Wednesday, March 17

Ruthless

Scripture: Numbers 33-34, Matthew 17

Numbers 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.

Observation

The Israelites were to ruthlessly drive out the Canaanites from the Promised Land.  The reason? Allowing them to stay would “give you trouble.”  They “will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides.”  More specifically, they would lead the Israelites into idolatry, worshiping their false gods and with all their detestable practices, including sacrificing children and cult prostitution.  Trouble.

Application

I’m going to spiritualize this for personal application.  There are things that we cannot allow in our lives or they will give us trouble.  We must be ruthless in eliminating them. 

Jesus addresses this in Matthew 5:29-30 when he says if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off.  He wasn’t advocating bodily mutilation!  He was speaking metaphorically about things that lead us astray or cause us to sin.  Cut them off.  Drive them out.  Some examples:

I have friends who cannot drink alcohol…at all.  If they start, they can’t stop, and disaster follows.  They can’t allow it in their lives.

Pornography is like this—it too is addictive and leads to disaster, not to mention the harm it does to people to make it.  You can’t allow it in.

For others, it might be a person who leads them astray.  Or a shopping addiction.  Or a pattern of wrong thinking.  Or an eating issue.  Or hoarding.  Or a video game.  The list goes on and on.

When you identify something that is trouble for you, a barb in your eyes and a thorn in your side, you have a choice.  Drive it out and be free.  Or live with it and have trouble.  

What causes you trouble and needs to be driven out?  Take steps today to address that.

Prayer: Lord, show me what trips me up, and help me be ruthless in ridding myself of that.