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. Deuteronomy 7:22 (NIV 1984)
These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience) … They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD ‘s commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses. Judges 3:1-2, 4 (NIV 1984)
The Lord’s promise to deliver the land to Israel was a sure thing. When God makes a promise, He backs it up with His unchanging character and His ability (omnipotence) to do whatever He says. But, what His promise does not include is the process for handing the land over to Israel. The ‘how’ of the fulfillment will be different than thought or imagined.
The Lord’s promises and purposes have a long time-horizon. He was preparing Israel for a long-term occupancy. Certainly, He could have wiped out all the occupants with the wave of His hand or the breath of His mouth. But, knowing what was best for His people long-term, He chose to deliver it ‘little by little.’
The Lord’s ways and thoughts are not our ways or thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore, as Kingdom leaders, we must be filled and led by His Holy Spirit who indwells us to know how to execute our leadership in alignment with His purposes. Learning to turn our hearts and minds to the Lord’s voice within us will enable us to do what He desires.
While this may seem a very subjective process, there is a very objective component. The Holy Spirit will never lead us in ways or thoughts contrary to His Word. Thus, our own familiarity and depth in the Scriptures enables the Spirit within to guide and direct us.
So, is it your ways and thoughts or His that you are executing? Are you sure?