G‑d then informed the Jewish people that in order to conquer the Land of Israel successfully, they must cross the Jordan River with the intention to drive out the idolatrous nations from the land.
Destroying the Idols Within
וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֵת כָּל מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָם וְאֵת כָּל צַלְמֵי מַסֵּכֹתָם תְּאַבֵּדוּ וְאֵת כָּל בָּמוֹתָם תַּשְׁמִידוּ: (במדבר לג:נב)
[G‑d instructed Moses to tell the Jewish people:] “You must destroy all [the idolaters’] temples, destroy their molten idols, and demolish their [sacrificial] platforms.” Numbers 33:52

The Hebrew term for “idolatry” (avodah zarah) literally means “foreign worship.” Thus, any type of worship, any type of servitude that is “foreign” to the Divine side of our personalities is a subtle form of idolatry. The object of our foreign worship can be anything from money, success, control, and celebrity to more “innocent” idols, such as security, wisdom, or health. Any object or goal to which we devote ourselves not intending for it to help us accomplish our Divine mission qualifies as “foreign worship.”

For our own good, G‑d desires our undivided loyalty. He wants to spare us the pain and trauma of trying to serve multiple masters. When we learn to orient even our most mundane activities toward Divinity, so that every part of lives becomes part of our Divine mission, we can live free of the inner conflicts that unfortunately take their toll on the spiritual and mental health of too many people. It is therefore crucial that we become spiritual warriors, rooting out and destroying our inner idols, in order to enter the “Promised Land” of wholesome, Divinely-oriented living.1