"When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." Deuteronomy 23:9 & 14
This post is gonna be (kinda) about the battle field and soldiers on it, but it's also about our spiritual battle field and us soldiers on it. If you've been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and you've been ransomed and freed from guilt, sin, death and hell, you are a soldier and whether you like it or not, you're on the battle field. The moment you asked Jesus to save you, you "signed up" to fight the invisible (and sometimes undetectable) battles of the soul. You will be fighting a battle for the rest of your life. Yep. But not to worry - the Lord will go before you, to fight for you. You just trust in Him and His strength and you'll win those battles. In Deuteronomy 23 it shows how God would have us behave in the battle camp. God says for us to keep ourselves from every wicked thing. So, in our camp, God wants us to have pure hearts, pure minds, totally separated from every wicked thing! It's hard to follow when it says every wicked thing. When you think of something that's wicked, you'll find just about every time that what God thinks is wicked is totally different from what you thought was wicked! There's no room for compromise when you are determined to live God's way. And if you don't live God's way, it tells you in verse 14 up there what will happen if you don't follow God's command. It says "...the Lord walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee..." God's ready to give your enemies over to you so you can win the battle! But think it out "...therefore shall thy camp be holy..." Holy? Yep. It's hard to be holy. Let me tell you, when you think of holiness - when I think of holiness - more than likely, you'll find that what we think is holy and what God thinks is holy are two different things. God knows more about holiness than we do. He's always had it. He IS holiness. We have not mastered it - will never master it - if we've even attempted to gain it at all. Yet God says to keep our camp holy. Keep your heart holy before the Lord. That is something that is going to be sooooooooooooooooo hard to do. I want to be holy before the Lord. My parents want to be holy before the Lord. Oh man, holiness is so beautiful! I've learned that being holy isn't boring or stuck-up or down-cast looking. It's free and pure! It's wonderful!!!! I'm praying so hard for God to help me be holy. I WANT him walking in the midst of my camp. Look at this: "...therefore shall thy camp be holy; that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." When we are unclean and when we've turned away from God, maybe have some unconfessed sins that we're aware of, or have this sin that we just can't seem to let go of, God's not gonna fight for us, because we are at enmity with him. God wants your whole heart, ya'll. He wants everything - and he wants the battle! If you have some sin that you never knew was sin (just like we don't always understand wickedness or holiness the way God understands it), you need to ask him to reveal it to you so that you can get right and gain more power for the battle! Sin is like a burden before you're saved. When Jesus saves you, he washes all your sins away with his perfect blood. But when you discover something wrong in your heart that you never knew was there and you just refuse to get rid of it, it acts as a burden that you've given yourself, and it hinders you from fighting all those battles successfully. You'll tire out too quickly! You can't win the battle when God's not helping you, and he SAYS that if you have unconfessed sin in your life (uncleanness, wickedness, etc.) and you're not letting him take control, you won't have his help! It's like Jonah. (Read about him in the book of Jonah, in the Bible - haha) So, Jonah heard the call from God to go and tell a town called Nineveh about God's coming judgement for their evil works. Jonah didn't like the Ninevites, and he was afraid of them, so he ran away from God. The battle inside him raged and fought against his desire to obey God, and the fearful spirit took over. He deliberately disobeyed God, and God punished him for it. In the end, Jonah surrenders and he does go to the Ninevites and they ask God to forgive them, which God does forgive! But while Jonah was running before that, God allowed him to get thrown off a ship and swallowed by a gigantic fish. He stays there for three days and nights, praying to be delivered. He gave into the enemy in that first battle, and now he was in a worse scrape than he probably would have ever been in if he would have only obeyed the Lord! The Lord did deliver him from the fish's belly - he got thrown up onto the shore!!!! SICK!!!! Hey, that's what ya get for refusing to keep yourself from every wicked thing. Jonah let fear of the Ninevites control him. So, in this story, fear was a sin - a wicked thing. Yep. Something as simple as fear can be wicked. See how serious this is? What happened to trusting in the Lord and leaning not on thy own understanding? What happened to not being afraid of sudden fear? Keep yourselves from every wicked thing. Please. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anyone! But it's possible. Do you want to win the battles or not?