I Just Want To Give Up
I think the first mistake that the Israelites made was going to the Lord and asking what they should do . Not that they should inquire of the Lord, but that their inquiry would result in anything different than what God had already instructed Joshua. If you remember Joshua was was told by God not to be afraid and take the land, and the Lord was with Him. After his death the situation was the same, yet the people went and inquired of the Lord. He told them the same thing.
"I said, I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you." Joshua 2:1
As you read the first chapter of Judges it seems as if they got their second breath and went about driving out the Canaanites, but they never quite able to finish the job. The Israelites were dominant, they forced them into servitude, but those pesky Canaanites wouldn't go. Maybe it's because the Israelites didn't have the same resolve, the same commitment as when Joshua was their leader. Maybe they were battle weary and were quick to to make treaties. Maybe they didn't really think that God cared if they let the wicked Canaanites live in the land (Even the Canaanite leaders knew they got what they deserved).
One thing is for sure, they didn't obey the Lord. He had made a covenant with them, rescued them from the Egyptians, and the Israelites broke the agreement--they didn't drive the Canaanites from the land. The consequence was the Canaanites continual sinful influence.
As Christians we have entered into a New Covenant, one bought and paid for by Christ. Jesus has conquered sin, and has filled us with the Holy Spirit that we should walk faithfully with him. Like the early Israeiltes we have an obligation to drive out any remnant of sin since Christ died to set us free. The writer of Hebrews tells us "Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely" (Hebrews 12:1).
We will never be perfect in this life, there will always be moments when we sin, not because we intended to but because our flesh was weak in the circumstance. God is gracious when we repent and ask for forgiveness, Jesus already paid the price. Our biggest problems are the little compromises with the world that constantly lead us away from Christ.
Consistent ungratefulness, ongoing gossip, persistent greed, petulant self-righteousness, and continual backbiting. When we make allowance for sin, excuse our bad behavior, or justify our unrighteousness we are going down the same path of the Israelites in Judges.
The question is how do we prevail?
1. We need to remember our covenant relationship with God, through Christ. The Apostle asked, "how can we who have died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:2). Our confession of faith placed us in a relationship with God where sin is dead and we are free from the law. Yet, we still have a responsibility to live and walk in the Spirit.
2. Why are we persisting in our sin? Do we lack faith that God can deliver us? Are we battle weary and the compromises are easier? Are we tired of the world getting the upper hand and we want a piece of their prosperity? Do we stand in our strength instead of God's? Once we understand the why we know what to confess.
3. Do we want the greater Kingdom of God over the empty and decaying Kingdom of the world. Satan offered Jesus the wealth of the world if he would forgo God's Kingdom. The immediate gain is tempting. Waiting for a future glory is difficult. It comes down to which one we ultimately want more.
4. Remember God's present blessing. Waiting for the future glory doesn't preclude present blessings. Sometimes its financial, but most of the time they are relational and spiritual. Continually count the goodness of God.
5. Confess, repent, stand firm, and then stand firm again. Not in our own strength but in God's grace, forgiveness, and sustaining mercy. You know they are new every morning.
On most days I feel like the Israleites, tired, weak, frustrated, and insufficient. That's where God wants me, so that I will turn to Him. In that moment of turning I come to realize how deficient the world is compared to the wonders of God's grace. I'm just saying.