Friday, August 8, 2014


Image courtesy of lkunl /
These words were spoken by Lot on the brink of imminent disaster.  Thank you for saving my life so far, but...  Here was a man living in a very sinful place, somehow managing it seems to pursue a righteous life in the midst of all the evil surrounding him, but yet he was almost unable to avoid utter destruction himself.  Had Lots eyes become so clouded with the typical things going on around him that he could not recognize the utter disaster about to fall upon him?  Lot's reasoning is something to consider here because it does seem as though he believes the disaster will happen, hence the fear of it consuming him before he can escape, but he doesn't seem to believe that God's messengers will provide him a way of escape, even though they have followed through on each promise up to these point.  So he haggles with them.  I can't go that far, but how about there.  He points to a place in the distance and asks if that will be alright.  What would have happened if he went to the hills as instructed?  What happens in the hills?  I am reminded of the Psalmist who looks to the hills for there his help comes from the Lord.  How would Lot's story have changed?  But he lingers, like he did a little earlier that morning when the messengers practically had to carry him out of the city.  What kept him stuck?  Fear of the unknown? trappings within the city?

There is so much here that I can identify with.  I like to read the story of Lot with an objective view, saying, "come on Lot, you know that place is no good, in fact God is going to completely wreak havoc and destroy it because of all the evil there.  I think this is a good time to get out of Dodge!"  What is the matter with him?  Why can he not obey the simple commands from God?  God has offered him a safe escape route, but he is still afraid he won't make it and will die. 

But I cannot look at this story from an objective third party distance because I see so much of me in this story.  How many times have I become so easily entangled with the trappings of the world, that I can sometimes not see where I end and my sin begins.  Sins of materialism, of greed, of envy, of worry, of fear all stem from the bottom line that I lack belief that my God will provide all I need every day.  He provides forgiveness and mercy that is new each morning and yet I hang on and struggle to release my failures and my missteps to him, embracing the forgiveness he so freely offers because of fears.  The voice in my head that says I have gone too far, there is no way God could still offer his loving embrace.  The voice that after I have sensed a prompting from God immediately tells me that it is not possible for me to do that and speaks to my vanity and fear of not pleasing everyone with its enticements that someone may not like me or it may be awkward if I step forward and follow through.

You see, I am in the same predicament as Lot.  I am living in a world that sin permeates.  The enemy hovers near and slowly speaks to us in ways that cause us to doubt the love God has for us.  Maybe that is why Lot feared he wouldn't make it.  Maybe he feared that though God had poured out his mercy thus far and brought him out of that city, that maybe God would change his mind halfway to the hills and Lot and his family would be toast.  Is that what I fear?  Am I afraid that if I were to move forward in whatever God has called me to do that midway through God might forget about me and I wouldn't fulfill his calling?

Friends, I do not know if any of you struggle with the lingering, but here this our God promises to never leave us or forsake us.  We can trust His truth.  Though the enemy may fill our minds with fears and doubts and worries, those are lies.  Remember the enemy is the father of all lies and his greatest joy is to keep us separated from God.  If he can master that, how rich are his spoils, but here is the truth, the God we serve has total and complete victory over the enemy!  Whenever we hear those whispers, we can cling to the truth God has given us, His word.  In fact, Jesus gives us tremendous insight into this very situation when he prayed for us:
"I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.  They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in the truth."  John 17:14-19 (emphasis mine)
 Once we recognize the true origin of these doubts and fears that keep us lingering and not trusting in God to move forward, we can move forward.  How powerful to know that Jesus prayed for us regarding this very situation and we know he continues to intercede for us to the Father in whatever situation.  We can cry out to God and know he hears us and loves us.  God has given us his word, his truth.  I bolded the words in verse 17 because it shows how we can be sanctified, grow more and more holy, Christ-like, by clinging to God's truth, God's word.  It is through studying God's truth that we recognize those areas of our life where we have allowed the enemy to construct lies that keep us in knots, keep us lingering.  Lies of what will bring true joy and peace because there is only One who brings true joy and peace.  This One longs to fill us with His joy and His peace if we will only trust in Him.  Christ came that we would have life and have it more abundantly.  Abundant life, not ridden with fear, but filled with hope and joy.  May we pause and pray for God to reveal the areas of our lives where we are lingering, where we are not pursuing God's call.  May we confess those areas and receive the abundant and merciful forgiveness He so richly provides and move forward in the life abundant, letting go of our fears and running for the hills he calls us to.  Remember, we do not have to figure out or understand all of this on our own nor are we expected to.  Our Helper will provide all that we need each step of the way.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills -- from where will my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 121:1-2 NRSV

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Image courtesy of patpitchaya /

Fear is an issue I struggle with daily.  In fact, much of the time it keeps me frozen.  I don't speak for fear of upsetting someone.  I don't act out of fear of doing something the wrong way.  I don't try because I am afraid to fail.  Oh fear, how you have my number.  And yet, Scripture teaches us over and over again not to fear, not to worry, not to be afraid.  I've wanted to take time and work through all of these passages for myself and I think this might just be the perfect place to do that, so over the next weeks, months, years (I hear there are a lot of these Scriptures!), I will be spending time writing about these different passages.  Hopefully, this system will not only help me be organized, but also accountable. :)