In healthy relationships our hidden sin is exposed and dealt with so we are no longer vulnerable. In chapter 7 God had told Joshua that they would not be able to stand against their enemy until that which was set apart for destruction was removed from them. That sin had to be removed in order for them to stand against their enemy. When they stood together without the hindrance of sin they defeated Ai. This challenges me because I have had a tendency to walk things out alone and God didn’t intend for it to be this way. We need trusted people in our lives that will lovingly expose the sin that is hidden in our lives and fight the enemy with us in unity.