When the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 6:20&21) the Israelites rushed in a devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed it totally.
In re-reading an old journal entry I found a note: devoted, "the Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them."
Devoted. Never has that word seemed so scary.
We say we have devoted our lives to God, but have we really?
Devotion means destroying our former selves and lives completely. That's why it can feel so scary to be completely submitted. Not because we don't think God has good plans for us, but because we know along the way there will be a lot that is uncovered and destroyed before God fulfills his plans in us. And we can be pretty certain that it's rarely going to be a painless process. Especially since many of us have spent a lifetime building a walled fortress far more imposing than Jericho around our hearts.
How much are we trying to cover and hide with walls as if God can't see through them? Yet still pretending we are fully devoted to God.
But you know what, those walls come down relatively easily if we let God have his way. A job that seemed impossible - destroying Jericho - the Israelites did by simply walking around the city. They didn't have to go in fighting and battering - they simply had to show a bit of commitment, and ignore the inevitable thoughts of "this is stupid, everyone is laughing at us" and let God have his way. Sure it took a while, but compared to what it would have taken the human way to defeat that city, marching was nothing.
Then when everything was laid bare, they had to destroy it completely. Spare nothing.
Leave no vestige of your old life or sinful nature behind to sprout again like noxious weeds. Devote it. Destroy it.
Then what you will have left is the promised land. A clean and pure heart. No obstacles or distractions between you and God.
It IS worth the pain.
Peace and joy. (Romans 5:1-11)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.