(16) And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hands of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. (17) And it came to pass, when they brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in the plain escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. (Genesis 19:16-17 KJV)
What if I were to tell you that your life and how far God will take you. All stemmed from your ability not to look back at the former things in your life. Would you make a conscious decision to leave what’s in the past in the past? It can be hard not to look back, especially when we don’t see anything wrong with what we came out of. Sometimes, if we’re honest God has to force us out of a situation as he did with Lot. The story of what happened to Lots wife is a perfect example of why we should not look back. Many of us know the story but for those who may not let me give you a brief summary. Lot was the nephew of Abraham. He accompanied Abraham along with Sarah when God appeared to Abraham and told him to get out of the country (even though Lot was not supposed to go). Somewhere along the journey there was strife between Lots men and Abraham’s men. So they decided to split ways. Being the gentleman that Abraham was. He allowed Lot to choose. Lot chose the plains of Jordan. It was a place that was well watered (Genesis 13:10) it was a place that seemed to be flourishing. At the time I’m sure that it seemed a little unfair to Abraham that Lot got the choice land. After all Abraham was the one who God called to the promise land. I want for you to get this don’t ever be discouraged, when you know that you are following God’s will for your life and it seems as though the one who isn’t lands in the Jordan plains. In other words it looks as if their blessed, while you’re still waiting on the move of God. Here’s the thing though, the place where Lot chose to reside only looked to be very beautiful. However, it was filled with all types of wickedness and unrighteousness. God had decided that enough was enough and decided to rain down judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah, but because of Abraham’s prayers over Lot he decided to spare him. God sent his angels to move Lot and his family out.
(16) And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
The scripture says and while he lingered. Lingered means to stay in a place longer than necessary, typically because of a reluctance to leave. This shows me that Lot may not have seen anything wrong with where he was. How many of us have been in a place/situation where we did not see anything wrong with where we were at. The scripture says that they had to take Lot and his family by the hand and pull them out. If God has to he will literally pull you out of a situation, that you yourself don’t want to leave. The verse says that the Lord was being merciful unto him. God loves you way too much to allow us to stay in a circumstance that he never intended for us to be in.
(17) Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain lest though be consumed.
Lot was told to escape for his life. In other words God was pulling him out of that which could kill him. Some lifestyles if we stay in it will kill us. My last blog when I gave my testimony (Overcame) if God would not have pulled me out when he did. I would have died. Maybe not physically, but spiritually. Some of you God had to pull out of drug abuse, prostitution, homosexuality, pride, lust, envy, fornication and adultery. It may not seem as though these things leads to death but it does. There’s a scripture that says there is a way which seemed right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12 KJV) I want for you to pay attention to this next part. Lot was instructed to not look behind him, neither to stay in the plain but rather escape to the mountain. So I see that it’s not enough just to not look back at our past, our mistakes and of who we use to be. We also can’t stay where we are currently. Instead we are to escape to the mountain. The mountain is a high place in God. It is where he reveals himself to us on a more deeper intimate level.
(26) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26 KJV)
Some of you may be thinking we’ll that wasn’t fair. All she did was look back. It’s not as if she actually went back. Here’s the thing, our lives moves towards the things that we look at. Lots wife looked back which means that she turned her head towards the direction of what she needed to leave behind her. Sometimes we can look back with longing. Which isn’t good because that’s basically telling God. I don’t trust you with my future. Other times we look back with regret. Which also isn’t good because regret has a way of telling us that we are not worthy of God’s love and forgiveness. The thing that we need to take away from Lots wife was the fact that looking back immobilized her and it kept her from reaching God’s best.
The apostle Paul puts it like this. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Philippians 3:13 KJV). We can not change not one single thing in our past. Even if we could would we really want to? Our past shaped us into who we are today but it doesn’t mean that we have to live there and let it control our purpose. As I was preparing this lesson. God told me its okay to reflect and learn from mistakes but move forward. What is destined for you is ahead of you. Not behind. Remember we can’t look back.