One of the tactics of warfare is pursuit. A decisive victory can be turned into an effective truce if an army fails to pursue a retreating enemy. Judges records the failure of the tribes of Israel to capitalize on the victory God was giving them. While the enemies may have been strong and fierce and entrenched, God still ultimately held Israel responsible for failing to drive them out of the land and destroy their altars. Frequently this is the way with sin in our lives: we can’t get rid of it but we must. Lust, envy, pride, selfish ambition – these are the unclean spirits that tend to show up in synagogues, churches, Christian colleges. These are the altars to foreign gods must be toppled. And the central idol is self. But you are not God. You are not the center of this universe. You are not the center of attention. Your meaning and value is not found in fulfilling your desires, your appetites, your needs. Stop looking around to see if you are being noticed. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror constantly to see what you look like, to worry about what other people think you look like. Jesus calls you to follow Him. Who cares what you look like? Who cares what obedience to Jesus looks like? Obedience to Jesus is perfect freedom and healing. We do not pursue our enemies with swords and spears, we pursue our enemies by following Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. He is our Greater David, our Greater Joshua. He is our Hero who will give us the land. He will give us victory over every sin, over every conflict. He will give us peace and rest from all our enemies. So as you begin this new year, commit yourself to following Jesus, surrender yourself to Him completely, and determine in your heart not to let up, not to coast, not to go easy on the enemies in your flesh.