April 12, 2013
This morning I am reading in Joshua. I seem to find myself in Joshua 23 a lot. I think the Lord is very serious about these commands.
Joshua 23:9-13 says: “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be very careful to love the Lord your God. But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.”
How easy is it for us to allow “nations” of things that kept us in bondage to come creeping back in our lives? God has driven out so many strongholds and addictions from my life and all it takes is a little compromising on my part for them to show back up. What is scary is how God will allow them to be snares and traps for us. They will be whips on our backs because they will be a constant conviction. They will be thorns in our eyes because we won’t be able to see straight. They will trap us into being in a place that we don’t want to be.
Right now I hear the song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns playing in my mind.
“It’s a slow fade when we give ourselves a way. It’s a slow fade when black and white turns to gray. Thoughts invade. Choices are made. A price will be paid when we give ourselves away. People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade.”
So what is Joshua’s advice so that the Israelites don’t stray? He says to:
“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.” (Joshua 23:6-8)
We are to HOLD FAST… and love the Lord with all that we are. That is the key to staying on the straight road!
Joshua ends his this chapter with these words:
“You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. But just as all the good things the Lord your God has promised you have come to you, so he will bring on you all the evil things he has threatened, until the Lord your God has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.” (v. 14-16)
He’s serious about this! All these good things are ours as long as we are walking faithfully with him! There will be many temptations and trials in our lives. That is a given, especially when God has a plan for our lives. The question is whether you are going to stand up against it and trust that God will bring you through it or allow them to creep in and take over the land that God has given to you?