Little By Little

Have you ever considered that God might be delivering you from sin "little by little"? Deuteronomy 7:21-23 says it this way...

"No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the Lord your God is among you, and He is a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you. But the Lord your God will hand them over to you."

This is an encouraging Scripture in that we can expect our enemies to be destroyed in God's time and by His power, but there is a very distinct purpose in the gradual deliverance rather than a sudden and total possession of the entire land.

Those wild animals, might they be those sinful desires within us that must be put to death and kept out of the land by the power of God working in us? And so, I do not need to despair when I see needs and problems in myself, for I hope and trust in the Lord my God for deliverance as I obey His Word.

There is matchless power, direction, and courage to be found in the Word of the Lord.

The latter portion of Galatians 5 shows the difference between the sinful nature and the Holy Spirit-controlled nature. There I can get a pretty good idea where I am at, whether in sin or in Christ.

"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves...these two forces are constantly fighting each other, so that you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have said before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in your lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another."

The hope, the actual fact, in all this is that He is ever faithful to deliver me "little by little" if I put my faith in Him, rest in His love, and obey His commands.

This land I live in, it is truly the Promised Land! The land of promises, a place where my Lord is going before me and driving out the evil "nations" so that I can live in this "good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking." (Deuteronomy 8:7-9) 

This Promised Land is the glorious country where the God of all gods reigns supreme. Is this true in my life? That is the question I must ask myself daily. Have I gradually turned back to the wilderness of sin, fear, and seeking my own pleasures, or am I making the choice to ever move forward into the blessed land of God's promises? 

As a testimony within our own family, I know this Word of God is real, it works, and when we persevere in our quest for deliverance, He will do marvelous works to triumph over the enemy! For a number of weeks there has been a particular darkness, an "evil nation" that brought bondage, warring against us. It is so easy to lose heart and become despondent. 

But little by little, step by step, we kept fighting, seeking, trusting. Just this very morning, the Lord our God has given us the victory and even brought two of us to the exact same verses as a confirmation! How excellent is God's timing and power to overcome "the sinful nature, the evil nations" and whatever it is that seeks to destroy us.

I take great courage in knowing God is faithfully changing us into the likeness of Jesus, little by little!