I was watching a mayor in Oklahoma on the news after a second wave of massive tornadoes went through the same area in a week after an F5 passed through. He was saying that they are fine and was proud of how good they were at dealing with these adversities and how good they were at rebuilding. He was proud of their tenacity and saw this as a virtue he was pleased to see getting national attention.
I thought of how we can see a parable in this concerning how the high places were built up within our souls.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
These began as paths as we wandered aimlessly without a compass and a map before our conversion and learning to labor with perfect faith at the altar of Christ. As we wandered we found ourselves repeating certain courses as we instinctually preferred familiarity even in new things. These paths became trails and these trails became well worn. Eventually, we began to build up fences to protect these trails we had labored so hard to establish and as those proved insufficient, we built up walls.
We had found some sense of peace and security in the familiarity of hose places we frequented along those trails. They had become our way and we wanted no man to disrupt our way. Some selected writings from this book or that to justify the way they had already established for themselves and some decorated their walls with images they found appealing in those writings.
And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
It never crossed our minds that it was God causing growth to cover our courses and it was God bringing animals to trample our trails and it was God causing our fences to rot and to be kicked over by beasts of the field and it was God who crashed trees down upon our walls. We had sanctified the virtue of tenacity we had found within ourselves and we couldn't even imagine that God would find fault with something we found so much good in.
God was saying to us, I never led you in that way.
Apostle Paul wrote, we cast down imaginations... how? By taking every thought captive and measuring it upon the scale of truth. He includes every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. These are those walls we built to preserve our familiar way from falling subject to loss. Each time we were challenged in our way we determined to rebuild bigger, better, and stronger. These have to now be torn down but we cannot do so on our own for to do so we would have to stand in our way.
God says, "I will lead you in My Way. I will send a steward to instruct you in My foundation knowledge that you may learn to labor with My grace by which I awakened you. You heard My voice when I woke you, listen to My voice now as I send servants to teach you."
I remember when I was first awakened by grace, I ended up going to various churches looking for fellowship with others who had also been awakened. After a year I found myself preaching a gospel they had taught me from evangelistic tracts which did not speak with the same voice I heard when I first woke. The same thing happened to the children of Israel.
22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
History, familiarity, repeats itself. And so does the wrath of God show forth consistency against man's rejection of His stewards.
Therefore now is the time to see with the ear and obey the voice of the Lord. Step aside from those familiar ways to walk in the way of righteousness according to grace and truth. Learn to walk after the Spirit and the Lord will cause those high places and images to fade away back to the dust from which they came. This is the promise of purging to free us from those high places that cut us off from His glorious Light. Praise God!