Genesis 19:26 NKJV But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
As we come to the close of 2013 many are looking back and wondering what lies ahead. What does God have for our future? Could it be more of the same? Or is it possible that what lies ahead of us is better than what we ever could have imagined? We are at the crossroads between yesterday and tomorrow!
In Genesis 19:12-29 we find the story of God delivering Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah before the sin of what was taking place there brought destruction upon the city and its inhabitants. God sent angels in to the city to bring Lot and his family out in order to bring them into a place of safety, a refuge where they could experience His goodness for their lives. Just as He did for the Israelites when bringing them out of Egypt, He brought Lot and his family out of a place of bondage and sin in order to bring them into a place of His provision and goodness. What lay ahead of them was so much better than what was behind, in their past.
In this story of Lot’s and his family’s deliverance, we see that Lot’s wife had difficulty leaving her past behind. She was so torn in leaving that as she was being brought out of the city she looked back longingly for what she was leaving behind. The result was that she was so paralyzed at the thought of leaving behind what she had thought as being the “good life” she had experienced in Sodom and Gomorrah that she was preserved right where she was as a pillar of salt. Her affections were for the world she was leaving behind and not what God had for her in the future. God was bringing her out of what she couldn’t see as a destructive lifestyle to bring her into the blessings of His future, but she wanted to stay where she was and it proved to be to her destruction.
God is the God of restoration, reconciliation and re-construction! Regardless of whether your year 2013 was a good one or what you consider to be a year of destruction, God has a good future ahead of you. The thing that we must remember is that we can’t fully embrace what God has for us in the future until we turn loose of the past. It’s difficult to walk a straight line if you have your head turned around looking behind you. Lot’s wife made the mistake of desiring what she was leaving behind. She couldn’t see the future for the past. Sometimes we get caught up in what we think is the best we could ever have until we can’t imagine God doing something new that could be better. Many times we won’t turn loose of the past because of following the “popular opinion” of what others think we should or shouldn’t do.
As God brought His people out of Egypt, which He defined as the house of bondage (Deuteronomy 5:6), to move them into the Promised Land we see them constantly thinking about what they had left behind. They couldn’t see the future for the remembrance of the past, even though they cried out to God for deliverance from the bondage they were under to the Egyptians, and He delivered them and provided for their every need while on the way to the Promised Land.
Numbers 11:4-6 NKJV Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said; “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; “but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
The people were blinded by looking behind so that they couldn’t see the opportunities that lay before them!
Are you blinded by your past today? Can you see the good that God has promised for your future? He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a good future awaiting you; a plan filled with hope for good that is designed to prosper you and not harm you. He spoke these words to His people while they were yet again in bondage and had no vision of the good future that He had awaiting them. And the same is meant for us today as God never changes and His desires are always to bless and prosper His people; to provide a better future for them than what they are living in at the present.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God is speaking once again to His people today about looking forward into His goodness rather than dwelling on the past. 2014 is upon us; it is uncharted territory and God is opening the door for us into a new future; new goals and new dreams.
Are you ready to lay aside the old and embrace the new? I have chosen to lay aside some aspects of ministry to embrace what only God knows that He has for me in the future. Some don’t understand and are saddened by my decision, but I feel it is the leading of the Lord and must follow what I hear Him saying to me. I know that God will lead by His Spirit and through His word, just as He did of old, leading by His presence as by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He never left them to travel through uncharted territory by themselves. He was always there to provide and protect.
Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she failed to see the goodness and provision of the Lord. She had become “comfortable” in the dysfunction of her life until she longed for what was familiar more than the newness and excitement of the changes that God wanted to bring into her life. She failed to follow Him and chose to live in the past rather than the future. What will it be for you? Will you embrace the new year with total abandonment of the past or will you be constantly looking back wishing things could be as they used to be?
I’m excited to be moving into the future! I believe God has good things in store for His people in 2014 and that as I align myself with Him and believe that what He has in store for me will be good I will experience the fullness of all that He has awaiting me in the new year!
Father, I thank You for what You have taught me in 2013 and I look forward to the good future that you have set before me in the upcoming year. I pray that many will come to salvation through your goodness as You have stated in Your word in Romans 2:4 that it is Your goodness that leads man to repentance. I pray that we all might lay aside the past in order to move forward into the good that You have planned for us in the upcoming year. I pray that it will be a year of transformation as we draw close to You and embrace all that You have for us. Father, open the eyes of the blind to see the way that You have set before them. Teach us Your ways, Your right way of doing things, that we might walk closely with You and give us long life, good health, and provision for every need that we might encounter in the upcoming days. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.