The Israelites were on a spiritual mountaintop with the Lord. They had just defeated Ai and Joshua had renewed the Covenant before all the people. The kings of neighboring lands were hearing of this God who was leading them into victory, so fear of them spread throughout the nations. Life was good for the Israelites.
Then they were approached by the Gibeonites. Don't worry. You don't need to know details of Gibeon except that it was a nearby land who was fearful of destruction. The Gibeonites deceptively presented a "peace treaty" with the Israelites--in essence saying, "Please don't kill us"--and the men of Israel agreed, without seeking counsel of the Lord. (9:14-15) Did you catch that last phrase? Without seeking counsel of the Lord. And compromises entered.
We are just like them--those Israelites of old. We can get on a "mountaintop" with the Lord and then find that we have "coasted" through certain decisions without seeking our Father's counsel. Inevitably compromises follow. I know, I know. We like to think our intuition and feelings are somewhat reliable. But when we make decisions based on our earthly perception, the danger of breaking fellowship with God surfaces.
He both deserves and instructs our continual communion with Him--not because He is mean or untrusting, He simply loves us perfectly and desires our freedom. "We cannot coast through a single day or single decision with assumption." Words to live by.