not looking back

In the account of Lot being taken, indeed rescued out from Sodom we read that Lot’s wife looked back, and became a pillar of salt. What God meant to do for Lot and his family was more than just to remove them from an ungodly town which he was about to destroy. He also meant to do a work of removing ungodliness from them. Lot’s wife, not to mention Lot himself, had evidently become so enamored with “the world” as experienced in their lives in Sodom, that while she was leaving it physically, her heart was still there. God had warned them not to look back. That must have at least been symbolic of God’s will for them to look elsewhere in receiving from him a new vision of life.

Jesus referred to this happening in his call to discipleship, or true following of him in this world. When we look back we aren’t following. Some ways of looking back are obvious and plainly sinful. But other ways may be more subtle, at least to us. We justify them for this and that reason. But when we do so, we are no longer following Jesus. We can’t have both. We are at least greatly hindered if not stopped in our tracks altogether. Jesus made it plain that it is indeed one or the other.

As touched on already, this is indeed a matter of the heart. We need our hearts changed. But we don’t excuse ourselves as to what we actually do with our bodies. Our hearts are indeed impacted by what we do or don’t do. If following Jesus means I can’t do something that some other brother or sister in Jesus with good conscience can do, then so be it. They may be able to do what we can’t, since they may not have the same issues in their lives as we have. At any rate we can only live our own lives.

Moving forward in Jesus means no less than an altered vision. May the Lord himself be our vision in the coming year, more and more. For God’s glory and for the world Jesus came to save.