"Little by little I will drive them out before you until you have increased enough to take possession of the land." Exodus 23:30
We like fast food, instant coffee and quick access to cash, but then we unwittingly pass on these expectations to God. We want fast answers to our prayers, instant understanding of the Bible and quick maturity.
When the children of Israel drove out the enemy from the Promised Land, it was "little by little". Spiritual growth is often this way. We may experience a victory or breakthrough in one area of our life and it will be like a Jericho experience. Wonderful as this is, it is not all God has for us. There is more land to possess, that is, more areas of our lives where God wants us to experience victory.
In the previous verse to the one I quoted, God explains why it would not be good for the Israelites to drive out the current occupants in a single year, "because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you" (v.29). God knows immediate maturity would overwhelm us and we would not cope.
The children of Israel experienced many battles and God was able to teach them many things, such as the importance of listening for God's instructions, waiting for God's timing and the power of praise.
So let us not be discouraged that spiritual maturity isn't a push-button experience. But rather we need to be open to learning the lessons and be content to grow "little by little".