Sunday, March 12, 2017

Drive Out the Inhabitants

Numbers 33:55-56 - But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.

After their exodus from Egypt, God recounted to Moses the journey of Israel through the wilderness, and here above, specific instructions for the conquering of the land which He had given them. By God's order they were to drive out all inhabitants. 

It occurred to me in reading this, it's like our salvation. When we receive Christ we are to cast out all those things in our lives that are no longer necessary or are hindrances to our walk with the Lord...irritants, as it were, things that no longer add any worthwhile meaning to our lives.

This is not an immediate thing. It takes the rest of our life to be purged and cleansed by God. But we must be willing to heed His direction. He will show us what needs to be removed. It might be alcohol, drugs, pornography. It might be activities that consume us. It might be friendships which could hinder our walk with the Lord. One of the things God commanded on more than one occasion was that inhabitants be removed...that God's people maintain their proper place in this new land/life.

But if you do not drive out the inhabitants...[they] shall be irritants...I will do to you as I thought to do to them.

He has given some people new lives. Just because we know who God or Jesus is doesn't mean we are saved. Just because we were baptized as infants means we are saved. Just because we claim we go to church doesn't mean we are saved. We are saved only through the power of God in our lives. A moment in time when we know without a doubt God has entered take us out of our old, sinful lifestyles, into this new life in Christ. 

We have an enemy in this world who, like God, is unseen but equally as active. Difference, of course, is bad vs. good, death vs. life. The enemy in the scripture above was of flesh and bone, but our enemy today is the evil spiritual kind. This enemy will do all he can to draw a believer away from the truth, from God. By the way, an unbeliever isn't much of a threat to this enemy. He knows it won't take much effort to keep him away from God. A believer, however, has to maintain a steadfastness in the truth of God's Word.  

We are told to live in the world but not be of it. The Lord chooses to reveal Himself to us, as was discussed in church this morning. If this revelation of Jesus Christ has truly happened in our lives we should not take it lightly. It is a very special, for lack of a better word, occasion. We are to glory in the idea that He wants fellowship with us. We are to press in to Him. We are to maintain a steadfastness with Him. We are to seek the truth of His Word and grow in our revelation knowledge and love of Him. Then we are to be obedient when He shows us what we need to do...and what we need not to do! I saw this one day: The more you read the Bible the more you'll love the Author. No greater truth.

Our days are numbered. We do not know the number of them, but God does. He provides all the real truth a person needs, even if it doesn't always meet with what we have believed before He revealed Himself to us. The truth will set a person free. He has created us, knows what's best for us, loves us. Why would we want anything else? 

As the last verse above states, He will do to us as He would (and will) do to our enemy if we choose to disobey once we have known Him...or choose to look the other way when the Gospel is preached or the love of God shared. There is a very hard word for these people. God does not lie; He cannot lie. 

Revelation 21:8 - But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. 

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