Friday, July 13, 2007

remember Lot's wife

It's easy to give pat answers as to why Lot's wife looked back. But one need look only into their own hearts to find the answer, I think. At least that's true of me.

When one gets intrenched in a certain way of life it is much harder to get out. Your roots are there, you know the ropes, you're comfortable, and after all, we all struggle with sin and temptation. Lot had chosen to live among a people ripe for God's judgment and condemnation. Though Lot himself was righteous, as Peter tells us, he was vexed everyday with the ungodly lives of those in his city. Yet he was hardly on mission, but he was seeking to benefit himself from his associations there.

Lot's wife was all apart of this. How, and what exactly was occuring here, we can't say for sure, though we can know some things in general.

Jesus warns would-be followers of him, that if they are to so follow, they must not be like Lot's wife. There must be no looking back. Jesus makes it clear that it's a matter of giving up one's own life.

We hold on to what we love, don't we? It's hard to give up, even impossible in ourselves to avoid the same end as Lot's wife. Yet that's what God calls us to do.

Only in God through Christ by the Spirit can we do this. And it must be done, or at least ought to regularly be done in community. This is where our sin issues need to be straightened out. Notice in Lot's case, he and his family had no such community there. Nor had they become that kind of community themselves.

No looking back. We need to look one direction: towards Jesus, and the Jesus way of the cross: death to self unto resurrection and new life. A brand new life that leaves the other behind.

What would you add here?

Related Post
Charity: Wide Open Spaces: Recycled Lives


Anonymous said...

Ted -- I just posted some thoughts on this similar line of meditation -- how easy it is to hold on to memories of the past that can do us so much damage. There is an area in my life which I am struggling to move forward in, and I find so much that the battle is in my focus, where I am letting my thoughts dwell. It's SO tempting to look back.

P.S. I'm going to go to my post right now and add a link here!

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, it takes time to disentangle oneself from the roots and to put down new ones elsewhere. I have to remind myself of that in areas of struggle.

Betsy Lin said...

I think that you bring some good points. When living in community we have to let go of things we love, things for ourself, and often we never think of giving up the sin we hide behind. SIN carries thru everything, and when kept in darkeness it can ruin community.
Each person comes with roots, it is true what you say, and when you bring people together in community, not only do you bring everyones history, but also their baggage.

Their struggles become yours, and your struggles become theirs.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, I know just what you mean from my own angle and experience. We need to uphold each other in prayers.

It's troublesome how we gravitate to the thing that ends up giving us trouble.

But by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, sets us free from this law of sin and death (Romans 8). I have to keep banking on that, and be willing to go forward humbly and incrementally it seems, instead of having a breathtaking breakthrough.

And any setbacks along the way seem all the more painful, after getting a glimpse and taste of the peace and love of God in the freedom in Christ.

Thanks, sister, for the link.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., I like your garden, outdoor analogy. So true. And both of equal importance.

Ted Gossard said...

Betsy Lin,

I love what you say here. You sound like an apt/ggod student of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ("Life Together"). Those words need to be marked and underlined in our hearts and then into our lives.

I can see from your words why community can be and sometimes/often times is a struggle. But from your words I can also see how community can be, in God through Christ, the greatest blessing.

Ted Gossard said...

I meant apt/good student of D.B.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

sounds to me like you've been reading Heb 12:1,2 - and I like it!

yes, there is sin that easily entangles me - but there are also things that are not sin but hinder my walk - it seems to me that although I must fix my eyes ahead, I must also take a solid look behind to know what the sin and hinderances have consistently been.

Rachel Starr Thomson said...

My sisters and I recently observed that newly saved friends with newly formed high ideals and standards will often revert to their "primal instincts" in the moment. We naturally fall back on old habits. You're so right about the need for community to keep us accountable and show us a better way. I love your insight that Lot's family had not become that kind of community.

Thanks for coming by regularly. I've been a slack blogger of late but need to get back into it, I know.

preacherman said...

Great post.
I think she might have looked back because she longed for what she was leaving behind: friends, possessions, life-syle, lovers, Or to maybe see what God's wrath looked like. Do we sometime what to see what God's wrath looks like? Especially those who do our family harm or pervert our children's minds, life, emotions. Ted, great post. I want to thank you for making me think. I love that about your blog. You make people think. I read your blog alot. I think you are doing a great job brother! Keep up the great work by challeging us spiritually.

Ted Gossard said...

Susan, That sounds to me sort of like taking a spiritual inventory, which is good.

I want by God's grace to be seeking to live life to it fullest in the way of Jesus (which does not exclude enjoying life of course- I'm just trying to make clear what I mean here), so that it's not about taking a microscope to myself all the time, and I know you're not saying that.

Hebrews 12:1-2 have been favorite verses of mine. And I must confess that lately I've been saying to the Lord something like: "I don't know what your salvation looks like in this." So I must continue to follow after, even when it seems strange or most definitely difficult at times, yet seek to do so as one confessing and forsaking sin, and not letting even what is good hinder me.

Ted Gossard said...

Rachel, Good to hear from you.

So much we have to unlearn and some of the things deeply rooted in us we still can be dealing with years later.

In our communities, in the midst of all this, we need to show the better way as given to us in Scripture.

Ted Gossard said...

Preacherman, Thanks for your most generous, gracious words.

I like what you're saying as to why Lot's wife may have looked back. Good thoughts, and so true.

And the point on wrath. It's good to know that God is a god of judgment as well as grace. We all need them both. Therefore if we wish judgment on any part of the human race, to be like Christ, I believe, we also need to wish on them grace. And even in Christ we need the judgment and grace of God ongoing in our lives.