But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you. – Numbers 33:55-56
Clear instructions were given to the Israelites and their leaders prior to their entry into the Promised Land. They were to drive out, if not utterly destroy, every single Canaanite inhabitant. Every idol and object of worship was to be demolished as well. National survival and unity depended upon the Israelites’ exclusive worship of the one true God and the price of failure would be personal and corporate disunity, disarray, and destruction.
The power to overcome our sinful flesh is only found in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Once He establishes residence within the Christ-follower, all other fleshly inhabitants must begin to move out. Failure in this matter on a personal level can result in internal disunity, disarray, and destruction. And, yes, that destruction may even spill over into the corporate elements of life (like family, church, work, etc.).
Purity is not an option, but rather it is in an aim. As God instructed Israel, let’s drive out anything that could possibly come between us and our Savior.
The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace. – Phillips Brooks