What was the purpose?
In the past we have talked about addiction. We’ve seen how addiction is more than just a dependency on some sort of drug, that it can be an addiction to your own self, to a career, or to stuff in general. We also talked about how one important step in overcoming addiction is through accountability. First admitting that we have a problem, bringing it before God, and then allowing someone we trust hold us to our commitment to overcome it. Now, let’s talk about the result of putting the first two into practice. Here’s a simple equation for you mathematicians, of whom I am not one….
God + (acknowledgment of the addiction + acceptance of accountability) = FREEDOM!
Freedom from addiction may not always be as easy to live as it is to write, so I do not want to treat it lightly. For some, it is a daily decision to remain free. For others, deliverance may be realized and the past-addiction may never tempt again. Regardless of the process that we may experience, freedom is a promise from God that we are able to grasp hold of in our life. It is a guarantee to those who are willing to choose Jesus over self. To those who recognize the importance of living a life that is all about Him and not about us. It is for those who come to the realization that we are doomed without God.
Enter King Josiah.
King Josiah was 8 years old when he took the throne. Not bad for an 8 year old. My oldest daughter is 8 and it would be interesting to imagine her ruling a kingdom. She does know how to have a great princess tea party though.
The bible says that when Josiah was 16 he began to seek God, unlike his fathers had done. You see, his fathers were guilty of building up high places, or groves, where they worshiped false gods. They showed total disregard for the true God who had led them out of Egypt, given them the promised land, and made them great promises and settled for serving a lifeless god, Baal. God was angry with them and had planned their destruction but then came Josiah, the young and passionate king. Josiah realized the evil his fathers had committed against God and began to tear down the groves where the priests had offered sacrifice to false gods. He cut to pieces the incense altars that were constructed. He burned the bones of the priest on the altars. Finally, he ground the broken pieces into powder.
Josiah was serious!
Once he discovered the truth, he did not hesitate to remove the evil that was present in his kingdom. Once purged, God showed Josiah favor during his years because of the honor Josiah showed Him. Josiah experienced victory because he totally obliterated all of the evil. He did not just tear it down, leaving the remnants in place as a reminder. He ground them to dust. That can be so powerful if we can apply that to our life spiritually!
If that thing that has held someone captive can be identified and broken down and ground into dust, never to rise again, victory will reign!
If we burn the bones of the skeletons in our closet so that they never haunt us again, victory will be real in our life!
If we are committed to total obedience to our Savior, allowing Him to continually show us things that need to be purged from our lives, our worship, our witness, our attitude, and our perspective will be transformed. It may seem like a lot of work but the outcome is tremendous.
Going back to the original question:
What is the purpose of tearing something down or, in the case of landscaping, ripping it out?
In many cases it is to make room for something new. You take out the old materials, clean up the debris and garbage, and get the area ready for new construction. If you wanted to remodel your bathroom from 1970 and you removed the tub and the sink and old wallpaper but left the old, cracked, green tile on the floor, your bathroom may look ok but there would still be remnants of the old. The 41 year old flooring would detract from even the nicest tub, sink, and paint colors. And, just like the green tile floor, if we allow remnants of our past addictions or struggles, we will constantly be tripping over them. It will always be there to look back to. It will always be an option for us to return to. So what do we do? Using the Word of God, take that thing that has plagued us – the false gods – and crush them to dust. Do not allow anything to stay. Allow God to totally purify our hearts and minds.
Will the devil still try to remind us? Of course he will. That’s what he does. That’s why he is called the “accuser of the brethren”. But, with our lives purged of the past and filled with the Spirit, we will have the power through God to say:
Step back, Satan –
There will be no more green tile for me.