Good to Great

4 03 2006

Good to Great

Numbers 33:50-56 (NIV) 50On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the LORD said to Moses, 51″Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, 52drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. 53Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.

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. 56And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’ “

Sometimes we miss the signs in the Old Testament, but they are clearly there.  Here the Israelites are told to eliminate their enemies – drive them out – don’t leave any of them around.  Destroy their idols and demolish their high places.  

Isn’t this the same thing He tells us when we come to Him and decide to live in His Kingdom?  Of course it is.  He says, “Gary, get rid of the idols, get rid of anything that causes you to sin.  Demolish your idols and destroy anything that is lifted up in your life.”

Now, I’m a little slow.  I think I can hang onto things and they won’t affect me.  A few nostalgic items here and there – a couple of hidden sins – maybe even a vice or two.  How will that affect me?

Well, that’s when God goes on to explain – that whatever you don’t remove will become “barbs in your eyes and thorns in your side.”  He says they will give you trouble where you live and he will do to me what he planned to do to them.

Yikes.  In retrospect, I can see where this is so true.  Whenever I’ve hung onto a treasure that was outside of God’s will – it has come back to haunt me.  It has plagued me and caused mucho grief!  Whether is was a vice, a memory from the past, or simply a distraction to my forward progress – it has hurt me.  If I hadn’t gotten rid of it, I would eventually have lost my salvation – that’s where my destruction would lie.

It seems really harsh sometimes to just get rid of things.  It is hard to throw things out – especially monetarily valuable things.  I once through out hundreds of CDs, LPs, and cassettes.  Not only were those worth a lot of money – they had a lot of sentimental value in my life.

Eliminating so-called “good things” is even harder.  Getting rid of the TV to make room for other things – or to avoid the wasteland of TV – that is hard.  Leaving friends because they are a bad influence is hard.
But the bottom line is that Jesus asks us to move into a life of abundance – a life filled with “milk and honey.”  And the only way we can do that is if we get rid of the harmful things in our lives – sometimes the harmful things are good, but they are not GREAT.

The good is often the enemy of the great.

Father God – teach me how to discern the good vs. the great – better yet.  Teach me how to surrender to your wisdom and to obey.  I don’t want to be held back by my fear, my ignorance, or my stupidity.

Lead on Lord!





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