Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Which will you choose? Greener Pastures or Stay Course

The decisions we make everyday have spiritual consequences. 

Proverbs 4:25-27 (GW)  Let your eyes look straight ahead and your sight be focused in front of you. Carefully walk a straight path, and all your ways will be secure. Do not lean to the right or to the left. Walk away from evil.

In Genesis 13, we read about Abraham and Lot’s journey out of Egypt. Abraham was rich with livestock, silver and gold (Gen 13:2). Lot also had flocks and tents (Gen. 13:5). The land they were in couldn't sustain both families living together. As their journey continued, squabbling broke out between the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot.

Abraham decided to settle the dispute. I believe the character of both Abraham and Lot were revealed by the decisions made that day. Abraham was older and could have technically choose which direction he wanted to go in without even considering Lot. But we see in Genesis 13:8 – 9 Abraham gave Lot first choice. He wanted to resolve the conflict and put family peace over personal desires.

As Lot looked around he saw good pasture and the abundant water supply for his livestock along the plain of the Jordan River (Gen. 13:10). He didn’t even stop to consider what was fair. He saw the abundance of the land and chose “greener pastures”. I’d say Lot was a little greedy…wouldn’t you? What Lot failed to realize was that the “greener pastures” were very close to a city well known for its sin…Sodom.

Okay, so I have to pause from the story here and ask a question or two. Have you ever decided to head toward “Sodom”? You know what I’m talking about right? Go to a party or a bar, go to see a group of “old” friends, go to a movie with questionable content….anything really that has the potential to lead you off the solid path Christ has you on? Perhaps you don’t even think about the consequence or maybe you rationalize (tell yourself rational – lies) the decision:

“I can handle this.”
“There are unsaved friends there.”
“I know I can stand strong.”
I won’t be affected by my surroundings.”

Just let that sink in for a few minutes.

Back to the story.

Lot decided. He would choose "greener pastures" and settle near Sodom and Abraham, in the land of Canaan. To borrow a phrase from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, Lot chose poorly! And I’m not talking about Sodom’s eventual destruction. Before that happened (in Genesis 19), Genesis 14 tells us Lot and his family, were taken captive by King Chedorlaomer. In those days being held captive could mean being enslaved, tortured or put to death.

Lot’s greed leads him to sinful surroundings and it cost him his freedom. In the same way, we can be enticed by “Sodom” and end up “enslaved”. Satan has a knack for tempting us into doing things or going places we shouldn’t. That’s what happens when we stop making Christ-centered decisions. When we take Christ out of the decision-making process, we are left making the ones that lead to our own captivity.

Life is a series of choices. The question is will you choose “greener pastures” or will you choose to stay on the path Christ has set before you?

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