GENESIS 20 - 25 & MATTHEW 11-15
Well, Hi there! Im so sorry for the long delay in this post but THIS GIRL has been on FIRE! I have been so sick the last couple of days and I am just now starting to get over this terrible head cold. Anyway before we move on I have to revisit Lot one more time because it plays into what I want to talk about today, FAMILY!
Lot was led out of Sodom with his family by God himself! I think we can often zoom pass that little fact in our reading and not get the full mercy of that moment. GOD HIMSELF sent angels to rescue Lot and his family because of Abraham's plea. Never underestimate the power you have in the life of friends and loved ones. ABE remained faithful to the Lord, loved the Lord, and when he asked the Lord for mercy, GOD ANSWERED HIM. So here is Lot first encountering the angels and begging the men of his town to not attack the angels. He actually tells them to take his VIRGIN DAUGHTERS for their pleasure just leave the men alone. WHAAT? Hold up! That messes me up every time I read it. You know what it shows me? Lot stayed WAY TOO LONG in that town and was willing to sacrifice his own daughters to sexual depravity out of FEAR instead of trusting God. UH NOPE! You will see later on in the reading that Lot's daughters give into sexual depravity out of fear as well. This is a wake up call for me as a mom. Anything I model in front of my kids they will run with. It is important for me to live a godly life in front of my children, to be quick to admit my failures when I blow it so that my children will see that mistakes can find grace and a life lived in love with God is doable. Back to Lot and his family, here they are being delivered by the hand of God supernaturally and yet they cannot just pick up and flee. I mean the scripture tells us the angels had to DRAG them out. WHY? If God is warning, don’t know about you, but imma a RUNNIN! They had to be dragged out and nearly were burned up because THEY HAD BECOME ATTACHED to that place and the people. Beloved God warns us all throughout scripture to not be so attached to the things of this world. That at any moment we have to be willing to give up everything for His kingdom. They may not have indulged in all the things around them but they did not maintain a healthy distance from them either and BECAME ATTACHED! We cannot be tethered to the world and try to live from heavenly places! OH SNAP, say it again. We cannot be tethered to the world and try to live from HEAVENLY PLACES! I mean Lot's wife did not make it very far before her heart attachment to that vile city, or her heartache of all the material things she had to leave behind, whatever it was caused her to look back with longing and instantly she turned to a pillar of salt. That region is the Dead Sea and is full of salt. She most likely died on the spot and the salt deposits covered her and she remained as a pillar, a lasting monument of those who love the world more than God. We ourselves tend to be attached to this material world more than we are to the spiritual and more times than not our allegiance falls with worldly things and not things related to godliness. May Lot's wife serve as a reminder to all of us not to CLING so tightly to worldly things and be DISTRACTED from spiritual pursuits and godliness.
This all ties into family because our homes need to be more concerned with SPIRITUAL things rather than the world. What we allow to fill our homes WILL PRODUCE fruit in the life of our children, our marriages, and ourselves personally. When we choose not to protect our children and our own hearts from the immoral culture through entertainment, internet, friends, literature and other things that fly the banner of this culture, like Lot, we choose to sacrifice the things we love most and eventually the shame will come to us. We have to grow in the spirit of AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE WE WILL SERVE THE LORD! We have to love our families with such tenacity that we stand at the doors of culture and declare NOT IN MY HOUSE! I always think about how different things would have been for Lot if he would have just TRUSTED God, the provision of safety that was before Him, and displayed a man of God in front of his family. Maybe He would not have found himself drunk fathering grandchildren with his daughters in a cave. Do you know that the two bloodlines that came from them were enemies of God. We NEVER know what our moments of COMPROMISE are setting in motion in the life of our children or Nations. We NEVER know what our FAITHFULNESS is unlocking in the life of our children or Nations.
This post is all about Family and the deep beautiful calling we have as mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, brothers and sisters, wherever you find yourself within the family to live your life in such a manner that honors God and sets an example for your loved ones to do the same. I mean ABE and Sarah stayed true to God their entire lives. They messed up a lot but always went to God and got their mess straightened out. The scripture says in both their lives that they lived full years. They lived their lives to the fullest, surrendered to God, holding firm to His promises, and believing even when they could not understand. This is a FULL LIFE! A successful life is to love and be loved. A successful life is to be fully surrendered to God with nothing attaching you to this world. A successful life is raising the generations behind you to love the Lord. A successful life is to be committed to your spouse and to REALLY LOVE THEM beyond feelings or emotions. A successful life is to face adversity and disappointment with the knowledge that God is in control with the heart stance, I will not bow my knee to any thing other than HIM! I mean when God asked ABE to take that precious boy that he and Sarah waited their entire life for, a promise FROM GOD, and sacrifice Him. HE PREPARED TO DO IT! What I love about the story is that even on the way up the mountain Abe told the servants to wait that they would return. THEY WOULD RETURN! Abe was fully confident that God was in control and if he killed Issac God could raise him up. Scripture says he actually rose early to do this. Im sure he did not like what God was asking him to do but he DID NOT PROCRASTINATE. ABE had a promise from God and he knew no matter what the outward circumstances were GOD IS ALWAYS BIGGER. Man oh Woman that is a successful life. God will always keep His promises even if He has to raise things from the dead! What I want you to see is that Issac saw this life of faith in his father lived out and Issac continued in the blessing of his father. Lot's children watched their father and committed incest out of fear, Issac watched his father and went on to be part of the spiritual inheritance of all our lives.
