Driving Out The Canaanites – Part Two


Continuing our espionage through Canaan, I found that Canaan itself meant “lowland,” from a root word meaning “to be humbled, subdued, be low, be under, brought into subjection.” Our bondages to sin, subjections to Satan.

Amorite“a sayer” probably from amar, “to say, speak, utter, to think, to command, to promise, to intend.” Amorites were apparently the greatest and most powerful of all the nations of Canaan. The false agreements we make with the Liar are powerful. These false words we speak, these identity statements about ourselves, are the greatest and most powerful of all the soulish “tribes” in the promised land of our soul/body. These lies we believe can be used in a wider sense to include all these inhabitants of our inner landscape, because the lies are where the sin-tribes get their life. The cure: to recognize God’s truth, to speak it out and faithe in Him- to make our agreements only with God and His Word.

Hittite “fear, terror.” Our fears. These are killed off by “being of good courage” and trading fear for faith.

Perizzite – “belonging to a village.” From a root meaning to separate, i.e., decide. Used as “a leader, an officer over soldiers” (Gesenius’ Lexicon). This is our tribe or mob mentality. Our false dependence on others decides a lot in our lives. It becomes our leader, our captain. This mentality has to be slain and Jesus made the captain, the center of our dependence; we are dependent by God’s design, and if we don’t make Christ the Source from which we draw everything, we will find false sources to feed our need for dependence.

Hivite – “town, village dwellers” from the root word “chavvah”, Eve, “life” or “living.” The dependence on others is false life. False life has to be replaced with true life. For the believer this means recognizing and affirming Christ as our life, our breath. It means recognizing that if we have Christ, we have all the love and approval we’re ever going to need. Any other source of security will fluctuate with our circumstances.

Jebusite, from Jebus – “a place trodden down, as a threshing floor” from a root meaning “to tread down, reject, trample down.” “To tread with the feet, trample on, as a thing neglected and despised” (Gesenius’ Lexicon). Jebus was an ancient name of Jerusalem, used in the time of the Canaanites. The Jebusites inhabited Jebus and its neighboring mountains. Where we’ve been beat up in life, trodden down, rejected. This becomes the stronghold, the mother-city of the mountains. This rejection becomes the soil for unbelief. I had a lot of these pernicious idol worshipers planted early on in my Land, and just in this past year the last remnants of Jebusites (as far as I can see) have had their pathetic, whiny butts kicked.

These sin-tribes are energized and operated by the Screwtape paradigm. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming the devil for everything. We have a responsibility. But our responsibility is faith; I’m not responsible for what the devil throws into my head, but I do choose what to do with those thoughts. The only way to spot the counterfeit “I,” the masquerade Satan puts on to get a grip on me, is to be so familiar with the real “I” in Christ that the devilry is obvious.

Now, if you are a maturing saint, see if this sounds familiar in light of your long experience with God. The LORD says in Exd 23:27-22: I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

God is the destroyer of sin; he makes sin run from us and drives it out. He does it little by little so Pride does not take over our inner landscape. Little by little he sanctifies each part of us until we are using each part of our soul/body in worship and love and gratefulness to God. He sets the bounds where Abraham’s feet walked, as Jesus, our progenitor defined our inner promised land by walking the landscape of His humanity in total freedom. Jesus Christ Himself, indwelling us as the inner Fiery Cloud that goes before us, is the one who will deliver these inhabitants of the soul/body into our hands: our besetting sins and false slaveries, the lies we have believed, our fears, our dependence on others that gives us a false sense of life, security, worth, and our rejection. We are to make no covenant with any of these usurpers of our Land, nor with their gods. If we serve their false gods, it will be a snare to us. We will not have the abundant life that God desires. “If you do not believe, surely you shall not be established.”

So on we go, like Caleb, like Joshua, into the Land. And we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. We died in Christ and rose again; we are new creations, and now we subdue all these inhabitants of our inner landscape by the power of the resurrected Christ within us, our Captain who leads us in battle, the Ark of the Covenant leading the way. In Part Three we’ll go further into the Land and see how this works out in practice.

Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.


  1. Stacy Grubb

    “The only way to spot the counterfeit ‘I,’ the masquerade Satan puts on to get a grip on me, is to be so familiar with the real ‘I’ in Christ that the devilry is obvious.”

