A Pastor's Blog

Pay Close Attention

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – Hittites, Gergashites, Amorities, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you – and when the Lord you God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.”

Moses had led the people of Israel through the desert for 40 years and was now preparing them to cross the Jordan River into the promised land of Canaan. Moses said as the people of Israel entered the promised land of Canaan, there would be many enemies which had to be removed; which had to be totally destroyed. These ‘Ites” not only posted a serious physical threat to the people of Israel, but more importantly they posed a very serious spiritual threat to their survival. If these ‘Ites’ would be left to run amok among the people of Israel, they would eventually entice them to turn away from God and worship other gods.

No where in the Scriptures will you ever find the Lord speaking just to hear Himself speak; He is always speaking words of wisdom; words of instruction for us to follow and it would do us well to ‘pay close attention’ to whatever the Lord may be saying to us.

How many times, growing up as a young boy, did my parents try to speak words wisdom; words of wise instruction, to me only to find myself totally ignoring what they were trying to tell me. You see, I felt I was much wiser than my parents and much smarter than the were. You see I felt my parents were old-fashioned and had lost contact with how the world was going now; (at least that is what I thought.) As I have now grown older it is amazing how smart, how wise I am discovering that my parents actually were!!! Proverbs 1:8-9Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adore your neck.” Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”

The people of Israel were about to enter the promised land of Canaan and take possession of it, and the Lord speaking through His servant Moses, was giving the Israelites some very important and wise instruction; ‘totally destroy the ‘Ites’, make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.’ This wasn’t a confusing command; one that was too difficult to understand The Lord made it very clear these ‘Ites’ were stronger than they would ever be and if they failed to destroy them completely, they would eventually entice them to turn away from the Lord and worship others gods; which would be ever so detrimental to their spiritual survival in the promised land. Sadly we find in Jeremiah 7:24 “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead; they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forwardHow many times in our walk with the Lord, have we felt that it seemed we were moving backwards instead of forward and we became very frustrated, yet we failed to inquire of the Lord if this was because of something we did or failed to do.

I truly believe the Lord has promised land’ moments strategically placed in our lifetime where He so wants to bless us but there are also many ‘Ites’ in these promised land moments that He allows to remain so we will forever see our constant need of the Lord and His strength no matter where we are in life. If we fail to completely destroy these ‘Ites’ like our addictions, our fears, our fleshly desires, our temptation to be always right, our critical spirits, just to name a few, eventually they will consume or better yet, possess us and cause us to become distracted to the whatever the Lord may want to do through us.

Just like the word of wisdom Lord was trying to speak Israelites as they were about to enter the promised land of Canaan, I believe the Lord also desires to instruct us as to what we are to do with the ‘Ites’ in our life and if we fail to pay close attention to the Lord’s wise counsel and obey His commands, we will surely lose out on the blessing that is greater than any promised land moment we may have in our lifetime and that is hearing those beautiful words from our Lord, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” 

Destroy those ‘Ites‘ in your life my friend that distract you from the Lord and hinder your walk with the Lord. Draw close to the Lord and His word and be determined to posses the land the Lord has before you, and continue to pay close attention to the wisdom and counsel of the Lord as you stay in your promised land!!


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