June 24, 2022

The Power of Your Choices

By Skip Heitzig

Some of us have grown content with far less than we should as believers. We think things like, I'm spiritual enough. I've prayed enough. I've read enough. Life is good enough. And we begin to make small choices that can snowball into dangerous consequences.

One man in the Bible who grew complacent in this way was Lot, Abraham's nephew. When God called Abraham to leave Ur, Lot followed along, which meant he was able to watch up close the decisions and lifestyle of a man who, though imperfect, was a champion of the faith.

Lot, however, faced challenges. Living in Canaan with his uncle, "the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock" (Genesis 13:6-7).

To solve the issue, Abraham told Lot to settle wherever he wanted to, and Abraham would go the opposite direction (see Genesis 13:8-9). This was where Lot began to make those little decisions that set him on a tragic trajectory in life.

First, Lot chose to settle in a place that looked good to him materially but was not good for him spiritually (see Genesis 13:10-11; see also 1 John 2:16). Next, he "pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord" (Genesis 13:12-13). This was a problem. The New Testament does say that Lot "tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing [the] lawless deeds" (2 Peter 2:8) of those in Sodom. But he lived there all the same.

And in Genesis 19 we find Lot "sitting in the gate of Sodom" (v. 1). Only leaders, politicians, and people of influence sat in the gates of ancient cities. Lot went from being a resident of Sodom to being a representative of it. When God was about to destroy the city, Lot lingered; angels basically had to drag him out of town (see Genesis 19:15-16). In the end, Lot became deadened to the urgency of separating from the evil that was around him.

I know the New Testament says Lot was a righteous man. And he was righteous because at some point, he must have followed Abraham's example and said, "I believe the Lord, too" (see Genesis 15:6). But though he had a saved soul, he had a lost life—one that was wasted.

What Lot's life shows us, among other things, is the power and consequence of choice. A little choice leads to another choice and then another choice until you're sitting in the city gates and lingering in a place that's slated for destruction.

If you find yourself deadened and numb to the sinful place where your bad choices have led you, it's time to leave Sodom. Not tomorrow—today. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). Make the choice today to turn your back on what you know you should turn your back on and come under the grace of God. I love what the text in Genesis says: "The Lord being merciful to [Lot]" dragged him out of town (Genesis 19:16). The Lord wants to be so merciful to you. And He will be—but you have to invite Him in.

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