February 15, 2012 Ė Wrong Turns, Selfish Motives, and the Road Less Traveled
10 And Lot looked and saw that everywhere the Jordan Valley was well watered. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was all like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. Ė Genesis 13:10 AMP
Lot was a man facing a major life decision. His employees and the employees of his Uncle Abraham were beginning to argue with each other. They had both become very successful, and their herds had grown so much that it was becoming more difficult for the surrounding land to sustain both of their vast livestock operations. Abraham had the solution. To keep strife out of the family, they needed to separate. Whichever way Lot went, Abraham would go the other. But even though Abraham had the right of first choice as the eldest, he let Lot choose where he wanted to go.
Lot chose the Jordan Valley, which was well watered and could definitely support his operation. He wouldnít have to dig wells because the Jordan River was nearby. In such a fertile area, grazing land for his animals would never be a problem. For someone given the first choice, it was a no-brainer. As todayís verse says, it was like the Garden of Eden.
Even though Lotís decision seemed easy, there were also problems. He never took his uncle into consideration. He had no regard for Abraham being several years his senior. He knew of the wickedness of Sodom, yet he chose to live there (Genesis 13:12-13). And he was unwilling to take the risk, place his life in Godís hands, and take the road less traveled.
In todayís society, Christians find themselves in Lotís situation. We find ourselves looking for a church and sometimes make decisions based on the world. Many times we choose the mega church over the small church on the corner. The small church has no programs whereas the mega church has a program or small group for every age and interest. The small church has no community outreach projects but the mega church has at least one a week and makes several local news channels about how many lives are touched. The small church has no youth pastor, but the mega church has a large youth program and their youth minister seems to be able to reach them on a level that no parent can. Like Lot, the decision seems easy. The mega church wins. Pretty soon you find yourself away from the intimate setting of the small church and feel like more of a number than a name. Like Lot, you are in a situation because you didnít take the road less traveled.
You see, often things are dressed in nice shiny packages but lead to dangerous outcomes. Look at Lot. He chose to live in Sodom and God destroyed it. Lot even lost his wife amidst the devastation. Have you ever been a Lot? Have you chosen the mega church with all its glitz and glamour and in turn lost touch with God? Have you surrounded yourself with hypocritical believers and discovered that your own relationship with God has suffered? Have you left your old life behind but allowed one compromise after another to lead you down a road you never thought you would go down again? Lot never looked back when he was told to leave. But there was something in his wifeís heart that made her look back. She could have been thinking anything in the world, but the fact that she looked back showed her to be less than willing to take the road less traveled.
Many times we all take the easy road because it is the path of least resistance. There are no potholes. There seems to be nothing that will stand in our way to reach our goal. Whether itís at home, work, or church, we choose the easy way. But herein lays the problem. What if God is trying to grow you in your faith? What if the path of least resistance for you will only expose selfishness in your life? What if that easy road ends up being a wrong turn? In everything in life, you must always be willing to take the road less traveled.
Now Iím not saying that the bumpy road is the one we should always take. What Iím saying is that we should consider every circumstance. The easy choice sometimes causes problems. These seemingly easy decisions often are simply wrong turns.
Whatís the key? How do we keep ourselves from making wrong turns on the road of life? Learn a lot from Lot. Donít make the selfish decision. Donít compromise what you believe and place yourself and your family in any situation that would challenge your faith. Listen to God and follow His lead. Sometimes you may not be able to comprehend or even see the reasons, but in the end you can feel safe and secure because you took the road less traveled.