by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Now we see why so many wrestle so hard with the sins of the past.
It’s because they never really drive them out completely.
There is always some link to the past left behind.
Perhaps it’s a favorite movie that we know is wrong but we like it too much to trash it.
It’s trash anyway – so trash it!
Perhaps it’s a favorite CD or music album that glorifies sin and we don’t want to throw it away.
You can either throw it away or it will ever be a draw on your flesh to drag you back down into sin.
Perhaps it is your porn magazines, or your last cigarette, or that last bit of dipping snuff that you just can’t seem to throw out!
Throw it out or it will ever be a reminder and a draw to bring you back into partaking of it!
You can’t play with sinful things and expect them not to have an impact on your life.
It’s not surprising that so many of God’s people fall away into sin when they 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 it is allowed to linger near us all the time?
Notice that God says that he will not drive out those sins from your life that you allow to hang around!
He will not overstep your will to sin.
If you want to live with one foot in the world and the other in the church God will let you do just that, but you will never experience real freedom in Christ or real victory over sin.
God says that if you don’t get rid of every “idol”, everything that gets between us and our God that those things which we allow to remain in our lives will be like thorns.
Every time you turn back to them, they are going to stick you!
Every time you make a move toward God they are going to scratch and poke you again and again until you finally stop moving.
Not only that but every time you partake of them you are going to be reminded by the Holy Spirit that you are walking in disobedience.
The life of a half-hearted, half committed and worldly-minded Christian has to be the most miserable life that anyone can live.
You are experiencing the worst of both worlds.
On the sinful side, you can’t enjoy your sin because God’s Spirit keeps you under conviction and you feel terrible because you are failing so badly.
On the side of Righteousness, you never feel “saved” because you are living in defeat.
You continually bring up that old dead man, your old nature, out of his grave and allow him to hang out with you.
No wonder the attitude and spirit of so many church folks stink so much.
If you carried a dead man around with you everywhere you went, not only would you be tired, but you wouldn’t have many friends either.
The only good news I can give you is that God doesn’t give up easily.
He will keep after you, and keep trying to gently persuade you to walk away from that old life, to get rid of all the past idols and those who serve them.
Clean out your life, your mind, your house and throw all the junk away for good.
Now I will read Judges 2:16-19, "Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."
Even though God continually attempts to reach out to us and never gives up, he will not do for us what we must do for ourselves.
We can’t forgive our own sins.
Only God can do that.
But, we can decide, and make a conscious effort to live without sin.
Will we sin?
Yes, we most probably will.
But there is a difference in making mistakes and willfully holding on to sin.
Both will condemn you to hell if they aren’t made right but those who willfully sin won’t seek forgives as quickly as those who just fall into sin from time to time.
Willfully sinful people are making a choice to live on the line between Heaven and Hell and the wind is always blowing hard toward Hell.
Few, if any, will ever fall into Heaven.
How can you fall up?
Everything falls down unless it is held up by some greater power.
If you fall, it will be down.
If you are going to rise up to meet Jesus in the air, you will need the undergirding and lifting power of the Holy Ghost to make it happen, and the Holy Ghost will not hang around when we willfully sin.
God will do everything in his power to persuade us to follow after him and live obediently, short of forcing or using coercion.
He is a perfect gentleman and only wants us to live for him by our own choice.
But there may come a time when he decides to take a “hands off” approach to those who continually live in sin and play around with the things of the world.
Listen to Judges 2:20-22, "And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not."
As you can see, God finally decided to let Israel have its way.
If they wanted to allow the idols and their enemies to hang around then he would let them have it their way.
God says that he was going to “prove them”.
God is going to prove us too!
He will let us go our merry way and allow us to prove to ourselves that we can’t live half in and half out of his ways of righteousness.
He will let us prove to ourselves that we can’t serve both God and the Devil at the same time.
He will prove to us that living for God is far more enjoyable if we drive out the sin from our lives completely.
He will prove to us that he is a God of love, mercy, grace, and gentleness by allowing us to do what we want and then just watch to see if we will call on him again.
Do you want to live victoriously in Christ? Are you tired of the roller coaster ride of feeling saved one day and lost the next?
Are you ready for your walk with the Lord to be steady and overcoming?
Then drive out all of the idols.
Drive out everything that reminds you of your past life.
Drive out every little weight that holds you back.
Either drive them out or they will drive you.
If you let them stay, then notice what God said about Israel.
He said that he wouldn’t drive their enemies out for them.
God’s original promise still holds true.
If we will get rid of all the idols and things in our lives that are not pleasing to him, then he will help us to defeat them and get rid of them completely.
But God also says that if we allow them to hang around, that he will not help us get rid of them but will allow them to remain with us to be a constant reminder of our disobedience and to force us to make daily choices on whether we will serve him or not.
Aren’t you tired of making a daily choice to serve the Lord?
It’s time to make a one time, quality decision to serve him.
It time to sell out, not to hold out!
You can either drive out the sin from your life, or it will drive you for the rest of your life, and then drive you right into the pits of hell itself.
Now is the time to make your choice!
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