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. Numbers 33:55
When a person begins to plant a garden in a new location, he must first remove all of the weeds that are currently in its place. If the weeds are not removed before the planting, the weeds will grow up and overtake the plants, causing a lot of problems and limited growth. The weeds will fight for control.
God told the Israelites that when they go into the promised land, they must drive out the inhabitants of the land, but if they do not, then those left will cause problems for them.
Although most people will not be physically moving when they become believers, every one of them will be moving in a spiritual sense. Their move is one from a sinful state of living, into one of living for God in holiness and righteousness.
The life of one not serving God is filled with sin–sinful thoughts, actions, beliefs and friends. At the moment of becoming a believer, one must be willing to get rid of the old ways, otherwise like the inhabitants of the land for the Israelites, those ways will become thorns and barbs in the life of the believer.
Old sinful things will draw a person back away from God. They will pull a person into sinful ways, causing a backsliding.
Only with complete removal will a person be able to move forward with God without a thorn in the side holding him back. Holding onto God and His word and being filled and led by the Holy Spirit will give the believer strength to overcome the enemy and sin in his life.
As a believer, you are on a journey in a new land. There are inhabitants in your life that you must be willing to drive out.
These inhabitants are the old sinful ways or habits, sinful connections, sinful beliefs and anything else that pulls you away from God. Allow God, with His Holy Spirit, to give you strength to drive out the past and dead to give you a new life in the new land you are now living in.
Anything that you do not drive out will become a thorn in your side and cause many problems in following God.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that God will reveal anything in your life that is holding you back from serving Him with your whole life; that God will give you strength to cast out old sinful ways; and that you will live the abundant life Jesus has brought you in to.