I really wanted to share something I read in the Bible today.
It’s in Numbers 33:55-56.
Beforehand, in the same chapter, God tells the Israelites that were brought out of Egypt by Moses to drive out all of the inhabitants in Canaan. He tells them to finally take hold of the land that He promised them. To REJOICE! They have FINALLY ARRIVED! But then, they realize it’s not so simple, there are Canaanites still inhabiting Canaan and then God drops a real bomb on them! He tells them to drive out the inhabitants and to leave no survivors.
Can you imagine being them and being kind of dumbfounded like, “oh, yeah we’ll drive ’em out God!”
It’s often easier said than done. And it’s often a lot more intricate and hard to cope with, when God gives you a command that you weren’t expecting.
“ ‘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. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’ ”
We, as followers of Christ, are not called to destruct entire cities in order to take hold of our promised land (here and now), but the true and inspiring message I took away from Numbers was the truth behind removing toxic, bad people from your life.
Like the Israelite’s, God wants you to remove the bad, take it away and nic it out of your life. God commanded the Israelite’s to drive out the inhabitants from Canaan or they would become barbs in their eyes and thorns in their sides, and would lead them to trouble.
And then he leaves them with, if you don’t listen to my command I will do to you what you should have done to them, and you’re kind of taken aback and are like, “wow, okay God. I get it, I’m going, I know you told me to do something last month and I didn’t listen, I’m going, I’m going.”
If you’re like me, you end up thinking of the friendships that are just bringing you down and the environments you allow yourself to be around. And even though you know what God is asking of you (when you’re hiding from Him), He still flat out tells you, “remove them or they will be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides and they will be your destruction.”
Yes, God wants us to be brothers and sisters in Christ, but sometimes our sisters and brothers are the ones that are there to sabotage us, and tempt us like the evil one.
Sometimes, the evil one disguises himself in those that we love and they become barbs in our eyes and thorns in our sides. They just make life unbearable and impossible to cope with.
Often times we know what we must do in order to obey our God, and I’m sure if you’re like me, you end up frozen, scared and downright dumbfounded not knowing how to go about it.
It’s like he says, “hey V, you gotta remove this person. They’re no good for you.” And I’m just like, “okay, cool, I can do that!” But then I’m stuck with how? How am I supposed to remove someone I love and care about? How am I supposed to just be okay with that? How could you want this for me God? I thought you loved me?
AND I’M TELLING YOU AND ME THAT HE DOES LOVE US!
But often then not it’s a lot simpler than I let myself believe. Sometimes it’s a simple, conversation with someone and taking the steps to let them know you’re not okay with what they’re doing, or saying, or how they’re acting and letting them take the steps they need and giving them space.
Other times it’s having a conversation and just letting it be and maybe even walking away because they just keep hurting you.
Other times it’s more complicated and maybe it even feels earth shattering but I’m here to tell you, it’s okay.
You have a father in Heaven that’s rooting for you, loving on you, wanting the best for you. He handcrafted you personally and knows your inner most being. He is YOURS and you are HIS. I know it’s hard to listen to a command that may end something that you thought was your reason for living.
I’ve been there, I’ve felt that weird sensation of feeling like I’m dying and my life is ending. I’ve cried those same ugly tears and hugged a pillow and ate my weight in ice cream because a friendship was ending or had ended.
It down right sucks but God told the Israelite’s and He’s telling you too, it’s time to let go and listen to His command.
God has brought you so much good and so many provisions and so much joy in your life. And maybe he finally gave you that promosion you had been praying for or you finally reached your fitness goals or you’re finally graduating from college and landed a sweet job.
Maybe you feel God is finally keeping his end of the bargain from something you had been praying for. Like that exchange you made with Him is finally being fulfilled because you have been good and have been a Christian to a T.
I’m here to tell you that God doesn’t need you to be perfect or to make deals with him in order to get to where you want to go in life. But He does want the best for you. He urges you to feel the same way about yourself and to love yourself because He loves you SO MUCH. I’m here to tell you what He told me this afternoon, “listen to my command, you have not been perfect, you have not been completely obedient, you have not been all that I was hoping for and feel like you let me down, but you haven’t. You tried your best and I LOVE YOU STILL. I don’t need perfection, I just want YOU.”
He wants you, as broken as you may be, but he needs you’re obedience. He needs you to listen to His call and to love Him with all your heart and He needs you to remember that THIS IS NOT YOUR HOME.