Don’t Look Back

How often do we spend looking back on our sins? Whether it’s with regret, or, for some of us, with fondness. Have you ever wondered if this is hindering our walk with Christ?

An old Bible story came back to my heart and my mind. Do you remember Lot and his story? If you don’t, don’t worry, I’ll catch you up. In Genesis 13, Abram takes his wife and nephew Lot back to Bethel. Abram divided the land between himself and Lot, and Lot chose to pitch his tent towards Sodom and Gomorrah. Now, the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were “wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13)

Lot and his wife and daughters end up in Sodom. God’s people in the midst of sin. God sent angels to warn Lot and his family to flee Sodom and Gomorrah before they destroyed the land. They were told to not even turn back and look at the town once they left: “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” (Gen. 19:17).

Once they escaped Sodom, the Lord sent fire and brimstone to rain do

“I started thinking about this the other night driving past a road I used to frequent. I looked down the road and remembered all of the times that I spent not being true to God. All of the sins I had committed, all of the regrets I have come flooding back to my mind.”

wn upon the city. Then Lot’s wife looked back on her home and God turned her into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:24-26).

 

The Bible never says why Lot’s wife looked back, but we can imagine a few reasons why. Because we all look back on our sins. Some people look back on their sins with great guilt and grief. Others look back on their sinful antics with pride and remember their sins as having a ‘good time.’ I’m not going to get into the state in which we look back on our sin, but I do want to talk about the damage it will cause whenever we look back to our short comings and failures.

First of all, we have to remember that we set up camp in a sinful place. Somewhere we were never meant to be. I know that when I was younger, and I was somewhere that my parents instructed me not to be, whenever I would “flee” from this place, I had no time to look back. I was too busy focused on getting away from that place and back to where I needed to be to look behind me. When we take time to look back on our sin, we aren’t focused on where we are heading, and odds are, we will end up back where we started or in another mess completely. It’s very similar to driving a car; as long as we have our eyes on the road, and we aren’t concerned with where we are leaving, but keep our focus on where we are going, we will arrive safely, but if we are constantly turning around and watching the house we are driving away from, we will end up in a ditch on the side of the road.

Secondly, we have to remember that we are looking back on something that brought us ultimately nothing but pain. Sin is fun for a season, but we tend to forget the heartache we faced whenever that season ended. We forget the price of our sin. We forget that it took us away from a relationship with a loving God, and put us in harm’s way. Some of us don’t forget the pain sin caused us, and we just keep reliving it; that’s not right or healthy either. Once our sins are forgiven, we are to move on and learn from that experience. If we keep bringing it up, and keep beating ourselves up for it, we haven’t fully accepted the forgiveness that Christ gave us at the cross. We have to remember that those times brought us pain, and that we don’t need to long to relive them again, however, we still need to remember that we don’t need to keep beating ourselves up over something we have sought forgiveness for. Both are unhealthy in our walk with Christ!

Lastly, we must remember that we are only taking time away from serving God whenever we continually look back on our sinful pasts. God may not turn us into a pillar of salt, but during this time we will be about as useful as a pile of salt! We can’t move forward for God, we can’t further our relationship with Him until we stop focusing on our mistakes. Looking back will always cost us more than we want to pay, and it will take more time than we want to give. Looking back will only tempt us to sin again, or make us miss the sinful life we led (even though we know it leads to nothing but heartache and death). We can’t fall into the same trap that Lot’s wife did. We MUST remember that the sinful life of Sodom and Gomorrah is NOT the life God has called us to live!

The devil will use your past against you; whether to tempt you, or beat you up with it, but friend, you MUST remember that it’s not worth it. The heartache that we reaped in the past, is not worth reliving. We must keep moving forward, head held high, looking towards Jesus. If you’re reading this and you’re currently living in your own Sodom, please heed the call God is sending and FLEE! Don’t turn back! Run as fast as you can to the arms on a Savior that loves you! Whatever pleasure you are getting from sin now, is not worth the price you will have to pay later. Friends, I beg you: don’t look back.

The Rochester Family said it best, “Don’t look back, it ain’t worth what you’ll be paying. There’s nothing that you’re gonna find back there worth taking. Keep moving on my friends, forget about where you’ve been. Learn to listen and leave behind your past, and don’t look back.”

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