Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

02/05/2020

Randall Caselman

 

Life Destiny & Everyday Choices

 

  Life is filled with decisions, what we wear, what to eat, how to spend our time, talent, treasure, energy. We must decide whom we spend our time with. Know this: The choices we make determine our happiness here and our eternal destiny.

 

  We see this principle demonstrated in the lives of Abraham and Lot in Genesis chapters thirteen through nineteen. Lot chose to pitch his tent toward Sodom and the cities of the plains, but Abraham dwelled in the Land of Canaan. God allows us to see the result of their choices. A few years later, Lot and his family were caught in a civil war between a group of kings resulting in their being taken political prisoners. They had to be rescued by Abraham. Later, Lot was forced to flee for his life as God destroyed Sodom because of her wicked behavior. In this incident, Lot put his family at risk, lost his wife, and was involved in a sinful relationship with his own daughters.

 

  On the other hand, Abraham and his family were blessed in Canaan. One is made to wonder what would have happened to Lot and his family had they chosen to stay in Canaan? More importantly, what can we learn about decision making from this Old Testament narrative?

 

  Be careful about choosing material things. It seems that Lot was awestruck with the 'grazing rights' that could be his on the fertile plains near Sodom. But materialism complicates life! We know those who can’t enjoy life because of constant worry over interest rates, insurance premiums, rent houses, lease arrangements, the fluctuating stock market, taxes, maintenance schedules, fashion trends and disposable income. Wow!! Think back a few years before we owned all this stuff. Didn’t we have a lot less worries?Wasn’t life more enjoyable? Don’t we all wish for a simpler time? Jerome K. Jerome, in his book Three Men in a Boat wrote “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need: A homely home, simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the title, someone to love, and someone to love you. You'll find the boat easier to pull, and it will not be so easily capsized."

 

  Right choices demand right priorities. We’ll never know why Lot chose to pitch his tent toward Sodom, but we can suppose it was because of business concerns — pasture and water for his herds. Our priorities regulate life. We allow the urgent to determine our choices, rather than the important. Grass and water for his livestock were urgent matters; but they were not the most important matters in Lot’s life. Wonder how his life would have been different if Lot had been more concerned about his relationship with God. There is no record that he wanted what was best for his family. No indication that he prayed to God for wisdom in making his choice. Listen, living by the tug of the urgent places us on a never ending treadmill. We go from one crisis to another. Choosing to live by the urgent results in a pressure filled existence. Don't go there! James Boice says it so well: “We may think that we are a lot different from Lot. But if we place our job ahead of our family’s spiritual life; if we put social and political advancement ahead of association with God’s people; if we let our choices keep us from worship services and spiritual growth; we have moved from the land of Canaan, and pitched our tent toward Sodom.”

 

  Right choices are to be made by faith, not by sight. “Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld the plains of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere.” Abraham trusted God. Lot trusted his own senses, his own human logic. There's no logic in serving a God we cannot see; No logic in God dying on a cross to save us; No logic in becoming His child by faith. Will we choose logic or humble, unconditional obedience? “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”(Hebrews 11.6) “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27). Indeed! We must live by faith.

 

  Every day we make choices that will affect not only our own lives, but the lives of our children and grandchildren, along with others around us. Pray God help us make wise choices. Amen?

 

—RANDALL CASELMAN