Monday, December 6, 2010

Conquering the Land

Judges 1:19-36 is the account of the Israelites going in to the Promised Land and their failure to clear out the remaining pagan inhabitants who lived there prior to them being able to settle down and live in peace and rest.

I have learned that the Old Testament history of God and the Israelites can be likened to the New Testament of Christ and the Church. For example, just as God was leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land; so Christ is leading his bride, the Church, out of the world and into the Kingdom of God to a land flowing with milk and honey.

God commanded the Israelites to destroy everything and everyone in the Promised Land in order for them to take possession, keep possession and be at rest in the land.

What I glean from this is that the Promised Land had been inhabited by people who worshiped other gods, and dedicated their lives, their families, their homes and all they had to those gods, and so the Land was filled with the sinful, detestable results of who these people were.

Likewise, Christ commands those of us who want to enter into His kingdom, to come away from all the things the world is so fond of: other gods (this can be anything that you love and contribute the bulk of your time, attention and talent to that is not God, Himself), worrying, complaining, fighting, pagan practices, sinful practices, etc. We are to take control of our desires, our wants and our pride. We are to destroy the strongholds in our life, offer them up to Him as a sacrifice and devote ourselves to living in His strength, His peace, His love and His mindset.

We are saved by our belief in Him as the son of God, our confession of that faith, and then it is up to us to put into practice that faith by slaying the giants that control our lives.

What controls your life... Other people?...Money?...Materialism?...Fear?...Food?...Alcohol?...Sex?...Drugs?...Pride?

For me, I would have to say that my life has been pretty much been given over to the control of God, but I am still working on an excessive love of materials things like my home, home furnishings, clothing, cars, etc., (I like things to look shiny, new and oh, so clean and tidy on the outside.) and food.

To have people (known or unknown) come into my home and see dust, disorder, mismatched materials, paints, etc., is a matter of pride. I know somewhere in there is a woman trying to make it look like her life is really put together but in reality, if you look closely, there are lots of cobwebs, dust bunnies, "junk drawers" and dirt. It's just not apparent to the naked eye.

Also, it seems like so much of my life is driven by feeding myself and my family, people wanting me to go to lunch, to dinner, to breakfast, for a snack or a coffee, and grocery shopping. Sometimes I just wish I could say, hey let's just have some fruit, some cheese and crackers, or a PBJ and be done with it. And sometimes, wouldn't you just love to say, "hey, let's just go have an ice cream cone, or whatever! Food has gotten so complicated and important not just as a fuel but as entertainment and over-indulged pleasure.

God knows my strengths and weaknesses, and his Word says that He will not burden me with more than I can handle. It is past time for those who are called according to His purpose to go forth to conquer the giants in the land; or as Lee Trevino used to say, its time to "belly the wedge and sink the putt"!

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