Daily Devotionals

Which Way Will I Go?

Daniel Bramlett

I am reading in Genesis right now. Yesterday I read the story of Lot and was reminded how foolish this man was. As the nephew of Abraham, he had every privilege in the world. God rescued him from ruin multiple times. Every time Lot was given the opportunity for a better life and every time he flubbed it up. Let’s take his separation from Abraham as an example.

The two men had covered a lot of miles together and God was blessing them. Their herds were growing at such a rapid rate they couldn’t keep them together any longer. Abraham told his nephew to pick any direction and he would go the opposite way. Lot looked at the valley. He saw lush fields, the river, and lots of cities. He chose to go that way. God blessed Abraham’s generosity in letting his nephew choose first and reaffirmed His promise to give him and his offspring ALL of the land. Lot’s choice on the other hand was not blessed by God.

I think Lot saw more than lush fields and flowing streams when he looked at the valley. I think he saw a chance to get out of tent life and find something more stable. I think Lot was thinking about a wife and kids and the possibility of settling down. There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts. Many a noble man has acted on them. But the path Lot chose to achieve those goals was less than noble. Lot moved into the city of Sodom.

From this point forward, Lot’s life fell apart. He was kidnapped by warring kings. His daughters became engaged to foolish men who had no fear of the Lord. His wife deliberately disobeyed the Lord and turned into a pillar of salt. His girls became so fearful they would never have children they got their father drunk and each had sex with him. The progeny of these unions produced enemies God’s people would fight the rest of their lives. Lot was given a choice and he chose foolishness instead of wisdom. His decision not only ruined his life, it impacted the lives of millions after him.

I don’t want to exaggerate the circumstances at all. I don’t believe choices like Lot faced are something we face on a daily basis. As far as I can read, Lot was given this pivotal choice once. We enjoy an aspect of God’s character Lot didn’t have daily access to. It’s called grace. But grace doesn’t erase the consequences of horribly foolish choices. It makes it possible to move forward in spite of the consequences. In Lot’s case, God’s grace was spit on. What about us?

What are the faithful moments in your life that you celebrate? Certainly a decision to submit your life to the Lord is one! I would think marriage to a Godly spouse would be another. Raising kids who follow the Lord would rank near the top. But what about other choices? I’ll tell you the one that is weighing on my heart right now. It’s the choice of whether or not to be an active part of a God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-following Church. Right now there is more access to the Gospel around the world than I’ve seen in my lifetime. Thousands of Churches are putting the message of truth and grace out there for the world to see. This is certainly something to celebrate. But at the same time, thousands of faithful believers are choosing to make this online option their sole participation in the Church.

These people have sound motivations. They are afraid of catching COVID-19. They are afraid of spreading COVID-19 to one of their friends or family members. I understand the fear. I get sick at my stomach sometimes thinking about how horrible it would be if I passed the virus onto someone with underlying conditions. Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about precautions I have or haven’t taken. But in the end, the faithful route looks like me walking toward Jesus and not the way of the majority of the people; not the way of fear. What about you?

I realize I’m walking a tightrope. I understand the implications of what I’m saying. I also fully understand the consequences of staying in complete seclusion away from the Body. I choose to gather. Do you want to know what drives me to make this choice? People were not made for isolation. It destroys us piece by piece. What’s more, believers were made for community. It rebuilds us piece by piece. Of all the people in the world to be afraid of getting sick and dying, we should be at the bottom of the barrel. We have absolute hope about our eternal home. We don’t fear death or its tactics. Even more, we have so many reasons to celebrate our lives! When we look around we can name so many times God has rescued us, blessed us and shown us grace. I don’t want isolation to be the thing that defines our generation.

I fear many of us are at a crossroads. I don’t want you and I to look back on 2020 and wish we had done more. Neither do I want you to assume virtual worship is your only option. I truly believe the gathered Body of believers is one of the safest places on earth. For the most part, this group is VERY careful. They are VERY mindful of the consequences of their actions. They are determined to love their neighbor and right now that means wearing a mask, social distancing and staying away if you are sick. But it also means entering into each other’s lives and speaking truth. The gathered Body must not be ignored. If we do so for long, I am absolutely sure we and the generations that follow us will regret it.

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