Pillar of Salt or New Creation

I’ve been thinking a lot about my past. Ok, let me be honest, I’ve downright pitched a tent and been camping in my past. And, I haven’t found the spots of happiness and picnics and great tidings of joy, I’ve found the pits of miry clay to wallow in.

This isn’t Canaan’s happy land, it’s Carrie’s sinking sand…

Two days ago I wrote about focusing on the future and missing out on the present. Today, well, today I want to look at focusing on our past and missing out on our present and future.

 


When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:15-26

In case you aren’t familiar with the story, this is the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his family were to be saved from the destruction. Lot’s son-in-laws thought it was a joke and chose to stay. The angels ushered Lot, Lot’s wife, and his two daughters out of the city.

They city was full of wickedness. So much wickedness prevailed that just hours before when the men of the city came demanding that Lot hand them the “men” (angels) that were staying with him so that they could have sexual relations with them, Lot actually offered them his own daughters instead.

Luckily the angels stepped in and saved them all from the angry, immoral mob that had gathered at Lot’s door. Sodom and Gomorrah was an evil place. Nothing good was going to come from it.

God was removing Lot’s family from the evil place before destroying it. He was delivering them from evil to safety.

It seems to me that Lot’s family would follow the instructions given to them to the letter. It wasn’t all that difficult. Run for your life. Don’t look behind you. Escape to the mountains. If not, you will be destroyed.

Lot talks them out of the mountains and into a small city close by, and again the angels tell him to hurry and run for their lives.

As soon as Lot’s family reached the small city, fire and brimstone rained on Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord brought destruction as promised after saving Lot’s family.

But Lot’s wife looked back.

Why? Why did she turn and look back? God had saved her from that life, from that utter destruction, from that eternal damnation, and yet she turned back.

How many times does God set us free from an addiction for us to return to it later if only to revisit the shame it brought to us? How many times do we ask God to forgive us a for a sin, He forgives it, and we drag it back up because we can’t forgive ourselves?

Why do we continue to let our past drag us down? God has set us free repeatedly. He shows up every time. Right on time. And he sets us free if we’re willing to accept his freedom.

If we want to be truly free of our past, we must learn to accept the freedom Christ offers us.


Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, Colossians 3:9-10

When Christ rescues me, he changes me. I become a new creation, a new man. I don’t have to be that “old” man any more. I can stop dwelling on the things I said, the actions I did, the person I was…I’ve been made new. I am a new creature in Christ.

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1 Corinthians 1:2

Christ sanctifies me and calls me to be a saint. I have been set apart in Christ Jesus. Not because of anything I’ve done or am ever going to do, but because of Him. And He chose me. If I’ve been set apart, who am I to choose to go back and dwell on my sin?


Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. Romans 6 11-14


Faith in the resurrection of Christ should transfer to my living out death of sin in my life. I should be working to bury my sin and live out God’s grace. Sin is in my past, love is in my present and is my future. I must let go of the past to embrace the grace that is present.


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

God chose me to be His. I once was a nobody. An absolute nobody…not even a people. I had no love. But now, not only am I a people, I am a CHOSEN person, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, a people of GOD. And I have obtained His MERCY!!! If I am worthy of God’s mercy, I am worthy of letting go of my past.


that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

It’s time to let go of all of my old ways, the old things holding me back, and let God renew my mind. Let Him fill my mind with the thoughts that will bring righteousness and holiness rather than bitterness and divisions. God can renew my mind. He can replace my hurt with healing.


Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5

My God is not a God stuck in the past. He makes ALL things new. I don’t have to be who I’ve always been. I don’t have to be who I was. I can cry out to Jesus for rescue and restoration. He will show up on time every time and as long as I’m willing, He will make me new.


photo credit: Phillie”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/2052678266/”>Phillie Casablanca
via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc>

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