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Sometimes Slaves

Sometimes Slaves

27 March 2009

Scripture:

The tribe of Naphtali also failed to drive out the residents of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath. Instead, the Canaanites dominated the land where they lived. Nevertheless, the people of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath were sometimes forced to work as slaves for the people of Naphtali. (Judges 1:33 NLT)

Observation and Application:

Some of the tribes failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land and instead lived among them. Sometimes the Israelites prevailed for a season and put the Canaanites to work for them. Sometimes the pagans prevailed and the Israelites served them.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way! The Israelites were supposed to stay completely faithful to God and he was going to give them complete victory.

If I allow my heart to be divided, If I just settle for allowing my spirit to live among the selfish desires and mixed motives of my old nature – if I don’t grieve over the sinfulness in me, repent, confess, and forsake my sin – sometimes my new nature will have the upper hand and sometimes the flesh will get the upper hand.

It’s obviously bad when addictive behavior enslaves a Christ-follower to alcohol or drugs, or when passion becomes lust and puts a brother or sister in bondage to sexual sin. But how easily we find ways to excuse pride and ego that leads to popularity and prominence, or drivenness and ambition to succeed at the cost of relationships and integrity.

We can, for a season, make some of our old nature characteristics work for us, but they’ll catch us off guard and rise up against us sooner or later. We need some help down here, Father!

Prayer:

Father, I know there are areas of my life where I’ve merely settled for living among the Canaanites of my old nature. I resolve to keep my heart pure and drive out the enemies of my soul. I can’t do it without your power and your encouragement. Be the victorious Captain of my soul’s battles! Amen.

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