“Too Close For Comfort.”

  

Genesis 13:10-13 Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar.  The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt.  This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them.  He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.  So Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom and settled among the cities of the plain.  But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord. 

As a mom of three it has always been my goal to equip my children with the necessary tools for them to be able to ‘make wise decisions in my absence.’  I knew that as they would grow and go their ways, there would be times for them to make certain decisions without consulting me.  It all begins in preschool ~~ the decision to follow the playground rules of safety and courtesy.  It leads to the decisions to do your homework before play time.  It paves the way to successfully making decisions to choosing the right company of friends while away at college.  It opens the doors to good workplace ethics and decisions that directly impact fellow coworkers and business partners.  Practicing all these things lays down the foundational ways of family structure in the home which will (hopefully) lead to passing on the tradition to the next generation.

As we read in Genesis, the relationship between Lot and his Uncle Abram had become strained to the point of ‘parting’ and the two households going their separate ways.  It struck me that Abram gave Lot the choice of land ~~ and that Lot immediately took that opportunity without so much as an act of ‘deference’ back to his Uncle.  I sort of scratch my head at the impulsiveness of Lot.  After all, he was taken into the family of Abram after his father had died.  Part of me says, ‘Hey, Lot! Don’t you think you could at least ask Uncle Abram to make the first choice?!’  Anyone else out there ever wonder about this?

Nonetheless, Lot quickly surveyed with his eyes the Jordan Valley ~~ and he saw that it was breath-taking! Scripture says it was fertile and well watered.  My mind envisions lush greenery and exotic foliage that just captivated the human senses.  So it’s possible that Lot considered these conditions would be suitable for increasing his wealth (Scripture describes the enormity of his livestock is what led to the arguing between his household and Abram’s); and he jumped at the opportunity to have first grab.  

But did you catch verse 13: But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord.

Lot’s choice was made with his eyes ~~ his senses ~~ with the hopes of increasing his possessions and living comfortably.  But his neighbors were ungodly.  Scripture uses the words: wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord.

How often have you and I made choices that we later regretted?  Maybe we failed to consider the possible consequences to our decisions ~~ maybe our decisions placed us to close to sin and we later found ourselves in a heap of trouble.  

When I stop to survey with my eyes rather than pray in the spirit, my flesh has the tendency to overrule any good sense that could be stored in my brain.  Sometimes what the eyes ‘see’ can be so deceiving.  Oh, we can have the very best of godly intentions ~~ and have plans to ‘tithe’ our worldly gains and fortunes ~~ but the slightest compromise will lead to disaster.

Living too close to evil and wickedness ~~ even though Abram had nurtured and taught his young nephew ~~ Lot was just  close enough to sin that he needed to be ‘escorted out’ of town by God’s Angels ~~ to avoid becoming part of God’s wrath upon the inhabitants of his chosen land.  

I can attest to God taking me away from certain circles of friends ~~ because they later proved to not be in my best interest.  At the time I was in their company, I thought I was safe and secure amongst those of the same mind.  Of course, there were a few that had questionable behaviors ~~ but I felt that I could handle myself well enough not to become involved in any of thei practices; I felt that I could hold my ground.  And while I never participated in any of the extreme activities, I did find myself beginning to compromise in smaller less obvious ways.  It wasn’t long before I realized the changes I had slowly succumbed to; it was all so subtle and seemingly harmless.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 

Just too close for comfort ~~ sometimes when we sink into our comfy zones we also drop our spiritual defenses and soon we are snuggled up next door to sin.  

Girlfriend, is God calling you to leave your comfy zone because it is not contributing to building you up spiritually?   Are there friends or activities that He’s been nudging you to let go that you’ve held on to because you have reasoned in your mind, ‘I can handle it?’  This may be your deciding moment ~~ this may be your out ~~ this may be God calling you out.  

I sincerely pray that you will stop here and answer this question: “What am I ‘living too close to’ that God would not approve of?”

2 Peter 3:14, 17-18 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. You already know these things, dear friends.  So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen. 

If you need to move away from the sinful influences of the world, I urge you to do it swiftly!  Call on a few Sisters-in-Christ who will pray for and with you.  Maintain a close fellowship with other Believers and ask The Holy Spirit to strengthen your walk with Christ.  It may be a bigger challenge than you anticipate, but there is nothing too big for our Great God.  Confess your sin of complacency and He will lovingly forgive.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary


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TitusTwoTraining

I'm a GOD Girl that desires to fulfill the Purpose that He has breathed into her heart: to bring up the ones coming up behind her. Titus 2 encourages women like me to reach out beyond our comfort zones and become transparent and vulnerable for the sake of those who want more of GOD and to walk closer with Him. A perfect past is not mine to speak of -- I don't even know what that is -- but I DO know the One Who holds my future, and He has redeemed me from the hurts of yesterday to give me a hope for tomorrow.

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