MIDWEEK MINUTE 5/15/19: Don’t Look Back
Back in the late 70s and early 80s my brother had a Christian rock band. I loved all his songs and his music (yes, I’m biased), but there was one in particular that started like this:
I should be a pillar of salt, I’ve looked back so many times.
I should be a pillar of salt, I’ve looked around and turned from the light.
Don’t let go, of what you know
to be the light at the end of the road, boy,
Don’t look back; it is ahead of you!
He essentially paraphrased, of course, the story of Lot and his family. Because of the prevalence of sin in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, God set about to destroy these two wicked cities in order to set an example for those who had chosen to reject Him. So, He had sent two angels to rescue Lot and his wife and daughters from that destruction.
“When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, ‘Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!'” (Genesis 19:17).
Do you get the sense of urgency? The sense that if they didn’t hurry, they, too, would be caught up in the judgment of God? The sense that if they tried to hold on too long to the lives they had made for themselves, that they would have been consumed along with those of the worldly culture within which they had lived?
So what happened to them? Are you on the edge of your seat? Yes, they ran away! They made it out of town! But, not without a warning. Lot and his family were told to keep RUNNING and DON’T LOOK BACK!
“But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).
Do you think Lot’s wife was curious as to what was going on behind them or was she regretting having to leave a life that she may have enjoyed? Why is it that when God rescues us from hurt, financial loss, personal devastation, loneliness, or rescues from making bad choices, from dodging the bullets of lusts and desires, why do we AT SOME POINT, LOOK BACK!
We look back because it had been drilled into our heads from an early age that we were useless human beings, and we believed it. Then, we realized that God, through Jesus, rescued and gave us value in His Kingdom, and we ACCEPTED HIS WORD about this. So, why did we eventually Look Back at our former selves and allow that to drag us right back down into the pit of despair?
We look back because when we took a ridiculous financial risk in order to pursue a big payout that DIDN’T WORK OUT, and we lost everything, He gave us a chance to learn our lesson and brought our check book back into the black. So, why did we eventually begin to credit ourselves with our recovery, got proud, and took the risk a second time and lost everything all over again?
We look back because we started looking for our value through the eyes of the world and all its glitz and glamour, and all the bright shiny objects that the world can bring to our doorstep. Then we realized that all of it lacked meaning, and was temporary, and robbed us of morality. Why, then, did we keep LOOKING BACK at the broken culture around us, rather than at the absolute perfection of God’s moral and ethical character? We had seen the light until we became DISTRACTED AGAIN and became so morally bankrupt that we didn’t know if we were coming or going, and we were soon losing our minds and our direction.
At the first christian sermon on the planet, Peter said to the crowd as he stood on the southern steps of the temple, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:28).
The Greek word for “repent” is metanoeo, which means to think different or reconsider your thinking. In other words, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are commanded to do a U-TURN. We are commanded, “Don’t look back!”
Paul clearly tells us the RESULT of obeying the call to Repent, to U-Turn, to NOT Look Back. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When we accept the Rescuing Salvation of Jesus Christ and BECOME A NEW PERSON, why do we all-to-often find ourselves being drawn back toward our old habits, our old schemes, and our old hurts?
The bottom line is this… when we Look Back, we know what to expect. Good, bad, or ugly, we can count on our history to not let us down to what we’ve become familiar with. And so often, Looking Back to what is KNOWN is more “comfortable” than Looking FORWARD to the UNKNOWN. But, hey, that’s why Jesus calls it “FAITH”!
“Don’t let go, of what you know, to the be the light at the end of the road, boy (and girl!)” because JESUS is AHEAD of YOU! There is only destruction in the rearview mirror, so DON’T LOOK BACK!
Hurry! Get a sense of urgency! The world is in hot pursuit of you, so Don’t Look Back, HE is ahead of you and is leading you to a NEW & BETTER HOME!
God bless you all, and we hope to see you Sunday!