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Coffee Break: Don't Allow Looking Back Turn You Into a Pillar of Salt...Lessons from Lot's Wife

Isaiah 43:18-20

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland to give drink to my people, my chosen,

Your first impression of Lot's wife may be that she wasn't too bright. After all, she was told not to look back after being guided out of the wicked land that was literally burning around her. All she had to do was run forward and keep her eyes straight ahead, and she would have been home free. But she took just one more quick glance back, and her fate was forever sealed in the form of a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26), unable to move forward into the new space that God was providing for her and her family.

Lots' wife will forever be infamous as the woman who foolishly disobeyed God and paid the immediate consequences of her actions. But before we get too judgmental, I think we are not that different from Lot's wife. Ask yourself how many times you looked back when God was leading you out of a wasteland. Maybe your wasteland was a job, a relationship, an addiction, a bad habit, or a situation, and you just wanted to take one more look back at the past. It happens to the best of us.

There is something tempting about taking that one last look or trying to revisit a past that no longer serves you. All of us know someone who has done this and is probably guilty of this ourselves. Think of that relationship that was not healthy that God led you out of and paved a clear path to leave, but you get that text, that phone call, that Facebook message, and suddenly, you are tempted to look back one more time. The end result is never good.

The past is attached to emotion, and those emotions can mess with our perception, and soon, our choices reflect that emotion. Suddenly, the nostalgia takes on a life of its own, and we are stuck in a place that really no longer exists. Dwelling in that place, we become like a pillar of salt, immobilized and unable to take advantage of the opportunities that God has for us.

Sometimes, we think that we can't get better than our past, so we try to hold onto it, but God always has better for us. When we don't want to move forward, we are making a decision not to trust that God has our best plan.

In all fairness, although Lot's wife lived in a wicked place, it was still her home; she probably made friends there and had attachments, and there may have been some sadness and shock when having to leave it. Maybe she was turning back out of that nostalgia, even though fire and brimstone were pouring down. We do that too with our past. Regardless of how bad, it can be tempting to revisit it just one more time.

Jesus warns the people in Luke 17:29-32:

People were eating; they were drinking; they were buying; they were selling; they were planting; they were building; but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down to take them out, and likewise, whoever is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.

For Jesus to mention Lot's wife, the woman not assigned a name in the Bible, is significant. When God has taken something out of your life, let it go! Keep your eyes on the path ahead so that God can bring you into a spacious and new place.

Here are 3 Lessons we can learn from Lot's wife:

  1. Heed God's Warning: If the Lord is revealing something to you, don't brush it aside. The Holy Spirit speaks to you listen!

  2. Open Your Eyes to God's Opportunities for You: God will make a way, but you have to take advantage of it. Don't view these opportunities with your human perception but with your spiritual perception. Your human perception can not understand how God will make something happen because it puts limitations on what it can not comprehend. Your spiritual vision knows that God is limitless.

  3. Accept God's Way Out: When God is leading you out of a desert or a wasteland, follow His Lead. Don't look back; look straight ahead and know He is bringing you to a new and better place. Don't get stuck in the familiar; accept the new thing God has in store for you.

Watch my Bible study lesson for a deeper dive into the lessons we can learn from Lot's wife by clicking below:

Don't let the enemy make you think that your past is better than God's plan for your future!

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