    I have friends with bank jobs who have told me that, in order to train employees to spot fake money, they are given real money to handle. Lots and lots of real money. When you become familiar with what money is supposed to feel like, counterfeit will stick out like a sore thumb.

    I’ve also found that the more familiar you are with God’s Word, the easier it becomes to spot a false doctrine when you hear it. Maybe I don’t know the Bible from front to back, but the better I do know it, the better I’ll feel like something isn’t quite right when something…well, isn’t quite right. And especially when it’s dead wrong. That feeling will hopefully then lead me to look it up and find out for sure what the Bible really says.

    Ron, whereas you found yourself snared by Jebusite, I got tripped up over Perizzite many years ago. I’d always, until then, been what I thought was solid in my beliefs. Then I opened myself up to hear what others believed. I think in this day and age, so much emphasis is put on being open minded that folks’ brains are rolling straight out of their heads. It’s to a point where everybody’s right and nobody’s wrong. Unless they think you’re closed minded. Closed minded people are the only people who are wrong. I was called closed minded. It was explained to me what it takes to be closed minded. And I realized, “I am closed minded…Oh God!” I was really young (still a teenager), so a lot of what other people were telling me made some kind of sense. It’s all about accepting your neighbor, man. Who are you to judge, man? Peace, love, and acceptance, man. I was in the minority. It made me question my stance on things. I wanted to have the same mentality that everyone else had. It made so much sense on paper. Thankfully, I aged a little bit and found myself rejecting the mob. I recognized that my “closed mindedness” to them really meant that I stood for something. I stood for the rights of unborn babies. I stood for the belief of having one Way to Heaven. I just stood just for lots of things, man. I am closed minded…thank God. So, I purged the Parasites. I mean the Perizzites. Not in one felt swoop, I mean, but eventually.

    And that’s what reminds me of what you said about God defeating our sins little by little and also about Christianity “from the ground up.” I can look back and know that God has already done this once so, He can do it again to get rid of what’s left. It often seems like all roads lead to the dead end of unbelief and that’s my little way of making things harder than they have to be.


  2. Ron Block



    I was reading in E.Stanley Jones this morning. He was talking about the temporary power of mere affirmation – all the positive-thought movements that have gone on where people make affirmations. He said, “Anything that leaves you at the center is off-center.” And later, “Being in Christ, the Perfect One, however, you partake of perfection by association, by assimilation…I don’t fight sin. I expel it by preoccupation with the Higher. Looking at Him, I am spoiled by anything else.”

    No believer can sin and at the same time be trusting in the power of the indwelling Lord Jesus Christ. No believer can sin and at the same time recognize that God is omnipresent, not only within the believer but within the believing wife that he is yelling at. No believer can trust “Christ is in me” and at the same time engage in pornography, or get drunk, or (worse!) be self-righteous. Sin and reliant faith are mutually exclusive.

    But those Canaanite hooks are spots in our soul/body that are filled with unbelief; unbelief is their food. These places in our flesh are not “I” – the real I is a new creation, son of God, holy, blameless, accepted; the real “I” is in Christ, is spirit one’d with Spirit, and has Him as its Source. That real “I” in Christ has to submit itself to that one Relationship, to get its all from the All. If we ask it, God will show us those pockets of Canaanites; it is usually only in seeing them and engaging them in faith-battle (as opposed to effort-battle) that we can defeat them and run them out of the Land.

    By the way, Stacy, I’m sure that I’ve encountered every kind of Canaanite in my land. And for the first time in my life I see that I am really beginning to possess the Land in the way God intends – not by my effort, or self-flagellation, but simply by faith opening myself up and submitting to Christ, whose only purpose and intent is total love for me – to fulfill in me His love purposes through me to others.

  3. Stacy Grubb


    You always give me so much to chew on and my mind will eventually go down paths that weren’t so obvious at my first read. My first thought was that I really like the quote about anything with me at the center is, inherently, off-center. I wouldn’t want the likes of me at the center of anything, much less my own self. It also reminded me of Stewart Smiley…”I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darn-it, people like me.” That “self-affirmation” sounds dangerously close to Hivite. Yet, I also know that I seek out the approval of others. If someone else doesn’t validate my music, then it must not be good. I others don’t pat me on the back for a job well done, then it must not have been. That’s a pretty vicious, non-productive place to be because the lack of approval makes me spiral and want to never do or create again. Self-affirming that people like me doesn’t truly build independent morale at all because, as you said, that changes with the circumstance. I know plenty of people who may despise me on any given day.

