Based on Biblical Text Judges 2:2 (KJV)
And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?”
We are a “copycat” generation. Folk do what other folk do. We in the church, just like the people in our text, seem to be quick to pick up the same old dirty habits of those who occupy the land. However, we must be reminded that if we don’t drive out sin, it will drive us.
Every day somebody mentions to me the incredibly difficult time that they are having in serving the Lord. People readily admit, “I know that I should do better. I know that I need to turn my life around. I know that I can’t keep on going the way I’m going, but it’s just so hard to change.”
Folk are absolutely right; it is very hard to change. As a matter of fact, unless you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb and are walking in obedience to God’s Word, you can’t change. We must understand that unless you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb, and you are walking in obedience to God’s Word, you don’t have the power to change.
It is not a matter of how much will power we may have. No matter how much we try to break old habits that keep dragging us down, what we do to try to erase old memories or past sins, we don’t have the power to do it. If we had that power, then Jesus would not have had to go to the cross and die for those sins.
If we really want victory in our life, to live above sin and be a consistent Christian living a lifestyle that gives glory to God, then our only answer is complete abandonment from the things of this world that continually drag us down. Israel tried to play around with the things of the world and all they did was bring God’s wrath down upon their heads. We must work to turn our back on those worldly things in our life that keep us away from God’s house and keep us from reading God’s Word. We cannot play around with the things of this world and live in victory. It just doesn’t work.
In our text, we see what happened to Israel because they didn’t listen to God. We are challenged to learn from Israel’s mistakes before those same mistakes become a curse to us also. God told the Jews not to make any agreements with their enemies. In fact God said, “I want you to throw them out.” God said all of them! “Get rid of every man, woman and child of those who inhabit the land or they will bring you into a place of judgment because they will drag you down.”
God is saying the same thing to us today. God delivers us from sin, lifts us out of the miry clay of sin, brings us out from under the bondage of Satan’s power over us and sets our feet on the Rock. Then God begins to lead us gently on toward our eternal home. God is aware of the work we are doing trying to change the way we live, but God will not push us. God knows that we are trying to get it together, trying to do what He would expect us to do, but God will not be behind us with a big stick. God will not prod us, will not whip us, or force us to follow him anymore than he did the Children of Israel.
God’s Word is given to light our path. God’s commandments are written down so that we can hide them in our hearts and meditate upon them continually. The Holy Spirit goes before us to lead the way and to teach us the ways that we should walk. But it is up to us to follow, to read, and to learn.
God only leads; he does not push. What He wants are obedient servants, those who are willing to follow him. God does not want a gang of slaves forced to live obediently whose only thoughts when no body is looking are to escape from his presence!
God wants us to drive out everything from our life that is not holy, not right, and not sanctified. His prayer for us is that we would willingly drive out everything in our lives that reminds us of our rebellious past and of our life of sin. That means that we no longer do what we did when we lived in sin!
Those of us trying to change our lives to live more godly need to ask ourselves, how much do we really love Jesus? Do we really want to make heaven our eternal home? If we truly love Jesus and intend for our eternity to be lived out in heaven, then there is a price to pay. There is a life that we are required to live. It is a life of obedience to God’s commandment for us to abandon sin. Not to unload some of it, but to get rid of all of it. We are not to allow anything to hang around that reminds us of our old life.
We must throw it all out, or it will always be a reminder and a draw to bring us back into partaking of it! We can not play with fire without being burned any more than we can play with sinful things and expect them not to have an impact on our life.
Not surprisingly, so many of us fall away into sin because we never really get rid of every desire to do the sin in the first place. How can we get rid of the desire for that sin if we keep reminders of it hanging around all the time?
God says that if we don’t get rid of every “idol” and everything that gets between us and our God, then those things which we allow to remain in our lives will be as thorns. Every time we turn back to them, they are going to stick us! Every time we make a move toward God they are going to scratch and poke us until we finally stop moving. Every time we involve ourselves in them we are going to be reminded by the Holy Spirit that we are walking in disobedience.
The good news is that God doesn’t easily give up on us. God will keep after us trying to gently persuade us to walk away from that old life, to get rid of all the old idols we have been serving and to move away from those folk who are still serving them. God will keep after us always gently persuading us to clean out our life, our mind, and our house and throw all the junk away for good.
God would have us know that He will not drive out those sins from our life that we allow to hang around! God will not overstep our will to sin. If our desire is to live with one foot in the world and the other in the church, God will let us do just that; however, we will never experience real freedom in Christ or real victory over sin.
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, March 16, 2014, is the Second Sunday in Lent.
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 am and 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
Romans 4:1-5, Romans 4:13-17
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Texts Joshua 24:15
Sermon Title As for Me and My House!