Lingering & Looking Back

Ever found yourselves ashamedly (or unashamedly) content in your sin? I have. I can justify my own sin really well too. When we allow our hearts to marinate in sin, and allow sin to be our constant companion & surroundings, we can grow blind to the sinfulness of sin. It’s then, we are in great danger.

In the story of Lot, we see he and his family so desensitized to the evil and vileness of sin – that they do not even want to be separated from it. Like angels actually show up at their house and say, “we gotta go. This place is about to be blown off the map” (my paraphrase). If this had been me – I hope I would have grabbed the keys, loaded up the family and hit the road. You wouldn’t have had to tell me twice!

Yet, after Lot receives his warning, Scripture says he lingered. As though he wasn’t ready to leave this vile place. As if something was keeping him there. As if the sin that had surrounded him for so long, was something he felt he would miss. Lot has to literally be seized and forced and ripped from it. (Sometimes that’s the biggest grace God can afford us)

He lingered.

They are given specific instructions to go and not look back. This one may have been harder for me. I mean if I start hearing screams and thunder or see flashes of light I might be tempted to look back…or run faster. I think when Lots wife turned to look back it was different though. One, she was disobedient in doing it. Before the disobedience there was a heart issue that began long before angels showed up on the doorstep. Sin, like cancer, has stages. I think, after being submerged in sin for so long, growing desensitized to it and even accepting of it, Lots wife looked back because she knew she’d miss it. She looked back and I think her heart grieved a loss. Sin no longer grieved her. The loss of it did.

She looked back.

Still today we all struggle with lingering in our sin and looking back, maybe longing for our sin. I’ve spoken to many a people who aren’t ready to surrender their lives to Christ because they aren’t ready to give up their sin. I admire them for one thing- they understand that following Christ means total surrender and not just choosing what sins you’ll surrender and what’s sins you’ll cling tightly. At least they understand the severity & extreme weight of the choice.

Not sure if you struggled with lingering or looking back. Either way, I pray that there are  people in your life, like Abraham, who plead for mercy on your behalf. I’ve had & have those people in my life. Those people are heroes.


Shut up and listen

Trials That Conform

Trials stink. I don’t recall ever meeting anyone that embraced and looked forward to trials. Warren Weirsbe once said, “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.” Trials tell us a lot! They tell us a lot about ourselves, about God, and about who we believe God to be. I think it was Louie Giglio I once heard say, “little god, big problems. Big God, little problems.” Our view of God changes our perspective.

Trials and test come to produce in us perseverance and to mature us. Steer clear of any false teaching that says ” God wants us to be happy” or “God wants us to be comfortable“. That’s a bunch of bull. You also can’t find that supported in ANY scripture. What Gods word teaches us is that He wants us to be HOLY and that God wants us to be CONFORMED to His image. Holiness and being confirmed to His likeness are things that are produced in us – and one major way that happens is through trials.

Does that mean we always like the trials, enjoy the testing or skip through life loving that there are times of brokenness and weariness and deep hurt and toil? No! Those times make us weep. Those circumstances knock the wind from us and buckle our knees. Those trials cause us to cry out for mercy or beg that God has not left us.

believers, we all have story after story of these trials. And we have story after story of God faithfulness and provision. there is weeping, but joy does comes. We do cry out and He does listen. Those times we face trials – and we are being gloriously ruined – it is for His purpose to conform us into more of Him. There is a point. There is a purpose. 

The Role of Satan

I can remember thinking that Satan was a main part in the story of Job. That was obviously in my “I’m not reading Job” days. Forty two chapters in the book. Satan is mentioned in two of them. The enemy doesn’t have to show up often or stick around for long in order to disrupt and destroy. He is a good at his job. He can come in the back door, cause all sorts of chaos and confusion and slip out the side door – sometimes unnoticed. 

We must be equipped and ready to resist and withstand. 