Family is important and how we live behind the doors of our home is important. How we handle the things of God is important. Our lives matter far beyond the here and now. My favorite quote from Gladiator, WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOES AN ETERNITY! Realize that our greatest mission field can be located with our own address. I love that ABE was so heartbroken when Sarah died, that man loved his woman and without her he had no home. I love that ABE made it a point to find his son a wife among Gods people and not the pagan worshipping women. He cared about his children way beyond them being HAPPY. He cared that they walked in the ways of the Lord and would continue that pursuit in the life of their children. Sadly in todays culture parents are more concerned with their children being star athletes, great educational geniuses, and obtaining jobs of stature with big paychecks rather than equipping them to walk after the Lord. They will spend all kinds of time and finances to further their worldly pursuits and little effort helping them grow spiritually. I mean just look around SUNDAY CHURCH has been sacrificed on the alter of kids sports. ABE did not want Issac marrying the women of Canaan because they were godless and the people we marry have huge influence over our life. More importantly the people we marry will have huge impact on the lives of our children. See our culture says do what ever feels right and marry whoever you love. ABE is showing us here that marriage and family building is way more than a FEELING of love. God shows us in this story that he has values and methods to choosing a spouse. The parents were always involved and this is a great tool for those who have God fearing parents. Listen to them and do not always trust your feelings. FEELINGS can deceive you. He chooses a close friend to find a mate. Listen to those people around you that you respect spiritually. Ask their advice on a potential mate and LISTEN to them even if your feelings say otherwise. The choosing was bathed in prayer and asking God for a sign. ASK GOD what he thinks about the potential mate, wait for Him to answer, and THEN LISTEN TO HIM! The servant was looking for character in a woman. LOOK FOR CHARACTER not CHARISMA! These things are so important because MARRIAGE is important because CHILDREN are important and WE have the responsibility to represent CHRIST in ALL OF THE ABOVE. I love how the scripture says ABE loved Sarah and Issac loved Rebecca and he took her into his mothers tent and she became his wife. These men understood that love was way beyond a feeling that comes and goes, Love was a commitment, a covenant that would last forever and would be the FOUNDATION for generations after them to carry out the blessing and promises of God. When we understand the DESTINY linked with marriage and raising children, we understand the command of the Lord to not be unevenly yoked. Just remember that all of scripture is God breathed for our training. These stories of family, children, and love all have purpose and we can all sit and learn from them.
Matthew goes into all these parables about the Kingdom of God and what it is like. Basically Jesus is saying hey look your life matters and what you do with it matters. God has a plan and invites you into His plans. Be careful because life has a way of choking out Gods plans if you let it but to those who persevere, the Kingdom Life is yours. Then the disciples would ask for the meaning of all the parables and Jesus would honor their request. Jesus loves for us to go deeper with Him and is always willing to take us deeper if we ask. This is a disciple, a student, one who desires to LEARN TO BECOME. My favorite part about this reading is Chapter 15 because Jesus is just straight talking to the Pharisees. He calls them frauds, tells them that they make a big old show of doing spiritual things but their HEARTS are far from Him! RELIGION no RELATIONSHIP. Thats why I love Jesus so much because he cares about knowing me not just me doing. Even if I am doing and He does not KNOW ME He calls me a FRAUD. Man oh Woman that pricks my heart. Jesus says to them that you just use me as cover to basically do whatever you want. OUCH! I don’t want to spend my life using Him as a cover to do my own thing and look spiritual. I want my life to BE COVERED by Him. His disciples make me laugh because they are like, UMM Jesus you do know you just ticked off the BIG GUNS right? You do know that they did not like what you just said. Then Jesus just goes boss mode and says, AND?…. Every tree that is not planted by my father will be uprooted.. FO GET ABOUT IT… they are blind leading the blind and eventually they will end up in a ditch. DROP THE MIC! Im laughing so hard right now. Jesus was a boss! He goes on to say that what comes out of their mouth is vile because it starts in their heart and He just keeps on displaying the Kingdom. I love all of this because Jesus was not a pansy. He called things for what they were and He just kept on steppin. Jesus did not allow man to detour Him from His mission and He did not allow man to warp His mission. He spoke truth, called people to real love, let them choose, and stayed focused always taking time to explain and take those few who desired to go deeper, to a different place of understanding. The heart of Jesus was so fierce yet so tender. I pray that I learn how to live from that place>>> a fierce heart for the Kingdom and God's way, a tender heart for God's people. I think more than anything that would be a SUCCESSFUL LIFE, A LIFE LIVED FULL OF YEARS!