Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
If it would not have been okay for the Israelites to keep just one little god and carry it around in their pocket, why do we sometimes think it’s okay to carry around just one little sin, one bad habit, one area where we continue to be disobedient? Why do we condemn the so-called big sins of the world around us but then think it’s okay to adopt a few of the smaller ones? Have we left any of our idols unbroken? But we ourselves are weak and prone to sin, just as the nation of Israel was. They promised to be obedient and surely intended to be, but when it came right down to it, they just couldn’t follow perfectly everything God had told them to do.
But where we have failed, there is one who can never fail. Where our efforts could only be incomplete or temporary or insufficient, there is one who is all-sufficient in and of Himself. So though we may try and fail to make a clean sweep of the sin in our lives, Jesus, the Overcomer, can come and cleanse us wholly and completely. His blood can wash away the most set-in stains. He can give us strength for those idols we can’t break down on our own. He can enable us to turn away from those golden statues we’re so enamored by. And when we are looking solely to Him instead of those pathetic counterfeit things we seek in our lives, we will be much more fulfilled.
Yes, we should strive for purity and seek righteousness in our lives. We need to forsake sin and repent of those evil things we notice creeping into our hearts and lives. But let’s not try to do it alone. Let’s rely on the finished work of Christ and the power that He has. Let’s ask Him to reveal the specific things we need to deal with and then follow His specific instructions for ridding them from our lives. And let’s not do it half-heartedly or with the wrong heart, but let’s do it utterly and thoroughly for His sake because we love Him so much.
There are things all around us that can catch our eyes and then capture our minds and capture our hearts. There are temptations to sin in our paths. There is the flesh within us with all of its selfish desires. But we can take some proactive steps to lessen the chance that we will succumb to those temptations. We can get rid of things before they become a problem. But then we can trust Jesus with those things we can’t handle on our own.