    In thinking of all the different Canaanites, I tried to figure out which one handicaps me the most in this moment. Hivite, I know, is a big one for me. There was also another one that I was stricken by. I let fear hold me back quite often. I’m naturally a very reclusive, private person. That often lends itself to me being antisocial to an extreme fault. Several months ago, our Home Builders’ Sunday School class did a several week study on how to witness. I took my notes and participated all the while knowing that I will never go out and actually witness. I’m too afraid. I’m afraid of walking up to people. I’m afraid of talking to them. I’m afraid of not knowing the right Biblical things to say. I’m just afraid. That’s just one example of how my land is inhabited by Hittites. Another example hit me upside the head in delayed reaction style because of what you said about asking God to show us the pockets of Canaanites in our land. My immediate thought was being afraid of how he might point them out to me. I worried that it would be similar to praying for patience and what may ensue as a result. I want patience, but I’m afraid of what it takes to build it. So, I end up leaving well enough alone and don’t seek out any sort of growth. And even worse, it’s not a subconscious thing at all. I’m very aware that I do this. But I’m afraid of engaging the faith battle. So, sitting here this morning, God has revealed to me a Canaanite pocket in my land. I didn’t even realize it at first. I spent a while fearing *how* God may reveal such a thing and finally it hit me that He had already just revealed one to me. No trial. No tribulation. Just, “Hey, genius, here’s one.” And to take it one mile further, He revealed that many of fears revolve around some sort of rejection. And maybe I’m even waiting on someone else to validate my faith so that I can feel secure that it’s strong enough to take on the Canaanites.

    Ron, I think your RR posts eventually just become my personal faith journal haha. So much tends to unfold itself when I start reading and responding.


  4. Ron Block



    One of the best things we can do is ask God to show us the difference between soul and spirit. We often get things confused. Spirit – His Spirit within our spirit – is our identity, the reality, the thing that will stand naked or clothed with Christ before God at the end. Soul is the outer covering, the particular human personality, the shades of likings and dislikings, the emotions, the reason. Spirit knows. Soul reasons. Spirit is; Soul is variable depending on circumstances.

    As Christ-filled spirit people, we have an inner Rock. But most of us don’t know that Rock is there within us, because we conceive of God as “up there” and us as “down here” and that God gave a little tiny bit of His Spirit to maybe, sometimes, occasionally direct us and help us. But the truth is God doesn’t help us become something – become more patient, become more courageous, become more pure, more powerful, more loving. God is all those things. Christ within us is our courage, patience, purity, power, love. And because we are in Him, and He in us, we have total access by faith to all those qualities of His character.

    So for the Christian, character-building is not something built out of us, not something we “get better at”; that is building with wood, hay, and stubble. Christian character is really His character coming more and more through us as we give ourselves over to Him in total faith and submission to His will within us.

    That’s why I know you really have no fear, deep down, only the right, reverent fear of God. None of us do, in the real identity that is there inside us in Christ, waiting for us. In that place we are just waiting to explode into the world.

    But the pressure of the world, and the devil pressing in on our flesh (soul/body), and the lies he entices us to believe – all these things keep our spirit hidden, and that powerful expression of Christ in us muted. Because, of course, the righteousness of Christ is expressed through us by faith, and the devil is constantly working to get us to live from soul – from fear, rejection, dependence on others, and whatnot. The devil is terrified of believers who know who they are, who stand in faith, who “call the things that are not as though they are.” These believers change the world, change their circle of family, friends, and enemies through a reliant, total faith and an unshakable confidence. Think Hudson Taylor. Rees Howells. C.T. Studd. The Apostle Paul. Jesus Himself. That unmoving confidence in God, and in God within them, shook the whole world – and that’s exactly what happens when we come to know who we are. We begin to shake up false, satanically driven thought-systems. We gain opposition, but we don’t care: “I know Whom I have believed.”

  5. Tony Heringer

    My pastor has spoken in the past about how the Puritans would engage in preaching sermons to themselves. A way of speaking the truth to yourself as you’ve noted above. I find this practice to be most useful. It is especially useful when we have someone like yourself providing a great framework to work through. Looking forward to Part III as this material goes very well with my devotional reading of late.

