I have a new party trick.
Give me any time of day plus a day of the week, and I’ll tell you what I’m usually doing at that time. 5:13 AM on a Tuesday morning? Working out. 6:05 PM on a Friday? Reading. 3:12 PM on a Wednesday afternoon? Probably on TikTok.
Is that weird? Yes, that’s weird. But I only like to schedule my days because I have so many crazy ideas and dreams and goals. Starting a brand new schedule, a new plan for getting there, makes me feel excited, like it’s in reach.
It’s kind of where the Israelites are at in Deuteronomy 7. They’re still listening to Moses’ sermon, of course, but he’s talking about their brand new life in the Promised Land. Maybe they were feeling excited. The crazy dream, the beautiful promise, given them by God, was finally in reach.
And by “in reach” I mean on the other side of some really hard work. The Israelites were about to fight for their land, specifically to “drive out” the other nations living there.
How are you going to promise somebody something and then make them work for it? What was really going on here?
There are three possible reasons for why you might ask someone to do some work for you: you’re lazy, you can’t do it yourself, or you think it might do them some good.
God isn’t lazy, and there’s nothing He can’t do, so when God asked the Israelites to drive out the other nations before them, it must have been for their own good.
It’s counter-intuitive, because how can murder be for anyone’s good? But it wasn’t murder for the sake of murder.
It was punishment for the kind of wickedness that would inspire petitions and protests today, just like the racism and inequality we’re fighting against.
It was the consequences of sinful actions, long delayed by the mercy of a God who used the fame of His Israelites to urge the surrounding nations to give up their false gods and evil ways a long time ago.
But, most of all, it would be an exercise in faith. The Israelites, who were not warriors, or wealthy, or even all that strong, could not do this on their own.
And that’s exactly why God asked them to anyway. He wanted them to lean on Him. He wanted them to learn from Him. He wanted them to tell the world about Him.
What’s your job?
What work stands between you and the promises God made you?
Everyone has an answer, because everyone has something, some path, some adventure, some race that God wants them to begin.
And maybe like the Israelites you’re feeling excited. Breathless. Maybe you experienced a spiritual high or you’re fresh off of a new decision, a new commitment.
But you’re realizing that you have to drive out the nations occupying your land. You have to drive out the sins, the toxic people, the bad habits, the lies from the devil, the ideas that seem right to you but not to God.
And it’s going to require faith.
It sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but it’s going to be so worth it. Like God promised the Israelites, if we start this work with Him, then we will be blessed (verses 12-15). God will take care of us, mentally, emotionally, physically. In fact, victory is guaranteed.
Are we ready?
“I know the plans I have for you, and nothing is impossible for Me.”
Or are we afraid?
We’re all keenly, constantly aware of how imperfect we are. Of how good we are at failing. Of how bad we are at consistency. Of how easy it is for us to forget God. Of how little we know about the future.
But forget all of that. All of those things literally don’t matter. Because “the Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more” powerful than other people or more intelligent or more artsy or more good or more introspective or more friendly or more successful (verse 7).
“But it was because the Lord loved you” (verse 8). Jesus loves us. That’s why He calls us out of sin to a new life with Him. That’s why He calls us from old jobs to a new career led by Him. That’s why He calls us from this damp, dark world to the clean, glorious forever He has waiting in heaven.
“You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?’ But do not be afraid of them.” (verses 17-18)
Remember who God is. Remember how God loves. Remember what God has done.
The God who conquered death for you will work miracles in you.
“God is great and awesome.” (verse 21)
And He’s on our side. Let’s get to work.
What do you think? Do you believe you will drive out the “nations” from your land? Then share this!