Most of us have cooties and devices that are deeply imbedded in us but are broadly inoperative. As we move forward in cleansing, our life often gets worse at first, not better, as the enemy seeks to minimize his losses by activating a sleeper cell. Stuff that has been normal all of our lives suddenly goes sideways.
This is designed partly to impede our progress, but mostly to discourage us from trying for full freedom.
This was the issue with the Israelites and the Canaanites. The Israelites won some super duper spectacular battles with the big army. Then Joshua decommissioned the army and resigned his leadership role so he could retire (a decision that could be debated for a long time, as to whether this was the will of God or whether he copped out on the job he was sent to do).
The individual tribes were then responsible to deal with the local insurgencies. This meant they had to learn a different kind of war. They were designed by God to be able to learn this, but they really didn’t want to. They wanted to be farmers and there was good land waiting to be claimed and farmed.
In short, it was a mothering and fathering issue. God mothered them during the big campaigns by doing some heavy lifting on their behalf, resourcing them from the outside. Think about it. God stopped the sun and moon and used his celestial sling shot to pick off more Canaanites than the Hebrews killed. Easy to win when God is doing the hard work.
But when it came to the insurgencies, God wanted them to unpack the treasures that were within them. And they resented the fact that God resourced them with much less than they wanted.
They were accustomed to God going nuclear on their behalf and they really like a nuclear God. When He shut down the armory and only issue small arms and Bowie knives, they were offended and opted out of the warfare, choosing to live at peace with the enemy (until the enemy regrouped and slammed them).
This is what the enemy does with the sleeper cells. You make progress. He activates grunge within you and starts the psychological warfare, trying to get you to chill out and not go after the weird stuff you can’t deal with, using the tools you have now.
If you fall for it, you will have lots of company — people who will legitimize your decision.
However, if you step up and fight hard, and lose a lot of battles, you will eventually win the war and have a level of freedom you did not know was possible.
Think of it as playing poker. The enemy has a limited number of cards in his hand. And no matter how powerful that card is (or the sleeper cell) playing that card (or exposing the sleeper cell) takes it out of his hand and he cannot use that one on you again.
If you keep on trudging, you will grow big as God unpacks you instead of resourcing you from outside, AND you will win the war, even though you lose some battles along the way.