Saturday, November 24, 2012
Sometimes we find ourselves in sticky situations we’d rather not have to deal with. Sometimes we’d like to break free from the stickiness of the situation but, for myriad reasons, some we can’t articulate, we just haven’t been able to get free from it.
What does it really take to change? What does it take to get up and out of a sticky place and into the place God has for you?
What does it really look like to come out of sin and into holiness? To walk with God? To live your destiny, to fulfill God’s plan for your life?
What does it take to change?
We are told by Jesus “Remember Lot’s wife.” What are we to remember? We don’t know much about her, not even her name. We don’t know where she came from or how she lived. She’s just referred to as “Lot’s wife.”
But Lot’s wife reminds us what it really takes to break loose. She has forever stood as a pillar of salt, for every generation to consider what it takes break free from the past and possess your future.
In Genesis 19:14, the Bible says that Lot told his daughters’ husbands, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” Then it says, “But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.” Jesus often referred to the need for people to have “ears to hear.” One must listen with more another set of ears than just your physical ears. God is just as serious about what He’s doing in the earth today as He was millennia ago. Lot’s sons-in-law were offered the opportunity to live and miss the judgment of God, yet they refused to leave because they didn’t believe God has something better for them. God is a speaking God, and He still speaks today.
How many situations are we stuck in today because we’re not listening to the promises of God? Is God trying to get through to me right now?
A class in college was told to read all the instructions before starting the exam placed before them. They were informed they only had 30 minutes to take the test, yet the test was so long it would take 10 minutes to read. Students were handed the test and they began to read, but by the end of reading the first page, almost every one of them decided they didn’t have time to read through the entire test first, so they just began answering the questions and writing the essays. But, after about 10 minutes a few students simply handed their tests in with smiles. The others were convinced those student must have given up on finishing the exam, and they kept answering questions. After 30 minutes, they were told to hand their tests in. They hadn’t even finished a tenth of the test. If they would have listened well, they would have discovered that on the last page, after reading through the entire test, the instructions stated, “just sign your name, don’t answer any questions and hand in. You just passed because you listened well.”
God desires to get through to us more than we may expect, but we must take the time to listen. Sometimes He may have a message for us through a spouse or close friend. Other times, it may come through a message given in our church. or even through a stranger. But the greatest message ever given to us is Jesus, and He came to set us free from our sticky past to give us a better future.
Genesis 19:26 “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” When Lot’s wife looked back, she was frozen in time. She forever warns us of the importance of letting go of that which lies behind us. We must possess a clearer view of the future than we do of the past if we are going to break free. Lot’s wife symbolizes someone who’s made it out of the sticky situation. She didn’t die in sin city. She busted a move. She knew that what God had said was true. She was close to the man of God. She forever represents someone who came out, but didn’t know how to enter in. She was out, but she wasn’t in. She was betwixt two places. She didn’t listen well. She was told to not look back, but she didn’t listen. Maybe she was too familiar with Lot and didn’t trust his words, or maybe she cared more for the things of the world than for the things of God. Whatever the case, she was frozen in time because she didn’t have her focus on the future. There are times we get out of an issue, but we didn’t quite get the issue out of us.
Yesterday is clearly gone, but not for some folks. As long as you live in yesterday’s offenses, yesterday’s troubles, yesterday’s shattered dreams, yesterday’s hopes, you can’t receive tomorrow’s promise. God has a much better future for you than your past is attempting to tell you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us “ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This was spoken to people who were in a sticky situation, but nothing is too sticky for God. Listen for His words of hope as you let go of all that is behind you.
The Rev. Bob Grimm is senior pastor of Life Church in Walla Walla. Contact him at 509-526-3450. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at email@example.com.