Drive Out Sin or It Will Drive You Part 1

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Judges 2:1-2:22

One of the greatest problems that I see in the church is that fact that too many people follow the same path that Israel followed when they first entered into the Promised Land.
They were quick to forget the great miracles of deliverance that God had given them and they were quick to pick up the habits of those who occupied the land.

One of the most frequent complaints by Christians is the hard time that they are having in serving the Lord.
A pastor was taking care of some business at one of the local schools when a young man who attends a church nearby came to him with a common dilemma.
These are his words: “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.”
You know what, he was right.

It is very hard to change.
In fact, unless you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb and walking in obedience to God’s Word, you can’t change.
You don’t have the power to change.
No matter how much willpower you may have; no matter how much you attempt to break old habits that keep dragging you down; no matter what you do to try to erase those old memories and past sins; you don’t have the power to do so!
If you had that power then Jesus would not have had to go to the cross and die for those sins.
That young man was right!
He could not change his own heart.
He could erase the guilt that he felt.
But he could not erase from his memory all the things that he had done that were part of his nature to do.
The worst part of this situation with this young man is that I know that he attends a Bible believing church and I know that the Word of God is preached to him.

Now you would think that attending a church where the Word of God is preached would help us to overcome sin in our lives and to remain faithful to the House of God and obedient to God’s Word, but attending any church, won’t make any difference in whether you live a victorious life in Christ or not.
It’s not the church; it’s not the preaching; it’s not being around other Christians that will make you overcomers.
The only thing that church can do, or I can do, or other brothers and sisters in the Lord can do, is to encourage you, strengthen you, pray for you and watch over you.
We have no power to deliver.

If you really want victory in your life; if you really want to live above sin; if you really want to be a consistent Christian with a consistent lifestyle that gives glory to God; if you really want to live the way that God intends for you to live; then your only answer is complete abandonment from the things of this world that continually drag you down.
You can’t play around with the things of this world and live in victory.
It just doesn’t work.
Israel tried to do that same thing and all they did was fail miserably and bring God’s wrath down upon their heads.
Yes God had delivered them from Egypt.
God had brought them through the wilderness, and they had crossed over the River Jordan.

The old nation of rebellious and faithless Jews was supposed to have been left behind in the wilderness and God brought a new generation across the Jordan River.
Now they were to walk according to the Word of the Lord that had been given to Moses and then passed on to Joshua.
God had told them to drive out every inhabitant of the Promised Land.
He had said that if they would cleanse the land of every idol and every idolater, if they would cut down the groves and altars that were built to honor those idols, and if they would keep themselves pure and obedient to his commandments, that God would help them to be victorious and give them their land just as he had promised to Abraham so many years before.
God’s promise had not failed.

He had brought them through in his own time and in his own way so that Israel, and the whole world, could only say that it was God’s miracle-working power that had done it.
The power of man, the arm of the flesh, had no part in God’s deliverance.
But did Israel listen to what God had to say?
No, they didn’t!
They only heard the part that they wanted to hear!
They only heard the part that sounded good to their ears and satisfied their own desires!
All they heard was that God would give them their Promised Land.
They never heard the part about driving out the inhabitants.
At least, if they did hear, they didn’t obey what God had said because they not only let the idolaters stay in the land, they actually joined them in their worship of idols.
In the Book of Judges, Chapter 2, we read the story of what happened to Israel because they didn’t listen to God.
Let’s examine this story for a few minutes and see if we can learn from Israel’s mistakes before those same mistakes become a curse to us also.

I will begin by reading Judges 2:1-3: "And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you."
Here in these verses, we see God’s commands to the Jews.
Don’t make any agreements with you enemies.
Throw them out – 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 you and me today.
God delivers us from sin, and then He lifts us out of the miry clay of sin.
He brings us out from under the bondage of Satan’s power over us and sets our feet on the Rock, and then He begins to lead us gently on toward our eternal home.
Moses did not drive Israel from behind with a giant cattle prod.
He didn’t take out a whip and force them to move on.
He just started walking toward Canaan and Israel fell in behind him.

Even the Pillar of Fire by night that gave light to their path and the Pillar of Clouds that would be visible in even the brightest sunlight, didn’t surround them and force them to go where it went by pushing them within its walls like they were in the middle of a giant tornado where it was calm and fire was everywhere.
The Pillar of Fire and of Clouds went on before them, gently leading the way.
They could follow or they could stop or go back.
It was their choice to follow.
God will not push you, prod you, whip you, or force you to follow him anymore that he did the Children of Israel.
His Word is given to light our path.

His commandments are written down so that we can hide them in our hearts and meditate upon them continually, and the Holy Spirit goes before us to lead the way and 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 doesn’t push.
He wants obedient servants, willing to follow him.
He doesn’t want a bunch of slaves whose only thoughts are to escape from his presence!

God wants us to drive out everything from our lives that is not holy, not right, not sanctified, and that reminds us of our rebellious past or our life of sin.
That means old friends and acquaintances.
That means we just don’t go to the same places we used to go to.
That means that we dump everything out of our homes that might tend to drag us down and make us compromise our faith in Christ.
That means that we quit doing what we did when we lived in sin!


Now I will read Judges 2:11-14, "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies."

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