David Kyle Foster: Why We Should Ruthlessly Pursue Holiness

Adapted from his Sexual Healing Reference Edition

The Enemy is Larger & Stronger Than We Are

God is Larger & Stronger Still

In Deuteronomy 7, as they enter the Promised Land, God tells the Israelites that He will drive out “seven nations that are larger and stronger.” He promises to overthrow those nations provided the Israelites defeat them, revealing the partnership that God calls us to: our obedience, dependence and faith coupled with His divine power.

God cautions the Israelites to make no treaty with the enemies in the land, to destroy them totally, and to show them no mercy.

You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods for that will be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16)

The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once……but the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:22-23)

Interestingly, His pledge in Deuteronomy is reminiscent of His promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13 – that He will not allow temptations into our lives that we cannot withstand. Again we see the partnership between our concentrated pursuit of holiness and the release of His power to fight the battle for us (Jude 24; 1 Peter 1:5; Psalm 37:23; 55:22).

Things Gone Wrong

In Joshua 7:11-12, the Bible describes what happened to the Israelites when they failed to obey God’s commands: He stopped defeating their enemies for them.

As time went on, they intermarried with the inhabitants of the land and began to follow their gods – the very thing that God had been trying to avoid.

Evidently, the Israelites saw themselves as wiser and more merciful than God and entitled to the spoils of war that had been forbidden them.

A New Promised Land

All of this, I believe, was a prefigurement of the battle with sin that we experience today.

• The Promised Land that we enter is the Kingdom of God – a kingdom that is to be accessed by a ruthless and unrelenting faith! (Luke 11:20; 12:32; 17:21)

• The battlefield in our promised land is the mind, which in Hebrew thought includes the heart (Romans 12:1-2).

• The enemies are the strongholds of idolatry that reside there – lust, greed, hatred, etc. (Matthew 15:19; Luke 12:34)

Parallel to the Old Testament call to battle, we must be just as ruthless in coming against the enemies in our battlefield as the Israelites were in their theater of war. If we do not, we will suffer the same fate as they did. If we do not deal a ruthless deathblow, our enemies will rise again and lead us back into idolatry.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, David Kyle Foster