I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. -Exodus 23:29-30
Recently as I was reading through the book of Exodus, I came across the listing of the laws God gave to the Israelites, beginning with the Ten Commandments. Most of this section is easy to find oneself browsing over, but for some reason I read verse 30 over three times. In the process I found God speaking in the midst of His decrees about the land that they would successfully conquer.
God waited for His people to grow stronger until they would inhabit the entirety of the land. He didn't give them all of the land immediately. He took His time, allowing them to prosper and become more numerous so that they could fully possess the land. If God had allowed them to possess the entire land as a weaker nation, they could have very well been overrun by the beasts or the land grown beyond their ability to cultivate it.
How does this even apply to the Christian now at all? We see how God works in our lives. God doesn't drive all of our sin out the moment we become bound for the promised land and saved into the kingdom of God. He doesn't take away our temptations and sins immediately, and leave us to our own pride for our accomplishments. He doesn't take away our sin completely and let us fall prey to our own works to keep ourselves pure. He takes time in sanctifying us to the point where we realize that we must be absolutely dependent on Him for everything. Everything. When we won't fall prey to our pride or sense of accomplishment in getting rid of sin, then God will allow us freedom from that which could reign over us. He is the only One who has rightful reign of us.