Remove the Irritants and Thorns

But if you do not
drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that
those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your
sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell
Now all these things
happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon
whom the ends of the ages have come
(1 Corinthians 10:11).
 God’s dealings with
Israel in the Old Testament are filled with truths that help us in our walk
with God today. Israel being led out of Egyptian bondage by way of the Red Sea
is a type of our being delivered from the bondage of sin and being born again.
The land of Canaan, the land God promised to Abraham and his
offspring, is a type of the born again, Spirit-filled, abundant life of the
child of God today.   When I was a boy we
sang about Canaan’s land in church and the song referred to Canaan’s land as a
type of heaven for believers. But that’s just not true! There are no
inhabitants that oppose us that we must run out of heaven! Heaven is a place of
rest from our labors. But here, we must fight the good fight of faith every
These inhabitants of Canaan were to be destroyed by Israel.
They were gross idolaters whose habits were vile and repulsive. Israel was to run them out of every city as they
conquered Canaan. In the above verse, God told
that if these inhabitants remained, they would be irritants in their eyes and thorns in their sides. God told them that
these inhabitants of their land would harass them and make their life
These inhabitants of the land point to the habits of the flesh
in our lives as believers. When we come out of the bondage of sin through the
New Birth, there is a residue of the old man that is left in our souls. Our
minds and emotions have inhabitants embedded in them from our old life before
Christ. It’s our job to run them out.
  These inhabitants
include selfishness, envy, greed, pride, stubbornness, rebellion, anger, lust,
bitterness, malice, gossip, self-pity, and a host of other things. Our
responsibility as a new creation in
Christ is to run these inhabitants out with the sword of the spirit, the Word
of God. If we don’t confront these inhabitants, they become irritants in our
eyes and thorns in our sides. They hinder our growth in God, and quench our
joy. Don’t tolerate them in your land!
Israel did not conqueror these inhabitants all at once, and
neither will you. Israel
inhabited their promised land city by city. And it’s line upon line, precept upon precept that we grow in God and run
these habits from the past out of out lives.
Be diligent to stay in the Word and keep your sword sharp.
And when you come upon some inhabitants of your promised land from your old
life, don’t put up with them. Run them out. Conquer your promised land little
by little and you’ll walk in the peace of God and experience the best God has
for you!

One thought on “Remove the Irritants and Thorns

  1. Thank you Pastor Mitch that was a good word. I never realized that about the inhabitants being a type of things in our flesh. They surely do become irritants and thorns. It is encouraging to know we are meant to conquer them one by one as sometimes its frustrating you want it all gone immediately! I guess that it is a case of perseverance producing character. Thank you for your teaching!

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