Failure To Drive
But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah,
so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.
Go Deep: What is it for you—your “Geshur”? What are the “Maacahs” still squatting in your Promised Land—sinful influences that are keeping you from living in the security and satisfaction of God’s fullness?
Perhaps there is a chronic temptation putting distance between you and God’s best—an ungodly friend with whom you always seem to descend into inappropriate language and course joking; an irresistible form of entertainment that leaves unwholesome images in your mind; a closet full of needless stuff because you just can’t say “no” to anything with the letters S-A-L-E on it; activities which seduce you to slide into behaviors you would never do if Jesus were with you.
The book of Joshua reminds us that God has a Promised Land of success and happiness for every believer, but that place of promise has to be procured through diligent faith and obedient effort. Just like the Israelites of old, there are enemies standing in your way, and they have to be evicted from your land. For sure, God will help—wants to help. He wants you in the Promised Land so much that he has actually promised to go before you and secure the way. (Joshua 1:3) But the fulfillment of the God’s promise requires your partnership.
Unfortunately for the Israelites, they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. In too many instances, they failed to drive out the ungodly nations from the land (Joshua 13:13,15:63,16:10, 17:12), thus settling for a peaceful coexistence with these Canaanite peace-robbers. The result of this détente was that for generations to follow, these nations continued to distract Israel from their holy call. As long as they were there, the distance between Israel and their place of promise was never fully closed.
The lesson for us from Joshua is clear: The only thing that can keep us from the release of God’s favor are these foreign enemies of the Christian life. God wants to grant you success, achievement, satisfaction and peace, and the only thing standing in the way are the things that will create distance between you and the God who loves you. Maybe there was a time you had overcome them, but they’ve returned. Perhaps you’ve never really gained victory over them, and there have been recurring spiritual irritations to you over the years. It might be that you’ve even grown accustomed to having them as your neighbors
They are not good neighbors; they are enemies of promise! Today is a great day to re-declare war on those enemies! Serve notice on them. Go after them ruthlessly and relentlessly until they’ve been driven from your life. Enlist the help of some fellow strugglers if you need to, and for sure, ask God for his help.
I have a feeling—no, I’m certain actually—that God himself will fight for you if you will step up to the plate and take another swing at the things that are keeping you from his best.
Just Saying… On January 1, 1780, the American Methodist circuit rider (and later bishop) Francis Asbury wrote this prayerful entry in his journal: “My God, keep me through the water and fire, and let me rather die than live to sin against thee!” What would happen if you adopted that mindset toward your familiar sin? Simply this: Sin wouldn’t stand a chance!