The Lord instructed Lot to leave the city because he was about to destroy it. Lot lived in the Sodom and Gomorrah area where sexual perversion was rampant, and God decided to clean house. He does have the right to do that. He can do it with water, with fire, or with anything he so desires.
But Lot apparently sort of had one foot in the world and one foot hobbling along with God. He was dragging his feet about getting out of the city. The Bible says Lot “lingered” (Genesis 19:16).
The angels of the Lord had to grab him and his family by the hand and literally drag them out. By the mercies of God, they were taken outside the city. He was then told to run to the mountains and not look back. Lot did not like that. He said he was concerned with what evil might befall him in the mountains, so he requested to go to the next city. That was agreed on and off toward the city they went.
All seemed to be going well when a terrible thing happened. Lot’s wife looked back to where they were coming from, and the Bible says she turned to a pillar of salt (verse 26).
Lot about lost it all by lingering from making the exodus, no doubt because of his attachment to the world. Worse than that, Lot’s wife becomes a dead, good for nothing pile of dirty salt by her attachment to the world, and longing to be a part of it. Jesus said whosoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be his disciple (Luke 14:33).
God has set things up so there is total blessing that comes from total commitment. So often, through his mercy, he blesses us in spite of us. But his perfect way is like joining the army. You exchange your life and your rights for his life and his rights over you.
As you are trained in this way, you become an instrument through which God can speak, act, gain dominion, and set captives free in every way and be blessed. Lot lingered and lost his wife and about lost it all.
When God calls us to follow him, we don’t need to linger with one hand holding to him and another hand holding to “them.” There is extreme blessing in loving the Lord our God with all (that is “all”) of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).
He’s talking about leaving all behind and loving all around as being a way of life. Deviation from this is lingering and positioning ourselves to lose.
Rather than being a lingering Lot, we can choose to be a lover of the Lord with all our hearts. That’s the way to abundant life in every way. Love God instead of linger with the world.
Jackie Calhoun is a contributing writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org