I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
For nearly two decades, I’ve been admiring a house in my town. I’ve been struck by the beautiful facade and the well-manicured lawn. Even though I’ve never seen the interior, I always imagined it to be spectacular...until recently, when a client purchasing the house brought an inspection report to my office. The list of defects was three pages long. Pictures revealed extensive structural damage, primarily because of termites. This beautiful house was severely affected because the enemy attacking it wasn’t destroyed.
God promised Joshua that He would deliver Jericho into Israel’s hands. When Joshua was instructing his army how to fight, he gave a clear command that all of the silver, gold, bronze and iron were to go into the Lord’s treasury. Israel was not to keep any portion of the “devoted things”, no matter how small. Achan did not obey the command, and the Lord became angry. He ordered Joshua to find the offender and destroy him. Achan had been warned, yet he still invited destruction upon his household. His family was forced from camp and stoned to death.
At times, I’ve not only disregarded God’s warnings (or the warnings of Godly people), but I’ve practically given Satan an engraved invitation to destroy me. Thankfully, he can’t respond to the invitation unless My Father gives him a permission slip. Praise the Lord, He has saved me from myself too many times to count! He is faithful to His Word:
'I am with you and will save you’, declares the Lord… ‘I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’
Although He has not allowed me to be destroyed, I have been disciplined as a result of my own choices.
As believers in Christ, we can be assured that He will not leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5). However, we will not be able to enjoy the fullness of His presence unless we start implementing some serious damage control. Could an abusive marriage or unhealthy friendship be leading us down the path of destruction? What sins are eating away at the foundation of our relationships with our spouses, children, and friends, not to mention our relationship with Jesus
Is it pride?
Lack of self-control?
Dressing in our finest and putting on our mask of Christianity may fool those around us, but God knows what’s eating away at our hearts. He wants our lives to be as strong on the inside as they look from the outside.
Beloved, we have to put on the armor of God and take up our sword (Eph. 6:13-18). It’s time to stand up and destroy whatever among us is devoted to destruction. Let’s not settle for hurting our enemy...let’s totally obliterate him! Chances are, we will struggle with a painful demolition process. But, like Nehemiah, we will find our God to be a faithful rebuilder.
*Originally posted July 2006