The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:22-23)
If you are anything like me, you would much rather experience victory all at once, not “little by little.” I would, more often than not, prefer to win with a single blow to the enemies of God than do battle day after day after day after day. But regardless of what we might prefer, we all know full well that it often takes years to break through strongholds in order to expand the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
When the Lord told the people of Israel, “You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once,” we know He had a perfect reason for saying so. A victory too easily won might just as easily be overrun. Achieving the victory is one thing; maintaining the victory is another thing altogether. God must not only give us the victory, He must also grow us through the victory in order to maintain the ground our God has gained for us. And that beloved, takes time . . . often a great deal of time!
The years of serving as a pastor have taught me that God, in His providence, often chooses to work by degrees. To be sure, we can look back and see the miraculous that happened in a moment. Perhaps God brought you through a sickness. Maybe God delivered you from the hands of a gossip or slanderer. Possibly God met a financial need in an instant. But for the most part, God chooses to work His miracles in our lives by degrees, and here are three reasons why:
#1. He increases our dependence upon Him
#2. He increases our faith in Him
#3. He increases our character through Him
Let us thank our God today for the victories He brings into our lives little by little. It really does help us to release our “white-knuckle” grip on fleshly security! Thank God for those incremental advances, because we can be fully assured that one day soon, God will add together your many “littles” and bring you into a final, victorious whole.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!