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TO POSSESS, DISPOSSESS

"You shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess" (Numbers 33:53)

 

Ishmael and Isaac can't both live under the same roof. Abraham discovered that truth long ago and had to "cast out the bondwoman and her son". Christ doesn't ride a bicycle built for two. He is Lord alone. It's not Christ and, it's always Christ or. We want to carry a bunch of baggage into the relationship, Christ and my money making scheme, Christ and tobacco, Christ and Playboy, Christ and my agenda, but it's always Christ or these idols. He won't sit on a set of matching twin thrones. Possessing territory for the King means dispossessing that territory of every alien entity. To possess, dispossess.

 

First we dispossess the "inhabitants" (vs 52), that is, those entrenched controlling land dwellers who contest, "This is my property and I'm not moving". Jesus called it the "strong man". Jericho, Jarmuth, Eglon, Debir, etc. all had controlling "kings". We have to target each strategic prince whether his name is pride, lust, greed, jealousy, fear or whatever. Jesus asked the spirit in the Gadarene, "What is thy name?" and a guttural voice answered, "Legion". Jesus drove Legion from the region! He dissed those inhabitants. Second, our text commands us to tear down their "pictures". That could of course mean tearing Britney Spears' picture off from inside the locker door but it's more likely speaking of those pictures, images and mentalities that shape our way of thinking. "Picture this!" How do you picture yourself? Is your world-view scriptural or is it a byproduct of CNN, Hollywood and the upbringing of your Mom and Dad? Ezekiel spoke of the "chambers of imagery". Many damaging photos have been imprinted on mental and emotional "negatives" and we would be wise to do some spring cleaning and scour the walls clean from these intruders.

 

Next, we are to utterly destroy their "molten images". By molten we're talking about forged steel. "Pictures" come on Kodak paper or at worst canvas; "molten images" are iron or bronze. That represents spiritual strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4) embedded so securely that they won't be budged by a mere counseling session or following of some religious formula. Molten images have to be demolished; better yet, melted by fire. The last step in dispossession is removal of their "high places". The final fortification to go, all through the Old Testament, was the high places, altars on mountaintops used in sacrifice to Molech, Baal, Ashteroth and a host of other Philistine deities. Paul spoke of Satan's seat of power, "spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). The White House, Supreme Court and Congress are "high places". To possess we have to dispossess. Yes, politicians like dirty diapers need changed often (and for the same reason)! But there are other "high places", our lofty egos, high-mindedness and inflated sense of self-worth. All these spiritual enemies have to be dealt with. "But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land...they will be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides..." (vs 55) Every suicide-bomb news story in Gaza or Jerusalem is testament that only one people can possess the land. In our case, every square inch of the real estate of mind, will, emotions, body, soul and spirit belongs to King Jesus and that spiritual real estate can only be conquered by force. To possess, dispossess!


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