March 22 - Our Covert Enemy
The Lord gave the Israelites very clear instructions on how to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. They were to drive out all the inhabitants there and destroy all their figured stones, metal images, demolish their high places (for Baal worship) before they took possession of the land and settled in there. But if they did not do a thorough job of cleansing the land, the remaining original inhabitants would become barbs in their eyes and thorns in their sides. They would then not be able to see clearly and their movements would be hindered.
These people would not only give them trouble, the Lord also would do to the Israelites as He had thought to do to the original inhabitants. In other words, the new inhabitants would be receiving the same judgments as the original inhabitants of Canaan. Their idolatry would affect the newcomers in that the newcomers were to share in their punishments. This would happen if the Israelites did an incomplete job in cleansing of the land.
Incomplete obedience is the same as disobedience. 90% or 95% obedience equals to 100% disobedience. Some proposed that Christians should have a balanced life, not going all the way as to become extreme. What the Lord said was that the 5% or 10% disobedience would allow the enemy to work covertly in our lives. They will be like barbs in our eyes and thorns in our sides, hurting us even though they are small and insignificant. Some young people think that it is all right to marry out of the faith if the prospective spouse is open to Christianity even though they are not embracing Christ at the time. Some mature believers think that it is okay to go for energy or alternative healing as long as the practitioner is a Christian.
Most of our way of practicing our faith is to have our conscience pacified by some degree of obedience but with some parts left to ourselves to pick and choose. Not going all the way is actually a step backwards. It is all or nothing, it is not Christ with something else. We must believe that Christ is all-sufficient for our needs. If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.
If you continue to read the subsequent history of Israel, you will see how these covert enemies work in destroying the whole generation of Israelites. The incomplete obedience in one generation caused the whole next generation to not follow the Lord but to go after the Baals and Ashtoreths. They forsook the altar of Jehovah for the high places, the sacrificed their children to the devil.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any incomplete obedience in your life. Confess them and go all the way. Remember, partial obedience is disobedience.
Ps 42:1-5 Num 33:40-35:34 Luke 5:12-28 Prov 11:23