I have a very addictive personality, except when it comes to eating right or exercise. But that will be another blog for another time. The bible is clear that we are to run from temptations. Some examples of this are;
- Flee from idolatry(1 corinthians 10:14)
- We are told to flee from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:11) or
- How about fleeing from sexual immortality(1 corinthians 6:18)
Jesus even himself said, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.” (Mark 9:43-4)
In other words, do what you can to eliminate the things that cause you to stumble, or flee from the things causing you to stumble. Devote them to Destruction!!
When you read the historical books of the old testament, especially the parts where Israel is entering the promise land, you cannot ignore God’s command to them to utterly destroy the inhabitants that already live in the land. See, like us the Israelites are weak in their hearts and proven to follow other gods and worship at foreign altars (I mean they were not out of Egypt long before they had Arron fashion them idols to worship.) ( Deuter 9:16)
As for us, when we choose to only celebrate the attributes of God that best suits us, that is idolatry. An example of this, is only recognizing God’s love without recognizing His truth. Guess what? Without His truth there is no love. God is not just loving, he is also just, sovereign (in complete control all of the time), and holy. Hey, let us not forget holy! I think Roman’s 2:4 point this out perfectly, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant lead you to repentance.”
Back to where I was going:
Israel was told to put these nations to the sword and to destroy all of their cities and possessions in order that Israel would serve the LORD wholeheartedly.
Deuteronomy 7 says, “And when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, you must devote them completely to destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them….for they would turn away your son’s from following me, to serve other gods.“(2-4)
Israel did not obey this command and so there were times when God’s hand was against them. Almost the whole book of Judges and great portions of 1st and 2nd Kings are based on this fact. There is also, I am willing to bet, some of this in your lives and there has been some in mine.
Two posts ago, I stated that this past year was a year of backsliding in my relationship with God. In my house, because of my addictive behavior to fleshly things, we have filtering software on our computers, and on my phone, and my beautiful wife has set my Netflix account so pg-13 is as high as I can go for my viewing pleasures.
I guess you could say that I was fleeing from sexual immortality, but until a month ago, I still had my Xbox and there were no filtering programs for it (not to mention I would play video games literally for hours, I would get lost in them). I had always wondered why it was so hard to wholeheartedly follow after the LORD, why I was not able to go to the next level of faithfulness in our relationship. The problem was staring me right in the eyes. I had not completely devoted the possessions of my pre-resurrected life to destruction. I left something alive that could pull my heart from the LORD. Well, the Xbox is gone!
Maybe you are longing to go deeper in your relationship with our heavenly Father but something is holding you back. Let me ask, have you devoted to destruction the things that could creep up and create a bigger separation between you and God?
Jesus did say,”If your eye cause you to sin, tear it out!”(Mark 9:47)
Oh Abba, Father, I have not devoted to destruction the things that I should have and now I am asking for your strength, your power and your fortitude to cut these things down. LORD I wish to draw closer to you help me to make that possible. In Jesus name, amen.