Worship on a Bad Day

When I was in seminary I had this thing where I never really wanted to read Proverbs 31 or the book of Job. The Proverbs 31 woman seemed wildly unattainable and from experience I felt like if you found yourself studying Job, chances are, you’d start going through trials yourself. It is ridiculous to think about now, but at 19 & 20 years old you are allowed some ridiculousness. Makes life interesting.

One semester of seminary, I found myself signing up for an Old Testament Interpretation class on Psalms. I was looking forward to it and I enjoyed Dr. Parkers love for the scriptures – not to mention the man knew his Hebrew. The first day of class, I found myself all excited…until Dr. Parker announced there’d been a change of plans and we would be studying Job and Proverbs. Me: 😦😒☹😣

Over the course of that semester, forced to study the book of Job, I began to develop a love/hate relationship with this book. By the time my final paper was due, I found myself writing 15+ pages on why this book transformed me.

It’s weird, I see Job as a book about worship and spiritual growth. Through tremendous pain and grief, Job falls down and worships God. He doesn’t do this because of what God has given him, or what God takes away. He worships, because God is God and He is due our affection. As believers,  our response – NO MATTER OUR CIRCUMSTANCE – should only be worship.

Yet, in all this, the real hero of this book, and every book, is God. In the end, Job is restored but God is declared awesome and His majesty made known by his own personal lips. As Job declares at the end, it’s one thing to hear about God, but it’s an entirely different thing to see Him. Seeing Him changes us; it changes everything.

A Flood and a Legacy

According to Genesis, and Hebrews, Noah was a man of incredible faith. He pursued God when NO one else on earth was doing so. He believed God when NOTHING like what was happening had ever been done. He pursued. He believed. He obeyed.

Yet, he did these things in such a way, that his family followed. They participated, supported, assisted, and essentially their lives were saved for it. That says a lot about Noah and it says a lot about his family. 

Noah’s wife is nameless but her legacy goes down for all eternity in scripture. That’s quite a legacy. 

God’s Regrets

It is strange to think of God who has regrets. Yet, His word tells us that He does. Perhaps not in the same way, we regret things. We regret things usually tied to circumstances or consequences: “I regret ever dating that guy” or “I regret eating that Varsity chili cheese dog at 11 p.m. last night”. We suffer a consequence and feel regret for what should have been different…if only we had, or hadn’t…I should have never…I should’ve known better…

God doesn’t regret anything due to a consequence. He suffers no consequences. Gods regrets come from knowing what could have been. God in his foreknowledge and understanding can see the future, just as he can see the past and present. He is not limited to anything, like time. So, His regrets come from seeing our current state, due to sin, and what could be our current state, had we not allow sin to rule us.

Sins Desire

Part of taking sin seriously is realizing just how seriously sin desires to take us out. 

A Woman’s Curse

As women, our sins came with specific consequences after the fall.

For this study, I try and focus in on the word desire from Genesis 3:16 and the declaration of our curse.

Anybody out there struggle with submission or the “gotta have the man” mentality? 

First Sacrifice

Blood sacrifice. It was always the plan. It seems extreme. It seems over the top that something must be killed and its blood spilt to cover our sins. Yet, that’s just how serious sin is to God. The consequences of our sin have requirements. May we never forget that our sin is offensive to God, no matter how big or bad we believe it to be. It is so offensive it causes eternal separation – a brokenness in our relationship with Him. 

Just because we do not suffer immediate consequences, does NOT mean we are to believe God turns His eyes to those sins. Consequences may not be immediate. In my 30+ years I’ve never known them to come by way of lightening bolts from heaven either. Just as that idea sounds ridiculous, it’s even more ridiculous to think that God glances over some sins, or that we are capable of keeping some sins hidden from Him.

From the beginning, in the Garden, God set the example. it was animal sacrifices to cover our shame and nakedness caused by sin.

 Later, we see John the Baptist claim Christ is the “Lamb of God, sent to take away the sins of the earth.” We know blood sacrifices were required to remove sins. John is foreshadowing what would be required of Christ, the Ultimate Sacrifice. John is saying, without stating, there will be bloodshed.