Complete Destruction

Journal Entry // May 9, 2022

and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.

Deuteronomy 7:2 ESV

This charge to the Israelites as they were about to enter the promised land is a good reminder of my daily struggle and battle with sin dwelling in my heart. I don’t think that I take the call to personal holiness as a priority at times. Sure, I know this is absolutely true in the life of a believer. We should all be moving forward with personal holiness and seeking to fight the entanglement of sin in our life, but I often feel like it is a no-win situation. I come into the battle with particular sins with an attitude that I am going to fail. And sure enough I do fail. I fail each and every time because I am fully trusting in my own strength and ability to fight this battle with sin.

God has given them over to me… It is not my strength that wins the day. It is solely based on the perfect work of Christ upon the cross. Jesus has already defeated sin in my life when he nailed all of it to the cross, despising its shame. He took all of my sin. All of it. He has given it over to me. He has given me a toothless enemy and I must play my part in their defeat as well..

Complete destruction… This is my failure. I have s tremendous struggle putting the sin in my heart to complete and utter destruction. I fight and battle with it and I seek to defeat it, but I typically leave a remnant of sin still alive and breathing. A remnant of sin that I make a covenant with. I am unwilling to completely wipe out certain sin from my heart. I can feel that truth lingering just below the surface. There is a part of me that fears to completely destroy that sin that has always been with me.

Why is this true? I think the biggest reason is that I enjoy the fleeting pleasure of particular sins in my life and I am unwilling to completely devote them to destruction. It feels so wrong to write that, but I know it is true. I know the truth of that in my heart. I have a warped understanding of joy. My warped understanding believes that the fleeting pleasure of sin in my heart is not harmful. That it is just a tiny sin. A tiny momentary thing that I am the master of. This is the lie I tell myself. This is the lie that I believe. This is the lie that becomes a truth for me.

God is here calling me to eradicate the enemy that invades my heart. God is calling me to completely destroy every hint of sin in my heart. These false pleasures are hindering me from enjoying the true joy of faith in Jesus. Jesus is calling me to obedience. To abide in his love. To lay aside those lingering burdens and sins. To take upon myself his yoke of obedience. It is in obedience to Christ that true joy resides and I have full access to this joy. Jesus tells me that he will fill my heart with joy. His joy. This is what I want. This is what I need. This is my calling to completely destroy even the hint of sin in my heart and let joy fill every crevice within. Then I can rest content in the presence of Christ.

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