July 21st

No Mercy!

6Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, 8but you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. 9For the LORD has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. 10One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.  

11Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. 12Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations--these that remain among you--and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, 13know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.

14"Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.  Joshua 23:6-14 NKJV 

This is a portion of Joshua’s farewell address to the Israelites before his death.  In it we find the secret of Joshua’s God-given success in the conquest of the Land of Canaan.  God commanded them conquer the Land of Canaan and be merciless with their enemies.   Many times they spared no one nor took any of the plunder. By conquering in this way, the Israelites preserved their purity and the favor of the Lord for future battles.  

We can apply this principle to fighting sex addiction.  Our lustful thoughts, cherished “sin memories,” porn collections and sin habits are obstacles to our victory, just like the inhabitants of Canaan were obstacles to the Israelites.  God’s condition for successful battle is the complete destruction of every obstacle.  We can’t give any mercy to our old habits and tools for lust.  We have to stop giving sin a comfortable and protected place in our hearts.  We must take courage in bringing all the dark places of our hearts into the light.  We must stop making provision for lust to occur and avoid putting ourselves in tempting situations.  

This could mean many different things, like:  destroying our porn collections, deleting porn links from the “favorites” file, not surfing the internet alone, avoiding the convenience stores that sell porn, keeping our eyes from lusting after people and taking authority over our sinful thoughts in the name of Jesus Christ.   

God is gracious to give us power to put our lust to death.  He gives us his Spirit to help us put the lust to death.  Paul said, “But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13 NKJV).  With God’s help, we will be successful.  

We’ll face unpleasant consequences if we try to fight sex addiction while giving mercy to our old habits on the side.  By continuing in sinful habits, we risk walking out from under the protecting power of God and become vulnerable to every form of evil in the world.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer: 

“Lord God, thank you for giving me victory over sin through Jesus Christ.  Thank you for fighting the battle for me.  I take possession of “my land” through faith in Jesus and ask for your help in routing any remaining enemies in the land.  I confess that I have tolerated these sins in my life: __________ (list).  Please help me put my sinful desires to death and hold fast to you every day.  Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to help me accomplish this.  I praise you, Lord!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”