    Thanks again for the good words.

  6. Stacy Grubb


    Thank you so much for reminding me that I am in this moment who I want to be because of Who lives within me. I lose sight of that so often. I think that I need to become more brave. I may pray for courage. But courage is really that sandwich we’ve discussed before. I’m asking my friend for a sandwich when the sandwich is right there on my plate. It’s because my rational thinking – perhaps my soul reasoning – sees myself as someone who needs so much work. I am someone who needs to become someone better. Yet, my spirit knows I’ve already been made better than I was and as good as I’ll ever be…but I’ve not learned to make access to the better me a second nature habit. So, the soul forgets. And then you come and remind it for the upteenth time. And sooner or later, I’m going to eat that sandwich.


  7. Clay Marbry

    When reading Stacy’s post a few up (about wanting affirmation for music), a quote my sister has on her Facebook page came to mind. It is cobbled together condensation of “Calvary Love” by Amy Carmichael. It convicts me so that it hurts to read.

    “If the praise of others elates me…
    if the blame of others depresses me…
    if I cannot rest when I am misunderstood, without defending myself…
    then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
    -Amy Carmichael

    How it irks me to be misunderstood or thought to be dumb! Or worse, for someone to dislike me. These feelings point in bold letters to my sinful self-dependence.

    Ron, thanks for the post and banter with Stacy. Stacy, thanks for the honesty and sharing. Good stuff.

  8. Ron Block



    This is hard to get across to us, but the Spirit can do it. I trust the Spirit to get the thought through.

    Our human reactions, our feelings, etc, are not wrong in and of themselves. In fact, no human reaction or feeling is wrong in and of itself. If we look at all the attributes of the human psyche – affection, hatred, jealousy, sexual desire, anger, etc – whether they are thought positive or negative, they’re not. They’re neutral. Affection can be used rightly or misused. Hatred is the same – we are allowed to hate evil, but not hate people. God is a jealous God, so jealousy has a right use as well. Sexuality – that’s obvious, right use and wrong use, and God has sexual attributes, or rather, human sexuality is a reflection of God’s desire for union with us. Thus, the church is “the Bride of Christ.”

    In order to see these truths we must distinguish between soul and spirit. Spirit, where our spirit is joined to Christ in a union or unity, is the real “I.” It is the essence, the part that when we die will be “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord”; the Bible speaks of “the spirits of just men made perfect” and the spirits of the martyrs under the altar in Heaven.

    So spirit is the real “I”.

    Therefore, when as you say “…it irks me to be misunderstood or thought to be dumb,” those feelings every human being has are not wrong in and of themselves. They are a temptation, not a sin – a temptation to live in the flesh and live according to those feelings.Satan tempts us to wrong use. But feeling those things does not make you – the real you, spirit-you, Christ-in-you You – sinful.

    And self-dependence is really unbelief, and as believers we are often unaware of our indwelling Canaanites. As Lewis said in The Silver Chair, we are most under the power of an enchantment when we do not think we are enchanted at all. The satanic spell of self-effort, self-dependence, must be broken by the human becoming disenchanted with its own ability, its own power to choose good and reject evil. And so we come to the place of humility, where we know we are just cups and not the Wine.

    And then we move on to knowing our union, our unity with Christ, and the “exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

    But my point being this – we are meant to live in an abiding awareness of Christ living in us, through us, as us. Many live in sin-consciousness, and all that leads to is more sin. It is a religious treadmill – on one hand we have those who say, “Jesus forgives my sins. I’m a sinner. So I sin. But He forgives me.” And on the other hand we have those who say, “You should, you ought, you’d better strive to be more like Jesus.” License on one side, legalism on the other. And it all comes from one thing – a human thinking it is separate from its Maker, not indwelt and empowered and being a nothing, a cup in and of itself. Instead, we believe we are autonomous choosers of good and evil, not realizing that in doing sin we are really committing adultery with Satan against our true husband, Jesus Christ. And in having Christ live through us we are really being manifestations of His life within us.

    Christ-awareness – submission to Him, fellowship with Him, as in a marriage – leads to oneness with Him, an abiding strength and power of faith that moves mountains.

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